When Archie was gone the house stopped shuddering, but it was never entirely devoid of his grossest presence; there were traces of him everywhere, impressions of body make-up on the walls and the couch and the kitchen bench and indents in various surfaces he had leaned on; greasy chicken-licken finger prints over everything, and cigarette ends crossing back and forth across the linoleum like a trail of crumbs through the wood.
I had tried to interest him in crafts as a way to get his mind off things and he’d taken up macramé with great enthusiasm and produced this charming owl wall hanging:
But then things had got a bit out of hand; there were now craft projects strung up all about the place, pot hangers, a hammock, and a child’s jungle gym, all glowing palely in the mountain moonlight like Arc-angelic tape-worms. He also had a nice way of leaving chicken bones around so that walking into the entrance hall strung with macramé lamp shades was like walking into the lair of a giant spider.
Now I went into the den and collapsed face first into a bowl of skittles on the desk; I was so damn tired I could not care that the colours of the rainbow were making tiny spotty impressions on my beautiful face. I must have sat there for hours thinking nothing but Cupio Dissolvi, which Archie had worked out in macramé and nailed to the wall. We are alive a long time and therefore have ample opportunity to be miserable. Then in the distance I heard the pink Cadillac coming back up the hill.
Archie returned, alive with spirits, bringing Greg Stone and some of the boys from the alpaca ranch. They sat on the patio for hours doing bro shit, howling at the moon, cracking beers and pouring froth into the faux lagoon. Then Archie procured a mandolin from somwhere and sprawled back in his deck chair started singing, ‘Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautifuuul-l-l--‘ for the five hundred and eighty-sixth time in seven days.
That was when I thought, ‘Got to go. Got to go. One or the other of us has got to go.’ It may however have been a half dream because I recall all of those ‘O’s spelled out in skittles.
In the top desk drawer was my ivory-handled pistol, which I got for being Mayor in Shitsville. With great power comes great responsibility. I checked the chamber to make sure it was clean, then left it on the desk, on top of the crumpled shop-a-dockets for ten percent-off Full Body Spray Tans and the moist towelettes you get complimentary with buckets of fried chicken, next to the drinks tray so he couldn’t help but notice it next time he came in.
Continued here: But in your dreams whatever they be / Dream a little dream of me