As I walk in and out of places (common places) like the drug store, or the city library, I think
how could anything extraordinary happen here?
I mean, the people who work at these places file books for excitement or take drugs.
There was a girl in the library who was sorting DVDs,
and she had an intellectual conversation with the librarian, that went something like this…
“Flowers of Paris is a foreign film, but also a documentary. Perhaps, we should have a section devoted to foreign documentaries so that I know where to file it.”
She had a thick face, with a layer of condensed sweat on her round cheeks, that made her glow, but not in a good way.
The librarian was a man, 55 years of age, bald, skinny, always wore sweaters because he thought it made him look more intellectual, and he drove a Porsche—the cheapest one on the line. He was a patient man, who frequently listened to insane lonely ladies who were writing novels and professing their love to him by saying that he was a central character in their books.
The point is, people like this live in neat houses, and never allow their lives to get too messy. They explore the world in their living rooms, and they gossip to fill their lonely evenings with drama.
One of the most boring places, is the local city golf course, and this story, is one that I heard while playing golf with a 50-year-old drunk. He was a self-professed failure, but happy. No wife. No kids. No job. He told me, he read novels because he hated TV, but he doesn’t figure into this story too much.
Bill was a regular (The drunk guy isn’t Bill).
A lawyer at an education conference told him that golf was a good way to lose weight and reduce his stress. He was a principal at a local middle school who hated kids, but stuck with it because he was too close to retirement.
Dogs know the nature of a man, and when Bill walked up the fairways, they barked at him, and he would bark back.
On a cold afternoon, a couple of them got loose, and followed him around the golf course, stealing his golf balls. Occasionally, he screamed at them, like he was possessed by demons, but this only turned them into the hounds from hell. They kept barking, and two more pit-bulls joined them.
Bill carried a .22 pistol on his person at all times. He did this, in case he had to kill a kid at work. The public schools are turning into the wild wild west. Anyway, he fumbled for it in his pocket and dropped it like a football. When he reached for it, one of the dogs bit into his hand, and wouldn’t let go.
Bill got down onto his knees, to collect his gun, and another dog ripped into his throat.
Blood was squirting like a sprinkler. He tried to scream, but it only shot two yards farther, like a fire hose.
This is where the drunk comes into our story.
He told me that he had done some private investigating work in his younger years, and that’s why he still carried a .357 magnum.
“Ordinary people are dangerous,” he told me.
He pulled it, and fired four times, killing all the dogs.
When he walked onto the scene, Bill’s arms and legs were separated from his body, like he had been doing jumping jacks, or trying to make a snow angel in the grass. There was a big red mud puddle on the green, like a Christmas homicide in February.
It struck me as a strange story—
an unholy anomaly, in a peaceful neighborhood,
and whenever I played golf there, and a fog rolled in, and the dogs barked at me, I thought of the Hounds of the Baskervilles.
I work in education too.