Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 42

               How late is thy morning hour

Stepping into the shower felt a bit awkward, but as the warm water touched my
skin, it was the best feeling in the world. I came downstairs and was seated at the
right-hand of the table. “Eat your eggs,” said John in a glowing tone, as he moved
things that were on the counter to the table, and things that were on the table to
the sink. There I sat, looking down at two sunny side up eggs, crackling in a
brushed white dish. The albugineous color made the eggs appear only slightly
appetizing. The slimy layer which adhered to them made them very unappetizing,
for they now looked like a Bulldog had drooled saliva on them. Eat 'em, what are
you waiting for? He then left to enter another room. They're cold now anyway.

His voice was extracted from the bowels of a windy living room,
as the air conditioner blew the drapes in and out.

I touched the middle of one egg without breaking it and found the center to be
cool. I smiled as my head nodded forward, like a rocking chair gently pushed,
for I now realized that the answer to all of life's problems was solely in my mind. 

The last time john and I partook of breakfast together was last Saturday. I stayed over,
and John's father, Armand drove us to the Victory Diner in the morning. His mom wasn't
feeling up to par, and so she stayed in bed and rested. Bear in mind, we had just finished
smoking some Panama Red, and were really high. Anyway, as we were waiting for our
meal to arrive, Armand asks me, “What's your definition of a real greasy spoon?”

Considering I had no knowledge of such a term,
I simply replied, “Wow, I really don't know.”

Armand then says, “you see that guy over there?” He was referring to the cook,
in the small kitchen area with a cigarette dangling from his lips. “Yeah,” I said, while
stretching my neck back a little to see. “If the cigarette ash falls into the eggs, then
it's a real good greasy spoon. . .” Sure enough, it does, and we all start laughing.

When the eggs arrive, I notice a few insignificant speckles of black, and so I say,
“I guess it's safe to say that's not pepper.”

“No, that you got there ain't pepper,”
stated Armand with a momentary cackle,
which got us all laughing heavily again.

As I took a nice mouthful of eggs (delicately intermingled with cigarette ashes)
john utters, “And my old man can tell the
difference between a Lucky Strike
and a Chesterfield ash, right dad?”

right Johnny, the Chesterfield ash is more smokey!”
With that I laugh, blowing
the pieces of egg into my hand,
as I tried not to choke. Some memories are just priceless.

It isn't the rain that makes a person sad, but their own inability to absorb
the light which radiates down from Heaven, bringing peace unto mankind

With my fork, I gently managed to scrape as much of that clear mucus coating
away from
my eggs as could be expected, before I could think of eating them.
Not really interested in
the sunny yolks, I cut away as much of the white as I
could, before eating it. When I
was done, two bright orange eyes stared up at
me from that plate. John walks into the room
and sees them. That’s pretty
good. He used the bottom end of a fork to roll one over. How
did you do
that without breaking them?

“That's a good question, because I have no idea. It was really cool of
your dad of your
old man to take us to that greasy spoon last week.

“Yeah, that was great.” Said John, as he stood concentrating on my plate.

“You want one?” I asked in a pleasant tone.

Hold on a second, he replied, while opening the drawer to remove a vegetable spoon.
He then proceeds to submerse it in the fat from the bacon grease that was in a pan on
the stove, before pouring the rest of it into a coffee can he took out of the freezer. John
then puts the egg in the spoon as Barbara walks into the kitchen. Watch this, come on.

We follow him into the backyard, where he begins a series of deep breathing exercises.

What are you doing,” asks his mom in a mildly acerbic tone, “auditioning for the Special
Olympics?” “You think I got a shot?” “I seriously doubt it.” *We all laugh* “Okay, here
we go,” shouted John in the direction of his mother! With that spoon he hurls the egg into
the air and magically catches it under his tongue. Like a lizard snatches an insect, without
even trying! It was almost as though it happened in slow motion. “Wow,” I said, totally
impressed! I was unable to believe it, for it had to go a good twelve feet in the air. “That's
the one thing my son can do like a pro; eat!” “You got that right,” said John, delighted.

