All tagged David Himmel Fiction
The week that Lou arrived in Chicago, Franklin News, one of the largest media companies in the nation, laid off a thousand people. In the three months he’d been back, many other companies in his field had done the same. He wasn’t picky about whom he worked for, he just needed a gig. But every newspaper, magazine, radio station, marketing firm, advertising agency and public relations agency he could find wouldn’t even meet with him.
Lou hit the San Francisco city limits just as night was coming down. He used the hostel book as promised to find a well-rated spot with a good view of the city. He’d never stayed in hostels before and was curious. He’d hoped to meet a few strangers he could make friends with for the night and explore the city with, but the place was pretty empty. It was too early in the summer for college students or Europeans to be backpacking their way through the country.
Years of overeating and not exercising had finally taken their toll on Chuck’s mom. She collapsed from a heart attack in her Indiana home — the same small, rundown place where Chuck was raised. She was recovering at the nearest hospital a few towns away. It was a massive attack requiring surgery to add stents and to repair the lining of her heart’s wall. She also had a deadly case of type-2 diabetes. Her body was crumbling. She was in a fragile state, and death seemed imminent.
A MONTH LATER AT WORK, JUST BEFORE LUNCH, CHUCK BURST FROM HIS OFFICE into the area where Lou and I sat. He ran his hands through his short hair, clawing his scalp.
“Fucking Jesus!” he said.
Lou and I swiveled our chairs toward him and leaned back ready for the meltdown.
“Department meeting!” Chuck said. “Now! Cuba Café! Neal, you drive!”
“I can’t. I have to get gas.”
“Good. Get it on the way back.”
Moonlighting as a drunkard, Chuck Keller was the assistant manager of the communications department at palm gaming, the largest hotel and casino company in Las Vegas and the world. After Chuck graduated from Nevada State, he was hired as the news editor for Valley Life, the alternative weekly rag, where I worked as the A&E editor.
“You work for the radio station?” he asked again.
“Yes, sir, Mr. Lewis. I’m Dr. Dave Maxwell. What can I help you with?” Little Richard walked past us, and he, too, looked frail and worn down. The Killer glared at him as he passed. The Innovator didn’t seem to notice. Jerry Lee turned his gaze back at me, his eyes smaller now, his face taut with rage.
“Can you do me a favor, boy?”
“Don’t let that niggah touch my pianah.” He and his two men went on their way.
Mogley was just like his mother, the moment I stopped trying to get the cat to love me, he began to love me.
A man wearing a Santa Claus suit lay in the road. His body was mangled. The blood pool was still growing under and around him. His arm was tucked underneath his back and his face looked like it had been smashed in with a waffle iron. Or a Toyota Corolla.