Call Me Smiler

by Terry 56 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry

    Call me Smiler.

    The Doctor said I should introduce myself.

    "Tell them something you think they might want to know" he said. "Say anything that comes to mind."

    Now I'm going to do that, but, I think it's a waste of my time.

    There is nothing you want to know about me. How could you? People don't

    ever care about strangers. Well, maybe after it's too late.

    My mom named me Deet. I never saw my dad but one time. Just that one time.

    The cops were taking him away as my mom and I got home from the store.

    I heard her say his name. "What the hell is Plez doin' here?"

    She made me stay in the car. Wouldn't let me get out.

    Wouldn't answer any questions either.

    I didn't mind her. As usual. I wanted to get a good look at that guy--my "dad".

    Too late. Cops everywhere. Back in the car.

    Took hours to calm her down. I didn't hang around. Who needs that?

    Anytime anybody wanted to get me really mad they'd call me Deet. I told them "I'm Smiler".

    No respect! I learned to fix that problem. Took awhile to get the hang of it, too. Now, nobody

    calls me Deet. Well, maybe only just one time.

    Old Grayface bit me when I was twelve. The neighbor's dog. Mister Kane bragged about how a half-wolf was such a good watchdog because they don't bark. No, I guess they don't. But, they can scream.

    Now, there were girls back when I was younger. Always. I didn't care. I mean, yeah--I cared a certain way--but, not the way you think. All kinds of girls. All it took was for them to hear they better not hang around me and they were ready to stick like glue. Go figure.

    I had somebody's big brother jump me one Tuesday on the way back from the Parole officer. Caught me on the back of the head. Probably a brick or something. Later, his sister apologized.

    I thought that was pretty funny considering he was the only one who did a bleed. Ya know?

    I never learned to drive. Wasn't interested. Didn't care. I know how to walk. I get by. Always have.

    Besides, the girls drive. Their dad's give em' cars and they love giving me a ride. I think it's funny.

    Makes me smile. Always makes me smile.

    School wasn't working out. What can I say? Spent all my time in the Office or with the Nurse til they all gave up. Adults apologizing and explaining and putting their eyebrows together...

    they spoke all sincere at me---well, I didn't laugh, but, I sure felt like it.

    I don't like bad language. I don't cuss. Makes you sound stupid. I ain't stupid. My first Doctor

    gave me tests for that. They always did. Prolly always will. So surprised when they're telling you how smart you are and how you can be anything you want. It makes me smile just thinking how eager they are. For what? They wanna make me like them? No way. No way.

    I guess I was 17 when the first incident happened. You've seen the newspapers. Everybody did.

    What's done is done. People get upset about nothin'.

    The second incident didn't happen til I was released. Maybe a week afterward. Mom kept at me and I told her I didn't wanna hear it. I didn't want to live there with her but I wasn't given that choice. "You have to get a job" was all I heard until I stopped hearing it. She stopped sayin' it, so, I stopped hearing it.

    Now jail was interesting. That's all I'd say about that. Different game and different rules. You have to watch and learn til you catch on. Like most things there's a way to work it. But, the rest of 'em

    are watching you while you're watching them. So, timing is pretty important. Nobody can watch you every last second. They DO see you and watch you the very.. last second. It makes me smile just thinkin' about it.

    Chrissy was pretty special. I think about her still. She wrote me. Never missed. Only visited just that one time. Never could figure that one out. Why make a special trip the day you decide never to see somebody again? She was staring at my eyes when she told me. "I can't see you again."

    Well now, it was a year or two before she couldn't see me again. But, nobody figured it was me.

    I tried gettin' a job. Once. Not gonna try that again! I saw the sign and walked in and told the guy who owned the shop I'd work just for Pizzas and he cocked his head at me. Like a pup in a window.

    He just shrugged and tossed me an apron. I lasted 3 days. So did he. Pizza was good.

    It's been awhile. That funny feeling comes and goes. It use to come and not go. Now it goes.

    Thanks to the Doc--it goes. You can learn to do almost anything if you set your mind to it. Parole hearing is coming up in a week. Doc says not to lie to them this time.

    "It doesn't work if you lie." He explained why but my mind wanders past the important things.

    I can sometimes see clouds outside my window. Mostly grey-blue. At night I never see a star and only barely catch a thin glow from wherever the moon gets off to. I smell the stale, cheap roll-your-own tobacco and the loud clack of dominos on the metal table in the Day Room. They all look the same in their one-size-fits-all jumpsuits. Stupid men with stupid faces.

    And they call me, "The Monster". What's that all about?

    I got a letter from Chrissy's mom yesterday. Can you believe that? How'd she think that would go down? Asking stupid questions gets you nothin' from me. Promise me something nice and I might tell you somethin' you'd like to hear. Other than that--don't waste my time. Not that I don't have plenty to slop out.

    I've got a little bit of white paper left to write on. The Doctor said write until I ran out of paper. He's going to keep this in my file and never show it to anybody. It's his promise. He's been great to me so I'll give him that. He's a do-gooder. You know the type. But, he doesn't make me sick like most of 'em do.

    That inmate with the Kingston accent was punching guys again yesterday. Stupid game. They none of 'em seem to figure out how bad it's gonna be when they play it. He's scary lookin' and I guess they are worried about offending him. So they play. He walks up to them and shows 'em his dumbell-size bicep. Get's real close and makes them fidget. "Hit me first. We trade licks."

