Interview With The Umpire

 

Sitting in Grossman’s Tavern one Saturday afternoon in 2010 amid a two day peyote pleasure cruise, Fielding Goodfellow, sat down for an interview with himself.

How would you feel if I recorded this interview. It would be far more accurate than just taking notes.

I don’t know about that. Can it be used as evidence against me?

Do you plan on saying something incriminating?

I usually do. My entire life is incriminating.

In that case, I’ll keep everything incriminating out of the article.

Okay then. Go ahead.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer.

I never wanted to be a writer.

But you are a writer.

Really? Well that’s surprising. Am I any good at it?

Some people think so. So if you didn’t plan on writing, what did you want to do?

Bang the Glasser triplets.

I meant for a living.

Bang the Glasser triplets.

You seem preoccupied with sex. Even in your work you seem to dwell on sexual activity.

I think its more of a vocation that a preoccupation.

Is it the same with drugs?

Oh no. I’m quite preoccupied with hallucinogenics.

In ‘The Misadventures of Mister E’ you state that reality is merely a byproduct of the elite imposing their will on a society that is totally unaware that there can be a different reality.

I said that? Well, that’s fucking brilliant.

You did. Were you referring to the alternate realities created by drug use?

That and the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. Both are equally effective.

Rocky & Bullwinkle?

Its beyond mind bending.

I read that in your college years you were quite a political activist, attending numerous protests. What specifically were you protesting against?

I was never a political activist. And I  never really protested against anything. I have no time for isms. They’re built on a tenuous web of deceit, and encourage cognitive masturbation. The proliferation of isms in the last two generations has rendered society helpless to the depravity of well tanned, casually dressed hipsters. Except of course Ikeaism.

Ikeaism?

Yes. The distorted belief that buying furniture in pieces that you fucking assemble yourself at home is a good idea.

In an interview in ‘Literary Life’ you said that you have an addictive personality. What did you mean by that?

What I actually said was that I have an addicted personality.

Is there a difference?

There is always a difference. Addictive is the susceptibility to become addicted, while addicted is merely an enthusiastic devotion. I have gone way beyond susceptibility, and am currently an enthusiastic devotee.

I see. So you’re an addict?

Not even close. I use hallucinogenics in an attempt to find the flying lizard I lost in 1970. And as for sex, I can take it or leave it, although I prefer to take it. There are things that keep us happy and things that keep us sane and then there’s sex, which does both.

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

That makes two of us.

So, if you weren’t writing, what would you be doing with your life?

I think I’d be an umpire in the women’s nude volleyball league.

I don’t think there is one.

Are you sure? Then who decides if the point is good?

No, I mean I don’t think there’s a women’s nude volleyball league.

Well that’s a let down.

Typically Fielding Goodfellow.

Really? I thought I surprised myself.

We should do this again sometime.

Definitely. I may even be sober next time.

I hope not.

Ya. We’d just wind up sitting in silence, staring at the barmaid’s tits.

You’ve been staring at her tits all afternoon.

I know. But we’ve been talking.

Well, thanks for your time.

My pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I see myself as more of a pilot. Flying people to the places they need to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

if you couldnt have been a writer, what would you have done with your lfie?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tripper Jack and The Magic Buttons

 

 

With the end of the school year approaching, my parents made the decision to get me out of the city for the summer. That year they shipped me off to summer camp for two months, far away from the friends they disliked and the opportunities to continue to get myself into trouble. I didn’t mind the camp really, I mean there were a multitude of opportunities to break the rules and wreak havoc on the masses, but I dreaded the camp’s annual canoe trip. Four days in the wilderness of Northern Ontario, paddling and portaging through the yet to be civilized Algonquin Park. And that’s when I met Tripper Jack.

We sat in the dining hall the night before the dreaded canoe trip, listening to the trippers and expedition leaders explain exactly what the hell we were about to set out to do. I really wasn’t paying attention, I mean I would have rather not be going. It was made clear however, that this was not an optional outing. “Are there any questions?”, the head tripper, Jack asked.

