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‘My Friend’
Yeti Waters, Somali Son and a Texan by Night in Portland: 1/14/2023
© 2023 James LaFond
AUG/3/23
This account is set in Portland, in the same time and littoral location as the final scene in Can, so is being appended to that short novel.
A call and a text came through the flip phone at about 4:00 A.M. The hoodrat missed the call and saw the text from Yeti Waters that he had a funny story. The hoodrat fell back asleep until the tuxedo cat began clawing on the door that access to the main house was desired, that coyotes were getting thick on the compound grounds and the aged hoodrat needed to wake up and attend to his 12 pound master’s needs...
Unfortunately awake, I called Yeti Waters and he answered slurring drunk, “James LaFond, I have a funny story for you. Unless you don’t wanna hear my bullshit story.”
Music plays in the background, “Joe, I can’t hear that shit right now.”
The music cuts out.
“So, James LaFond, here is one for the Great Writer. Yours truly is walking home from the bar down Foster when I see this Negro standing on the sidewalk by an SUV looking at me wrong. I stop and I look at him wrong. We get closer and look at each other with bad intentions. You could say, and you would be correct, in ascertaining that we were both in the wrong.
“I ask him if he wants to fight. He says, ‘Oh no, my friend.’
“I say, ‘You have a strange accent. You’re not from around here.’
“ ‘I am from Somalia,’ he says.
“I say, ‘You look kind of dark to be Somali.’
“He’s says, ‘But I am, would you like a drink, my friend?’
“This guy was stupid, I mean really stupid, one of the dumbest motherfuckers I’ve ever met. We’re on the sidewalk drinking and we drink this whole bottle of whiskey. This guy has got a sweet job making fifty dollars an hour and a nice ride [1.]
“So, we are drinking and this Texan comes by, a dude that just moved to Portland from Texas, and tells us that he’s been kicked out of three bars, so we start drinking with him. The fifth of whiskey is soon gone and I suggest we go down to the Star Day bar, where the bartender is pretty cool. I go in and get the Somali and myself a beer—this is a bar the Texan has been kicked out of, so we’re drinking on the sidewalk. [2]
“Well, the bartender comes out and sees the Texan drinking the Somali beer, they are sharing the beer. He objects, so the Texan gives back the beer. The Somali is now really drunk and really stupid and he starts wandering around in traffic on Foster. [3] People start saying, ‘Your friend is going to get hit,’ and we can’t let a Negro get killed. So the Texan leaps into action and grabs the Somali, pulls him away from his speeding death, and says to him ‘I got you, Son.’
“Now its on. You know how they have that alley next to the Star Day. [4] The Somali is superman, now, indignant about being called ‘son,’ taking off his shirt, wanting to fight the Texan, and the Texan is like, ‘Look Son, you don’t wanna end up dead in this alley. Think of your family…’
“I keep breaking it up and the Negro will not let it go and just wants to fight. So I tell the Texan, ‘Bro, this guys want to fight. I’ll video it,’ and he says, ‘Okay.’
“Well, for some reason the fight doesn’t happen and we walk back to the Somali SUV where he has another bottle of whiskey, another fifth, and we drink it, drink it all. The Somali is so drunk he can hardly walk. But he wants to drive. The Texan is all concerned about the public safety and says, ‘We can’t let him drive,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t give a shit, my kids are at home in the house.’
“So, the Negro Somali and the Texan, who after three months residence is a concerned Portland resident, are going to fight again. So, I take the keys and come home. I suppose those two drunks that don’t know each other’s name are going to wake up in that SUV sometime today and then they can sort it out.
“So, James LaFond, that is my stupid drunk story, every bit of it true.”
Speaks to Hobo Joe, “No, I don’t need glass,” and says, “Take care, James LaFond! Sorry for waking you up.”
A picture of his big hand palming the car keys, which have other keys attached, then arrives in the text box of the semi-intelligent flip phone.
Notes
-0. Joe would be Hobo Joe, a traveling bar tender and weed harvester of about 50.
-1. The job and make of vehicle are forgotten. Of interest is that here in the Seattle area, just a few hours up Interstate #5 from Portland, I know men who are working on huge municipal construction sites where the security staff are all East African, mostly Somali and Ethiopian.
-2. A happy outcome of the Shamdemic, as most bars have sidewalk seating now with covered sheds and picnic tables.
-3. Visibility and driving are really bad in Portland by night and over 35 pedestrians were killed by motorists in 2022.
-4. This is the bar where I drank vodka/rum/gin slushies with the bar staff from the area on March 19 2020 when the bars closed...and we drank from a 5 gallon bucket with a ladle. See the book Apocalisp.
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