    Why do these idiots go along with that, I'd like to know? I heard from somebody or other he was a boxing champ back where he's from. Who'd trade licks with a boxing champ? Idiots, that's who.

    He makes tears run down their cheeks, too. I could sit and watch for hours. He's pulled that on just about everybody in here. Not me, though. He won't even look at me.

    It's almost Tray time! I won't call it food. Just a tray with stuff you can swallow if you don't look at it or think too hard. I can tell it's time because my stomach won't shut up.

    Pastor Pauly will be here this evening. With Parole Hearing coming up he'll make his move on me.

    I know what to do and say. I need him sittin' next to me. He'll make an effort--as he says--if I make an effort. I always make an effort. But, that's just me.

    Let's see...not much space left...

    What else? I hurt my hands. Both of them. That should help me at the hearing, too. Sympathy is like face cards in poker. A Pastor, hurt hands and a smile...that's all you really need.

    The Doc knows what he's talkin' about, as usual.

    Like he says, "People only look at you once and then never see you again. It all happens in that one moment." And I always say, "That's true if those people have pissed me off."

    Out of space. Gotta stop. This has been fun.


  • Terry

    I'll never really know where stories come from.

    A subconscious sneeze, perhaps?

    I get this cloud of a story that hangs over me and I have to let it rain or it just vanishes.

    I move out of the way and it's gone.

    I suppose this one has its roots in a conversation I had with an inmate in Federal Prison circa 1968.

    He just started talking. He never said that's he'd actually done anything. The nasty part was in the spaces between things he said.

    He was always smiling.

    A disturbed sort of smile.

    It stayed with me all these years.

  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle

    It's a story that I would like to continue reading.

  • Terry

    It's a story that I would like to continue reading.

    Hmmm. Let's see if there is anything left....

  • Terry

    Okay, Diary, let's talk!

    Today is Wednesday.

    I found a place out in back of the old shed where the soil is soft.

    The rain helped. I looked up at the windows on the back of the houses. Nobody could see through

    glass that dirty. Pigs!

    I'll hold on to Mrs. Tyler's ring for a few more days and then toss it. It makes me feel......?

    Raymond drifted by. He rattled the front door until I woke up.

    "Why can't you knock like a real person, Raymond?" I yelled at him.

    He hung his head low. Like he was a kicked dog.

    "I guess I ain't a real person. Okay?"


    We planned on how Friday is going to go down and he actually seemed to understand the part that's most important.

    I appreciate that about Raymond. I do.

    If his Parole Officer figured out we were even talking.....

    Saturday I'll suggest we go see my Uncle out in the country. Raymond likes horses.

    I don't have an Uncle in the country but it's easy to give him horses if it takes Ray's mind off where he's really going to end up.

    Good Evening Mister Diary!

    Great weekend. All is well.

    Shelly caught me looking in her purse when she got back from the restroom. I expected her to be mad like the others.

    Nope! She's cool.

    She just gave me a funny look and dug a pack of Juicy Fruit out of the side pocket and offered me a piece.

    Now that was just too easy!

    I'll spend some cash on her. It'll be worth it. Easy come, easy go.

    I'll spend Raymond's share he won't mind.

    I just had a funny thought. The look on Raymond's face. Like a cartoon. That's good. Wish I could draw worth a flip.

    Almost bed time, Diary.

    My arm hurts and I think I tricked my back up. Shelly kicked like a mule. Have to say I underestimated her by about a mile and a half!

    How can anybody run that fast and far in the dark? Must have eyes like a cat or somethin'.

    I heard a rooster crowing about toward the end of it but there were still stars out. How do you figure that? Stupid rooster.

    Dear Dumb Diary,

    Yeah, I said dumb. That means you don't talk. I'm the one doin' all the talkin'. Now do you get it? ha ha ha.

    I had to go in for the Doc to get a peek between my ears.

    Questions and answers like a dance, dum tee dum.

    I use to respect him a lot more than lately. I'm tired of the way he turns his eyes at me when he catches me out on just one small thing!

    What's the thing Angelo Dundee used to say to Cassius Clay? "Keep your hands up--protect yourself and stop kiddin' around."

    My bad. My bad.

    It's not fun if I don't play a bit. Too easy. Mostly. But, Doc is sharp. He can be sharp.

    Diary Old Buddy

    It's all over. All. Not some.

    No more visits to Doc's office. That curly haired receptionist asked if I needed to reschedule with one of the other Doctors. I shook my head. Why should I?

    She was giving me looks. Some don't. She did.

    I don't know if I will or not. I don't have any of those feelings right now.

    But, I did ask her name. Can you believe it--her name is Shelly!! What's going on here? Her mom should have been more careful!

    When it rains it pours.

    Something weird I should mention.

    The phone rang in the middle of the night. I'd swear it was Raymond! Now even I know that ain't possible!

    I'm going to lock the door. Right now. While I'm thinking about it.

  • Terry

    If I'm not careful I'll end up with a TV series :O)

  • james_woods

    There is no catfish in this story.

  • Terry

    But, there is something fishy about the main character-doesn't that count?

  • Hortensia

    well, that is creepy as hell! Good writing.

  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle

    What's scary is that I said I'd like to continue reading this story and within moments you sneezed out more of your subconscious?!( your word not mine)

    The story was new to me and yet there was something familiar about it, Terry.

    You have a real knack for storytelling! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I would read this book if you ever decide to write it, although I'm not sure if my wanting to read it would be a good endorsement for you!!( LOL)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~

    (James- how do you like your catfish? I like mine spicy and deep-fried or blackened cajun style)

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