“Why aren’t there any girls here?”, I asked.

“Because they’re not coming.”, he replied.

“Why not?”, I added.

“I have my reasons.”, was his response. I really couldn’t think of a single reason not to bring the girls, but several very good ones to bring them along immediately sprang to mind.

“Well, this is gonna suck.”, I said in protest.

“We head out at 5 am.”, he continued, ignoring my objection. “So get your asses into bed. We eat and start loading up at 4.”

I sat up most of the night hoping for some kind of apocalypse, any kind really, that would stop this nightmare before it began, but none came. At 4 o’clock or so, long before any of the other living things were stirring, we all gathered in the mess hall, dining on eggs, toast and some kind of meat product most of us wouldn’t touch, and then, piled into the back of a panel van sitting atop milk crates, boxes and our camping gear. The roads were winding and filled with hills and valleys and, as the van swayed with every turn, Eric Soloway puked his guts out all over the milk crates beside him. “We have a winner.”,  Tripper Jack  chanted. “Anyone else eat the mystery meat?” No one had. No one else dared to. When we pulled up to our launch site the sun was up, and the water was clear and calm. We loaded the canoes with our gear and supplies, and headed straight across Canoe Lake.

As luck would have it, I shared the lead canoe with Tripper Jack. We paddled and paddled for what seemed like forever, making little progress as we tried to cross this never ending lake. ‘Mississippi Queen’ was playing on the transistor radio he had brought along, and using the paddle as a guitar, Tripper Jack nailed the solos.

There were hundreds of canoes on the lake. Hundreds of people setting out on a journey to nowhere, that inevitably led them right back to where they started. “You wanna get totally wasted?” Tripper Jack asked as he passed me some peyote. “This will totally mess with your head.” I didn’t even answer as I took the magic button, and waited for it to take effect.  I was a little surprised that we were now travelling through a Equatorial rain forest although I’m pretty sure that the surprise had little to do with the forest itself, and was more likely due to the effects of the peyote. Looking at the river’s edge, lined with tangerine trees that reached up to marmalade skies, I saw rocking horse people jumping in and out of newspaper taxis in a desperate attempt to elude the evil Blue Meanies. “What the fuck is this?”, I heard myself ask..

“Yellow Submarine meets Sergeant Pepper.”, I heard someone answer. “Weird, isn’t it?”

“Who the hell are you?”, I asked.

“I am the walrus.”, he replied.

“I think you’re mistaken.”, I said with some certainty. “The walrus was Paul.”

“Paul’s dead”, he replied.

“That’s just a rumor.”, I informed him.

“But not an impossibility.”, came his reply. “Remember there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.”

This certainly wasn’t my first sojourn into Pepperland, but this time I seemed to be watching it as if I was in the audience of a Fellini film. “Well this is one weird fucking trip.”, I told Tripper Jack.

“I told you it would fuck with your head.”, he said.  “Prepare yourself. A lot of really weird shit goes on up here.”

‘Ride Captain, Ride’ seeped out of the radio as we passed a garden of cellophane flowers that towered over our heads, finally arriving at the site of the first portage. It took two trips to transport all of our gear 1/2 mile across rock and muck to reach the shore of another lake that seemed very much like the one we had just left. We set off again looking for an island to spend the night. Tripper Jack spotted one that had a gentle sloped beach for the canoes, and a higher grade for our tents. A group of female canoeists who had already set up camp there agreed to share their site with us in exchange for protection from the wild animals they heard were known to live on these islands. “I come up here twice a year.”, Tripper Jack told me. “And every time, there’s a group of female campers on this island.” We set camp and made a fire. Some of the guys went skinny dipping in the lake, and a few of the girls joined them. Tripper Jack handed me a joint, and went off with a big boobed, blonde teen sensation that he hoped would soon be bobbing up and down on his lap. I stayed on shore, preferring to sit and talk with Naomi, the leader of the girls expedition. Despite being older than I was, I couldn’t help thinking about  jumping down her shorts. Naomi and I disappeared into the woods and proceeded to get high.

