Thursday, December 2, 2010

Johnny's House and Grandpa Pabst


 I really did think I was going to die.  Just like Christine died. All of a sudden it would rush me.  Johnny was my friend now and I didn't care if I was shot dead because someone finally understood me.  I never had anything like him before.  Johnny invited me to his house that weekend and it became the sole goal of surviving my first week of this abuse.  I knew the finish line would be Johnny's house.  He gave me the address and described its appearance, it was easy to detect.

    Johnny's house was abandoned from hope.  The yard was filled with the relics of the old world: broken down cars, bits of broken electronics, and old chunks of transistor radios that echoed the sounds of the 1950s.  There were overgrown plants that didn't belong to them any more; their previous owners had long since passed away and the brush could now move without constraint to pillage their kingdom.   The only objects in the yard that looked deliberate in their placement were three wagon wheels that lay against the the porch wall.  How queer they lay as if antiquities of the wild west placed as decor amongst the battlefield of a New England squat.  The front door hung like a wanted man from one hinge.  Barely a door, it was more a screen in a door frame.  It was a gateway to a dilapidated ranch house far from the caring hands of a sane adult.  Broken plates,  half-finished dinosaur sculptured parts, three-legged kitchen chairs, and memorabilia of an insane disjointed past filled the house.  The rooms breathed a history of neglect.  The whole habitat had a stench of bowel movements and kitty litter.  They didn't own a cat.       

    Almost as stagnant as the dwelling was Johnny's grandfather who sat on the front porch.  He sat in his chair every day watching the cars go by suckling from a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.  His brand never changed.  It was a matter of pride, "I've drank the same beer for 47 years there's no changing me!"  Grandpa Pabst was senile, I think.  He was an old sculptor who had a grant back in 1932  with The Museum of Natural History.  Apparently when the budget was cut the grant fell through.  Grandpa Pabst would ramble on about the dinosaurs that he thought to be living in the jungle of his front lawn.  "Cold front coming through. The pterodactyls have all gone and left this area."  The dinosaur exhibit must have been the last exhibit he was working on.

    Grandpa Pabst's wife passed away 10 years prior to our introduction, but he was convinced she was still alive.  Her name was Sherry.  On a small side table which sat next to Grandpa Pabst was a tiny woman, a mammy doll that he addressed and believed was Sherry.  Johnny told me He would talk to her/it every day.  In the summer he would even serve the doll lemonade.  She gave up drinking in 1945, he told me.

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