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PROMISE KEEPER | daffy duffel

Up at the top of my closet there is a duffel bag. It only gets opened when there is coke or speed in my system and I don’t know why. Needless to say, I got the step stool out of the laundry room and took it to my closet. The sea of clothing parted as I leaned against them and my fingers touched the rough, duffel fabric. My grip brought it to me and I carried it down.

I made a place on the floor, cleared things away, and dug out some booty. The first thing to be examined and treasured was a leather tooling kit. Each tool was fingered and contemplated. The marks it would make on leather, the meanings of the marks and the meanings of the meanings. Leathergryphs as leather wore through the ages, wearing and changing, but bearing the leathergryphs and carrying the message through the years on worn leather.

A manicure kit. A nice one.

Little shiny, sharp implements to be wiped down with the nice cloth stored in the kit just for that purpose. A rotary tool with one B battery for clipping hairs in the nostrils. I did that and heard the grinding away of the nostril hairs and I ran it over my ears and then my forehead. Hairs poured down and I knew I should stay away from my eyebrows but I ripped into them good. No mirror, flying blind, grinding through my eyebrows good. Crystal appeared at the bedroom door.

“You’re not gonna shave off your eyebrows again.”

“Shut up.” I was in no mood for that kind of shit.

There were coins. Odd coins in there. Nickels that looked like dimes. Half dimes or some weird thing. 1900’s. That kind of deal. Silver dollars that shone. Glass doorknobs and brass hinges. All that shining shit. What was I, some kind of monkey? Collector of shining objects. And there was an envelope. Addressed. Stamped. Worn with age and ready to send. It would need more postage.

Instructions. Blueprints for a storage shed.

Court papers. Long forgotten fears and reminders that I was on parole. The name of the man I ran over. That always makes my stomach hurt.

Pornography. I thumb through the pictures. Brief recollections of ritualistic masturbation.

Bankruptcy papers. Divorce. Repossessed Cadillac. My heart sank. I wandered into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. What fucked up eyebrows you have. The better to lather them up with menthol shaving cream and shave them smooth. Leave that shit on the floor and drink.

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