Monday, May 23, 2011

62 Records in the Crate

That was Monday. The crate must’ve stayed on the floor outside my bathroom till Saturday. Saturday is a day you can take extra long craps. You sit on the throne relaxing in the breezy luxury of being bare-assed. Relaxation at one end allows thoughts to drift into the other.

Sometimes you close your eyes and wonder why it is your smell only makes other people puke. Sometimes you look about the bathroom, noticing how you should clean the dried dew drops off the mirror or fix the toilet handle that needs jiggling each time it’s flushed.

And other times you read. Things you wouldn’t bother to read anywheres else suddenly become mesmerizing. The snake-oil descriptions on the back of a shampoo bottle. The we-assume-you’re-a-cheap-rummy warnings on rubbing alcohol. The tiny print that informs you the nail clippers have already travelled farther than you ever will.

That Saturday, the edge of the crate was poking past the horizon of the bathroom door jamb.

I had to actually raise my ass off the toilet to reach it. But I did, and dragged it over the linoleum. I didn’t plan to look at all of them, so I slid a sleeve up and out from the middle.

The Go-Go’s “Vacation”. The pinkily-clad girls in a water-skiing pyramid on the front. Boy, Belinda became far cuter after she left the other ladies behind. I peeked in the opening and the black-blue gloss of the record winked at me. I rolled it out, maybe just to see how big the unavoidable scratches on it would be. Maybe to see how they did the sticker around the spindle hole.

Why is long forgotten now.

That one extra-long crap session on that one particular Saturday in late August went a lot longer. The blood-infused pressure circle on my ass must have taken a month to wear off.

Along with the disk, two hand-written sheets were tucked in the jacket. The first page began in mid-sentence, so it wasn’t the first first page. I’m not one to spoil a story for myself by reading the last page of a novel; hell, I freak on anybody who tells me what happens on the next DVD of the Sopranos.

I left the pages unread. Put them back in the sleeve. And went to the end of the crate where I surmised that the beginning would be. That first disk was "K-Tel’s Rock 80". And the two pages that peeled off either side of its record were numbered.

One page started with a circled number one.

Three hours later, twenty minutes after my ass started to have the pins and needles, I reluctantly wiped, flushed and popped my knee joints straight.

I had read 7 of the 62 albums’ hidden diary pages. The author’s tight, crabbed, slightly slanted scrawl was burned on the white parts of my eyes. Whenever I blinked, I could see it in red on the inside of my eye-lids.

The guy who wrote it – a guy who I realized was now dead – would never call himself this, but it was obvious to me. These pages, this diary was written by a superhero.

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