“Why aren’t you in the water with the others?”, she asked as I passed her the joint.

“I’ve been waiting to go with you.”, I told her. She sat with her insanely long legs slightly apart afforded me an unobstructed view of her wondrous camel toe. “What do you say?”, I asked. “Should we go for a swim?”

“You just want to get me naked, don’t you?”, she asked. “I can see how you look at me.”

“I certainly do.”, I told her.

“Well”, she continued, “we don’t have to go in the water for me to take my clothes off.” She stood up and began undressing. “Come on.”, she said. “You have to take yours off too or its no deal.” I was already hard, and she noticed. “Well, someone likes tits.”, she said as she removed her top. Indeed someone did. We spent the night together in a sleeping bag in the woods, and when the sun came up, we parted ways.

“So that wasn’t so bad.”, Tripper Jack said as we paddled away from the island.  “And now you know why I don’t bring the girls along.”

We did another button listening to ‘Draggin’ The Line’ on the radio, as the walrus swam beside our canoe. He followed us for what seemed like forever, but really it was only as long as the peyote lasted, “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.”, he told me just before he left.

“Its hard to do when I’m listening to the colors of my dreams.”, I replied.

“It is knowing.”, the walrus said as he swam away into the river of marshmallow pies.

On our return to camp, Tripper Jack and I remained quite close. I had developed a fondness for peyote, and outdoor sex which I attempted to share with several of the female counselors. One night in early August, I got caught on the girls side of the camp knocking on heaven’s door with Ellen Rose behind the girl’s shower. And while she was a willing participant and an eager recipient of my manhood, I was held responsible and sent home for violating camp rules and performing lewd acts with the unsuspecting and innocent female staff at the camp. I didn’t protest, despite the fact that Ellen Rose, who I was sure held a graduate degree in blow jobs, was far from innocent. My parents were notified and informed that I had been expelled from the camp for life, and they were expected to remove me from the property the following day. With nothing to lose, I spent that last night on a mission of sexual depravity that would have made de Sade blush.

My parents arrived first thing in the morning, and the old man wasted no time in expressing his disgust and disappointment in my behavior. As we loaded the car, a group of friends arrived to say their goodbyes. Tripper Jack and Eric Soloway were there. Ellen Rose and a handful of the other female counselors I had moon danced with the night before appeared as well. Tripper Jack slipped me a small packet as we shook hands, and Ellen Rose, handed me a piece of paper with her phone number on it. I suppose it wasn’t a totally wasted summer. I stayed in touch with Tripper Jack for many, many years until he moved overseas. I met up with Ellen Rose a few times over the years, tripping the light fantastic until she married.  My parents never really got over the horror of my tarnishing the family name with my, and these are their words,  perverted and unprincipled behaviors. Three years later, I returned to the very same camp as a staff member and, following the example set by Tripper Jack,  helped a couple of intelligent, insightful young women find their own way to Pepperland.

 

 

The Son Of The Mouse In My House

 

There’s no way you’re ever going to believe it. Hell, I have a hard time believing I myself. But ts true. Over a year since I last heard about it, my wife spotted another mouse in the house. Not just in the house, but actually in our bedroom. She saw it run in and dash behind a dresser.

“That’s it.”, She said. “We’re moving.”

“We’re not moving.”, I told her.

“Well I’m not sleeping in here.*, She continued. “Not with that thing in here.”

“Just relax.”, I reassured her, “We’ll catch it.” As I began to move the furniture in our room away from the walls, my wife put on her calf high rain boots and stepped up on the bed. “Seriously?”, I asked. “I could use some help.”

“I’m not moving until its out of here.”, she informed me. I pulled out the dresser, and nothing. I moved the wall unit, the end tables, and the stationary bike which had sat not only stationary but solitary for the past eighteen months. “There it goes.”, she shouted, pointing to a far corner of the room. Its in my closet.Get my shoes off the floor. I don’t want it in my shoes.”

