Hedgehogs in the Fog, Part IV.

This story was published as a part of the Only fools die of heartbreak collection by Equus Press.

“See that bar over there?” said Kirby. “We live in the apartment block right above, on the sixth floor. That’s our new place. Can you believe it? I told you it was cool. A bar and a park right out the front door. The bar’s a Russian mafia hangout, but it’s cool. Topless girls will serve you beer all night. It’s a place made for drunks like you and me.”
“Sweet, Kirby, sweet.”
“Glad to see you, buddy! AH, SHIT!” he said, leaning back on the bench. He jerked forward and slapped me on the knee. “Beautiful red shorts, man, really nice to see you! What are these shorts – they look like silk.”
“Nah, just shiny, baby. Cheap shit from China, designed by America. Wow, man, hell, goddamn, hell. You’ve got to be feeling great. There’s nothing like having that pregnancy stuff behind. And now you’ve got a new baby. A girl too! That it’ll be its own problem, but you can worry about that later.”
“What do you mean, ‚problem‘? It’s gonna be great!”
“That’s what I meant – I mean, it’s gonna be great. So how’s Dasha doing? How’d she hold up?”
“She’s good, real good,” said Kirby. He paused to re-light a half-smoked doob. He had a puff, then passed it over to me. “Yeah, shit, man. They’re both resting well. They’ll be in the hospital a few more days, I guess. It went smooth, no obvious complications. . . .”
“How’s Alfredo taking it? Alanka and Alfredo. That’s nice, man – the Double-A. You guys must have planned it in advance.”
“Oh, Alfredo loves it, he can’t believe we’ve got a new baby! He just runs around so happy.”
“Give him time. He doesn’t really know what’s happened yet.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing, Kirby. Absolutely nothing.”
“Nothing? You open your mouth and all that comes out is nothing?”
“You know it, Kirb. That’s the specialty. Trying to sell it on the internet.”
“Har-har-har – what an ass!”

We had a few more puffs on the doob. The big phlegmmy yellow street clock said 1:25 a.m. I realized I was again on a tangent that would get me home no earlier than six or seven. There would no doubt be multiple high payments for that, and sure, I thought, I was ready to pay. Awake for 30 hours or so, coming home soggy drunk, head full of oatmeal and sawdust – perhaps an extra bottle or three in the coat pockets, “to help me wind down.” At least I would finally be able to sleep. It made a certain sense, after all. I did have to work the next night (10:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.), so staying up until seven would actually help. . . .

Kirby coughed and sighed, yawned. “C’mon,” he said, “Let’s go get a beer. Jesus, you must be thirsty.”
“Goddamn yeah,” I said. “I need about 10, minimum.”
The Russian mafia place was a bright chaos of beer and booze signs, fake gold railing, various fake art-deco motifs, a giant television showing video bimbos. We sat down.
“So where’s all the mafia guys?” I said.
“They’re not here yet, it’s too early. They come in about three or four, after the night’s criminality.” Kirby laughed.
In the glare of the pub lights, Kirby did not look good – he was sweating heavily, his face pasty white, a green tinge to the edges. Lips wet and chapped. He slouched back in the booth, the left corner of his mouth sagging.
“Jesus, I don’t how long I can stay here. I’ve been boozing and smoking dope for the past 13 hours, ever since I left the hospital. . . .”
“You’ll make it, Kirby. I was hoping we could drink for a few hours. We haven’t seen each other since that beautiful day in May, when we sat down there by the square for those hours. That was six months ago!”

The bar-girl’s nice medium tits swung glorious and free. Small silver rings in each nipple. Tight knee-cords outlining her haunches, blond-brown falling in fringes down her forehead. De rigueur silver nose pin. A nice example of what gave Czech women their evolutionary advantage – full, moderate breasts, strong legs and asses, but never too big – but I could have done without the nose pin.

She seemed a bit bored, a certain hardness in her brow – somewhat standard for the genre, but she did not seem totally unfriendly. She probably would have been a darn good bang three or four years ago, I thought casually, when she was seventeen or eighteen, before whatever had happened that had put her in the titty night-bars. But maybe it had even happened before then.

“For sure, I can’t stay out all night,” Kirby said. “I already ordered my mom a taxi to the airport. It’s coming at nine and I’ve got to be up to tell her goodbye. Then I’ve got to take care of Alfredo, and go back to the hospital. . . .”
“Sure, no sweat. We’ll just have a couple, or ten.”
“Yeah, O.K. It’s gonna be great to have my mom gone. She’s been driving us fucking nuts! The apartment is just too small.”
“How long has she been here?”
“Three weeks. Which is about two weeks too long. At least she’s been taking care of Alfredo so I can go out and drink. She gave us some cash for the apartment so she thinks she owns the place. But I paid more than she did, overall. I will pay more. It’s mine, it’s in my name. I own it, five fingers fair and square. I’m never gonna get rid of it. This is where I’m going to live and die.”
“Congrats.”
“My mom apologized to me a couple days ago. Said how sorry she was for making my life hell when I was a kid. I was like, Gee mom, a little late, isn’t it? About 25 or 30 years too late, when it would have done some good.”
“Is that what you said?”
“No. I didn’t say anything. I just said, ‘Fine, great.’ That’s how I feel. What she said doesn’t change anything. Maybe it might help her mental health somehow, which I’m all in favor of. She’s getting old and batty. She’ll be living in a piss-stained cathouse. Probably all that stuff you did when you were a witch starts to haunt you.”
“No doubt. So did you hold Alanka already?”
“Yeah, I rocked her. About an hour after she came out.”
“How was it?”
“It’s hard to comprehend, you know. It felt great. She’s got exotic eyes.”
“Nice, Kirby.”

published: 5. 5. 2013