TERRY EVERTON

slipping on a little more than ice and gin

marvin came
into my room
holding a
gin bottle

and his head.

“THIS IS IT
GODDAMMIT”
he yelled.
“I FINALLY HIT ME
THE FUCKIN’ JACKPOT!”

he shoved the
top of his head
toward my face

and his hair
was matted together
with dried blood.

“I TOLD ‘EM
THEY DAMN WELL BETTER
START CLEARIN’ THE ICE
OFFA THEM GODDAMN STEPS!
NOW LOOK --
I BUSTED MY HEAD
AN’ THEY’RE GONNA GIT
A FUCKIN’ LAWSUIT
THAT’S WHAT!”

he poured some gin
on top of his head

hollered
“GOD DAMN
THAT HURTS LIKE
A MOTHERFUCKER”

pulled a dried olive
out of his pantspocket

popped it
in his mouth

had a good
chug of gin

and said
“NOW THAT’S A
MARTINI GODDAMMIT!”

he offered the
bottle to me

sans olive

and as i was
having a drink

marvin stood there
with blood on his hand
asking me if i
knew a good lawyer

because someone
was gonna pay

goddammit

someone was
gonna pay.


coming at me heavy as i go to leave a piss

i walked out
into the hall

and found maureen
leaning up against
the wall
upside down.

there was a beercan
sitting on the floor
beside her head

and she looked
at my ripped socks
and said
“man oh man
this yoga shit’s
gonna make a
new woman
outta me yet.”

i took the stairs
up to the third floor
because that’s where
the shitter was

and when i walked in
leon was
on his knees
pouring what was left
of a bottle of scotch
down a urinal.

he looked up at me
with a hangover
in his eyes
and said
“from now on
it’s beer an’ vodka
an’ nothin’ else.”

i emptied my bladder
and left leon there
on the floor

dry heaving
in the direction of
the urinal

and when i went
back downstairs
maureen was still there
upside down

only this time
her face was a
bright shade of red.

she looked at my
ripped socks again
and asked
“how the hell am i
supposed to
drink my beer
like this anyway?”

i walked back
into my room

and went straight for
the whiskey cupboard

becuase that was
the only thing
that seemed to make
the slightest lick of sense
on that particular day.


shelved again as the tenure expires

you’ve been at
this new place

for about
a month now

and one night
the manager
greets you
as you walk in
with
“we need to
have a talk
right away.”

he invites you
to join him
at table 36

which is the table
he does all of his
hiring and firing
from.

you sit across
from him
and he looks you
in the eye
and says
“i’ve had four people
in the last two days
tell me they’ve seen you
collecting for drinks
and putting the money
in the tip jar
instead of the register.”

you catch a glimpse
of your replacement
filling out
an application
at the bar.
she’s probably in her
mid-thirties
divorced
with two kids.
just like the one
you replaced
four weeks ago
who they fired
for drinking
on the job.

the manager
chimes in
“i didn’t want to
believe them
at first you know.
but then i had
different people
watch you
and they all said
the same thing.”

you look down
at the silverware
in front of you
and notice
a caked-on piece
of dried meat
sticking to one of
the fork prongs.

the manager
reaches into his pocket
and pulls out
your final paycheck.

“here.
this covers you
through yesterday.
i can’t tell you
how disappointed
i am in you.”

you stand up

stuff the check
into your shirtpocket

and as you walk past
your replacement
you lean over
and whisper
“it’s all yours sweetheart.”

as you step out
into the parking lot
you pass the
first customers
of the day
on their way in

beer and tip money
jangling away
in their pockets.



Terry Everton's writings and cartoons have appeared
throughout the alternative press for the past
20 years. He is currently the creator of the comic
strip christian angst and in charge of wreaking
havoc in general.






© 2005 Underground Voices