“Relax.”, I pleaded as I slowly opened the closet door, adding to the suspense. I began moving her shoes off of the floor as she announced the movements of the rodent.

“It went to the left side of the closet.”, she reported, so I focused my search on the identified area. “It went back to the right side.”, she continued. The mouse shot out of the closet like a rocket amid her screams and squeals. “It went behind the book case.”, she told me frantically.

“You know”, I said as I headed back to the bookcase, “I wouldn’t mind hearing that kind of stuff when we’re having sex.”

“If you don’t find that mouse”, she advised me, “we probably won’t be having sex again. And besides, I make a lot of noise.”

“Yes you do.”, I agreed. “But ‘hang on the remote is digging into my ass’ is not the kind of noise I’m talking about.”

“There it goes.”, she shouted pointing at the path of the mouse along the southern wall of our bedroom. “It’s behind the bed.”

One of my daughters entered our room, and seeing my wife standing on the bed in her red and black flannel pajama pants tucked into a pair of knee high rubber rain boots that were at least a size too big, and a khaki colored rain slicker with the hood up, holding a tennis racket was too much for her to bear. She burst into uproarious laughter. “What the hell are you dressed for?”, she asked my wife.

“Safety.”, my wife replied. “There’s a mouse roaming around somewhere in here.”

“Are you trying to catch it or kill it with laughter?”, my daughter asked.

“You’re going to have to get off of the bed if you want me to move it.”, I said.

“Are you crazy?”, my wife remarked. “I’m not getting off the bed until the mouse is gone.”

“I don’t know what you’re worrying about.”, I said. “You’re in your hazmat suit. You have to get off the bed.” I had never seen her move so quickly, jumping directly from the bed to the floor with one bounce, sticking the landing close to the door in one precise move which, had I been judging would have scored her a 9 out of 10, and then running out of the room, closing the door behind her. After a careful search, there was no mouse under the bed. There was no mouse anywhere. I opened the bedroom door and informed my wife that the mouse had left the scene of the crime.

“Are you sure?”, she asked.

“Well its not in here.”, I answered. “I don’t know what else I can do.” My wife climbed back on the bed, still dressed in her mousing attire. “I have to go to sleep.”, I added.

She leaned forward and began scouring the room with her eyes darting back and forth, looking for any movement, any trace of a mouse still lingering in the room. “I don’t think I can sleep.”, she informed me. “Not in here.”

I sat down on the edge of the bed. “What do you want me to do?”, I asked her.

“Just stay here and watch for it.”, she said. “Maybe if its still in here, it will leave while I’m asleep.”

“You want me to sit up all night and  be on the lookout for a  mouse that may or may not be in here?”, I inquired.

“Yes.”, she said. “You’re the man.”

“What does that have to do with anything.”, I asked.

“It just does.”, she reminded me, “Now, I’m going to try to get some sleep.”

“Dressed like that?”, I asked.

“Well I’m not taking it off.”, she stated. “What if it jumps up on the bed?”

And so, I spent that night on the edge of the bed, dozing off for a bit every now and again, but never for very long. The night seemed to go on forever, and I kept myself awake with nicotine, caffeine and Benzedrine. I did not see the mouse in our room again that night. In the morning my wife contacted a pest control company, who attended our home later in the day and placed bait traps in a few select places. I hiked over to the hardware store and picked up more sticky traps, snap traps and some kind of electronic gadget that claimed to emit a sound that would keep the mice at bay.

