dennis_373The late night I decided to kill a retarded couple.

Every day after clocking out from his machine shop my stepfather would buy a twelve-pack, a bottle of wine, and hit the roads. He never make it back until late, every … single … night. One night I decided to ask if I could tag along, he said sure. Damn, I’m going to hang out with Dennis on one of his midnight road-trips. He kicked the dog and we were off.

After the sun went down we might as well have been in a motor boat making our way through a long, winding, black, cavern of trees. It gets that dark and the trees grow that high. Were it not for the headlights illuminating the road and off the base of the trees in front of us we’d be fucken lost in the southern fried blackness.

Like small ports nested in nooks etched out of the tree lines we’d pull into peoples lots where they decided to park their tin trailers and set up home. Dennis honked his horn relentlessly. I was in shock, “Dude, it’s midnight. People are trying to sleep.” I said. “Awe they don’t care.” He said and continued honking. A window on the side of the trailer slid open, “It’s Dennis Ray!” I heard a woman yell. “Dennis Ray, what are you doing?” a guy no sooner followed. “What are you all doing?” Dennis yelled back. “SLEEPEN”, they yelled back. I swear to God it was like verbal redneck tennis with all the back and forth. If there was ever such a thing as an invisible word that just hung there after a sentence the word “DUMBASS” was just dangling there after the word “SLEEPEN”. This went on all night one trailer after another.

Until we got to Buzby’s trailor. The headlights panned across the trees and onto the back of what I though was a bigfoot’s back sitting on a log with a skinny, bearded, little man swinging on a hanging bench. Turns out the bigfoot was his wife and the rock she was lifting over her head and crashing to the ground was her crushing cans for recycling. She was rotundrous, long greasy dark haired…… and then she turned around. She had all the facial features of a Mongolian idiot. This guy found himself a winner deep in these Louisiana woods.

It didn’t take long to figure out Dennis’s game plan. He’d drink all his beer while we drove, then hide it when we’d arrive at someone’s trailer where he’d drink all of their beer, then move on to the next.

I needed to take a piss so I asked where his john was. “It’s in the trailer to the left, in the back.” Buzby said. Shit man, I’d of been happy just taking a piss in the wood just out of headlight. Were it not for the headlights Buzby and Bigfoot would be doing their thing in the dark the way those fish do thousands of feet under the black ocean where no light could reach. I didn’t want to go into that trailer but I didn’t want to be rude either. Now I’ve seen some fucked up trailers in my time but damn! This place was dank and dark, “To the left and to the back” I kept repeating feeling my way through this squared, aluminum, shaft they called a home.

Then I heard it, a cry, a baby’s cry. Oh my fucken God, they have a baby tucked away in here. I turned towards the living hole area and there it was laying on a couch cushion on the middle of the floor. In an instant this child’s life flashed in my head. The hell it’s going to have to live through being raised by these two. It’s going to get picked on relentlessly, it’ll wear shoes the father picks out of dumpsters, I thought of the fleas that had to be living on this sticky carpet …… and then the final flash read something like this, “THIS KID IS FUCKED.”

As I was taking a leak I started with my trade-mark calculations and they went something like this. I could kill those two out there and take the kid. There are plenty of families in Brentwood and Beverly Hills that would take this child, Santa Monica even. No one would care, no one would miss these two if they just disappeared in the woods.

On my way out of the trailer I looked back at the baby and realized that there was no distance far enough I could take this kid. Bigfoot and Buzby are imprinted in this kid genetically. This kid is those people. I turned and went back to Dennis drinking Buzby’s beer. Busby’s couldn’t believe how much and how fast Dennis could drink, HIS BEER. I felt sorry for the skinny, little guy.

“I hear you’re one of those artists from Los Angeles.” Buzby said. “Dennis said you have a camera. Could you take a picture of me and my family before you leave?”, he asked. “Sure, I’d love to.” I said. Now I’m not a photographer but I did my best. These are some of those photos. The guy in the godlike many-arm pose is Dennis my step-father in his machine shop.

Five years later Dennis passed away. At his funeral the preacher was going on with the benediction and from the back of the room a little girl sang “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you.” for what seemed the entire service. “Who is that kid?” I asked my uncle. “That’s Buzby’s kid. She’s as crazy as they are. She’ll pull up her dress and piss where she stands.”