I have no idea what happened to the mouse that had invaded our bedroom that night, but I assume it eventually left, sitting around a camp fire with its colony sharing a hunk of usurped cheese,  laughing hysterically at the story of a strange woman who spent the night dressed as if she were planning to survive nuclear fallout.  I check the traps several times a day, and so far, I have caught nothing. I can’t be sure if I even saw the mouse in our room that night. Maybe it was never there. Maybe my wife had merely imagined that she had seen a mouse. Either way, I thought it best to cancel the surprise anniversary trip to Disney World. I just don’t think that she would have been able to handle the giant mouse that roams the Magic Kingdom at will, without all of her mousing gear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Night Of The Living Pez

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

Tate and I had just begun day three of our proposed week long journey into psychedelic surrealism, wandering around a psilocybin paradise, carousing with alcoholic, fire breathing dragons, and the flying lizard mariachi band that performed in my living room three or four nights a week. We watched in wonder as the walls melted and dissolved into Irish Middle Earth, where drunken, angry leprechauns cascaded across the hills and dales singing  ‘Danny Boy’ in three part harmony, as they searched for their missing gold.  We drifted in and out of ‘The Completion Backwards Principle’, tackling deep philosophical dilemmas such as how do mermaids open their legs, and do vegans willingly participate in oral sex.

As the hallucinogenics kicked in big time something weirdly Rod Serling unfolded before our eyes. The Pez dispensers that had sat silently on a series of shelves in the spare room for years, began singing the soundtrack from ‘Bye Bye Birdie’. Sad, but true, the DC superheroes couldn’t carry a tune in a Three Stooges lunch box.  Those privileged, pretty boys in their colorful tights and flowing capes were thankfully saved by the Disney Princesses who seemed to be eyeing the apartment with the intent to redecorate it in that neo art deco shit that they seemed to like so much. Snow White nailed her solo in the title theme song and, after leaving her seven diminutive friends with hopes of jumping on that bulge in Superman’s tights, wandered off to see first hand if he really was the man of steel. Pez pandemonium broke out as Grumpy and Sneezy, in the name of retributive justice, attempted to set fire to the hero’s indestructible cape with the assistance of Iron Man, who was desperate for some friction on his own metal. The ensuing dispute ended only when the Chinese Food that neither Tate nor I remembered ordering arrived, “And that”, as Tate succinctly put it, “is the cause of the Dc vs Marvel rivalry.”

As we dug in to Moo Shu pork, Kung Po Chicken and Shanghai Noodles, the leprechauns were standing on the edge of the meadow, peering into the living room. “I suspect Scrooge McDuck is behind the great leprechaun gold heist.”, Tate blurted out. Several of the dwarfs concurred, professing that they had seen the miserly mallard up to his beak in gold coins. The Kung Po was not nearly spicy enough, and the Pezcapades had begun to wind down, with the entire cast preparing for the reprise of the opening theme song. Snow White returned to her place, front and centre, exuberant and energized, seemingly satisfied by what Superman had to offer her. When the music rolled in, there was a rousing cheer from the Hanna-Barbera group, as Snow White stepped up to the microphone. Once the song ended and the final note dissipated, leaving the room in silence, the Pez dispensers returned to their rightful places. “Well, that was weird.”, Tate stated.

“Not really.”, I replied. “You should be here last Wednesday night when they did ‘The Music Man. Now that was weird.”

“You mean this has happened before?”, Tate asked.

“Uh huh.”, I informed him. “Although the performance tonight was a little flat, much like the Kung Po, but it was nice to finally see Snow White smile.” As the drugs began to wear off and the dragons and lizards disappeared, as the leprechauns gathered up their gold and settled in for a good night’s sleep, Tate passed out on the couch, and I allowed my mind to wander back and consider just how a mermaid opens her legs, and whether or not vegans are willing participants in oral sex while I cleaned up the mess from the night’s edition of Pezcapades, and prepared for what I hoped would be a stellar performance of ‘West Side Story’, with the Universal classic monsters as the Jets, and the Hanna-Barbera gang as the Sharks. I had invited Tate back for this must see extravaganza, and me, well I’m rooting for the monsters because “When you’re a Jet, you’re a jet all the way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer Of Crazy Eddie Appleton

Of all of the summers I have seen, the summer of 1969 remains entrenched in my memory, and I remember it with a fondness that, at times, seems a bit overwhelming. For me it was not the summer of Woodstock, or the summer of  the ‘giant leap for mankind’. It was the summer of Crazy Eddie Appleton.

That summer my family went to the cottage at Jackson’s Point. I spent my days with my summer friends Danny, Rosie, and Misha. From the moment I first met her, I was attracted to Misha. She was an insanely pretty girl, with a tight t shirt, and a pack of Du Maurier stuffed into the back pocket of her cut off denim shorts, with an attitude as contrary and sarcastic as my own. We spent our time at the beach, the arcade, and hanging out behind the old marina where I learnt how to smoke.

Across the road from Rosie’s cottage lived the Appleton’s. We knew nothing about them, but none of us were permitted to go near the place. According to everyone’s mother, Eddie Appleton was a crazy and possibly dangerous man. Other people in the Point seemed to share the same concerns, walking on the other side of the road as they passed by, looking at it as if to catch a glimpse of the crazy and possibly dangerous man in the front window. Crazy Eddie Appleton had become the Boo Radley of Jackson’s Point.

He would usually come out at night, roaming the small, summer town talking to himself, dirty and unkempt, shouting at no one in particular, dressed in an overcoat, hat and gloves despite the sweltering summer heat and an orange florescent vest that could be seen from miles away as if to warn everyone that he was on the loose. One evening, as we sat behind the marina smoking, we saw Crazy Eddie on the beach burying something in the sand. “Probably body parts of some kid he killed.”, Danny reported.

“Maybe its his mother.”, Rosie speculated.

“Why don’t we just call him over and ask him what he’s doing.”, Misha suggested.

“Oh my God. No, don’t!”, Rosie pleaded.

“Well then, why don’t we just wait until he leaves and then go dig up whatever he buried.”, Misha proposed.

“Good plan, Einstein.”, I told her. “I knew I was hanging around you for a reason.” Misha smiled at me,  lit another cigarette and gently placed it in my mouth.  “But we’ll have to come back tomorrow morning.”, I continued. “We’ll meet back here at seven.” On the way home I kept thinking about the way Misha put that cigarette in my mouth, and I was almost certain that her hand brushed my lips. I laid awake all night, wondering, wishing and hoping that she liked me too.

We all met behind the marina as planned. Danny and Rosie brought shovels, and Misha arrived carrying a large thermos which was filled with coffee that she had taken from home. None of us had ever had coffee before, but this seemed like as good a time as any to start. We sat down behind the Marina and smoked a cigarette as we took turns drinking coffee from the little cup that so conveniently came with the thermos. There were a few fisherman milling around, and an old man was roaming the beach with a metal detector. “We need to go now.”, Misha said. “Before it gets too busy.”

Once on the beach we tried to remember exactly where Crazy Eddie had buried the body parts. We dug and dug, but came up with nothing.  The old  man with the metal detector shouted “Hot damn. I found something.” We all ran over, and there in his hand, was a gold ring. “What is it?”, I asked.

“A lady’s wedding ring, I would think.”, the old man said.

“I told you he buried his mother.”, Rosie reminded us. Misha grabbed Rosie’s shovel and she began digging like a dog trying to retrieve the bone it had buried. We took turns with the shovels and dug and dug, but we found nothing except some sand crabs, fish skeletons, and some small turtles. The pier at the beach began filling up with boaters and fishermen getting ready to start another day on the water.

“We should go.”, Misha said. “We’ll have to figure something else out.” Dejected, we headed back to the marina, where we shared a cigarette. We sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity, and I suppose each one of us was trying to come up with some way we could find out what Crazy Eddie had buried on the beach that night. “Come with me.”, Misha said as she took my hand and led me to the other side the marina, behind an old Maple tree. The touch of her hand sent shivers through my body, and I knew that I probably would have followed her anywhere, just to stay near her. “You’re the smartest one of us.”, she told me. “What do you think we should do?”

“Well”, I answered. “Digging up the beach isn’t going to do anything. I think we should follow Crazy Eddie. Maybe we can catch him red handed.”

“That makes sense.”, Misha said, as she leaned in and gave me a kiss on my lips. That brief kiss made me feel indestructible and I kissed her again. We must have been there for about five minutes with our lips pressed together behind that Maple tree. When we started to walk back to our friends, we held hands. “I guess I’m your girlfriend now.”, Misha stated with some certainty as she squeezed my hand.

“I suppose so.”, I answered.  I had never really had a girlfriend before, so I couldn’t be sure.  But either way, I liked it.

Danny and Rosie were too scared to join us in our mission that night, so Misha and I decided that we would do it alone. Just the two of us. Like Jonathan Steed and Emma Peel from The Avengers. We left the marina to plan our mission, but found ourselves making out in the lane way behind the Red and White Grocery Store. It was at that moment that I realized that I really didn’t give a rat’s ass about Crazy Eddie or what he buried at the beach. All I wanted was to keep doing whatever the hell I was doing with Misha. I hoped that she was feeling the same, but I was too damned scared to ask.

That night, we waited in the bushes across the road from Crazy Eddie’s place. I told my parents that I was staying at Danny’s overnight, while Misha told her family that she would be spending the night at Rosie’s. We had a plan, and now we just had to wait for the villain to take the bait.  Eddie Appleton finally came out of his cottage, and headed off towards town. He was carrying a small black bag, and a small shovel, the kind you would use in a flower garden. Visions of Lars Thorwald began playing in my head. Maybe, just maybe Rosie was right. Maybe Crazy Eddie was burying his mother in various places around Jackson’s Point. Misha and I followed him as he rummaged through every garbage can and dumpster he could find. Every now and then he would open the small, black bag and place something in it, or take something out. We couldn’t be sure. We followed him through his journey and to the beach. We watched him dig a small hole, and bury something in the sand. He dug five holes that night, and we memorized the location of each one. When he left, Misha and I went behind the marina and smoked a cigarette. “Well stay here until it gets light. Then we can dig up the holes and see what Crazy Eddie’s been up to.”, I said.

“Okay.”, Misha replied, as she put her head on my shoulder and closed her eyes.

I woke her as soon as it was light, and we walked onto the beach and started digging exactly where Eddie Appleton had dug the night before. We dug up all five of the holes and each one contained the same thing. Fish bones. Numerous, assorted bones from numerous assorted fish. “This is crazy.”, Misha said.

“They don’t call him Crazy Eddie for the hell of it.”, I told her.

“I just don’t get it.”, she continued.

“Maybe you have to be crazy to get it.”, I replied. It was crazy, and I didn’t get it either. It made no sense. The early morning boaters and fishermen started arriving so Misha and I went back behind the marina. “Well”, I said, “the mystery is solved.”

“What a let down.”, Misha replied. “I thought we were onto something big.” I did too, and I was just as disappointed as she was.

That afternoon I saw Crazy Eddie and his mother on my way to Rosie’s. She said hello, and I crossed the road to talk with them. I said hi to Eddie and he merely shrugged. Mrs. Appleton apologized for him, informing me that Eddie had been out very late burying fish skeletons at the beach. I asked her why. She told me that Eddie was trying to give the fish a proper burial and he felt they should be laid to rest near the water. After all, that is where their friends and family were.

I continued to hang out with Misha that summer, hiding behind the marina smoking cigarettes and making out. When it ended we parted ways, writing the customary letters for a while and then, we just lost touch with each other. I haven’t seen Rosie since that summer, and Danny and I connected a couple of times when we were attending the same University. We had grown apart, blazing different trails for our lives. I spent some time with Eddie that summer and I learned that he was not dangerous. He was certainly fucked up,but he was completely harmless, a good soul who I suppose was totally misunderstood. He taught me how to look at the world with hope and patience and I was always amazed at his innocence and kindness. Eddie died many years ago. He was hit by a drunk driver while wandering the streets of a much busier Jackson’s Point wearing his orange fluorescent vest.  Truth be told, I enjoyed every minute we spent together.