“Okay, now it's your turn.”

“You know I can't do that, man.”

“Come on Charlie,” said Barbara, “it's the least you could do for waking me up in the
middle of the night like you two did.”

“All right,” I said, and John bolted into the house to get the other egg yolk.

No sooner would he pass through the doorway did he stroll out of the house balancing

the egg on the spoon like he was walking on a sidewalk that was beginning to freeze.

                                                                               Pg 272

As he handed me the spoon with the xanthous yellow globe,
I really wasn't sure what I was about to do with it.

Here we go.” I responded, like a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.

I launched that egg yolk perfectly into the morning sky, and it had to go about thirty feet.

As it went up, I almost lost sight of it. When it started to come down, I began to panic.
Becoming overly anxious, I misjudged it and twisted my ankle on one of those cumbersome
stones separating
the garden from the grass and that egg landed right in my eye. In that brief
instant, I saw
swirling stars. Like an uncoordinated clown, I was unable to regain my footing,
and so I
charged like a linebacker over several tomato plants and straight through John's parents
rotted backyard fence. There were a couple of flimsy metal stand up suitcase tables set up
in his neighbor's backyard, one of which I took with me into Fran Cohen's in-ground pool.

Thank God, I wasn't more to the left. If that happened, I would have careened into
the six-foot concrete statue of a woman casually drying herself off with a towel.
How appropriate I thought, that this particular statue be placed near a pool.

As I hit the water, after flipping over the table and landing flat on my back, the giant
Rottweiler who was abruptly startled tried to kill me. Lucky for the pool or he would
have. As Fran came running out with her hair up in curlers and screaming at the top
of her lungs, I saw her waving what appeared to be a large sheet of paper in one hand.
I was just bobbing up and down, while trying to keep myself afloat. After bringing that
vicious dog in, she was back outside and screaming louder than ever.

Yes, I was surrounded by a floating section of broken fence, that had probably
punctured the pool's liner. Paper plates and plastic forks rose to the surface
where the water seemed to turn a putrid brown from whatever residue was
released by the aging fence. And let us not forget, the long aluminum backyard
table that had gone down like the Titanic, and was now resting peacefully at
the bottom of the pool.

“What the hell are you doing?” bellowed Fran Cohen in such a dire tone,
I almost began to care. Looking at her with egg yolk running from my eye,
which had now begun to throb, I said in a childish voice, “I'm sorry; I fell.”

“Fell? You crashed through the fence! Look at my yard!!!” Waiving her
hands around like she was Italian. I could hear John reveling in the mess
we created, and that laughter of his only seemed to make matters worse.

“I'll fix it.”

“Fix it? How are you going to fix it? I'm having a party today!”

As I abruptly pulled myself out of the pool and rose to my feet, I could see
lying on the grass, and his mother clinging desperately to the old
barbecue grill
to keep herself from toppling over. With a straight face
and for no obvious reason at all, I found that I had just waved to her.

Did you just fuc-king wave to me? Are you

I don't know, I said, trying not to laugh hysterically, I might be.

last words were, and I quote, “Oh, I'm calling the cops on you sick mot-her fuc-kers!

With that, I heard the loud sound of a barbecue grill smashing to the concrete
patio, and all the little lava rocks scattered everywhere. Barbara was now down
for the count as well. And I smiled, wholeheartedly. Wherever Charlie goes, he
leaves a path of destruction and debris in his wake, said John, in tears from

laughing. Like a white tornado, his mom added, also in tears and crying.

I'm sure the memories passed down from this day will be carried on from
generation to generation like a page from a chapter of a well-written
novel that everyone wants to read, but sadly, was never written.

Maybe I should start writing... Or maybe I already have.

                                                                               Pg 273

A half hour later, Armand returns from the deli with milk, eggs, juice, bread,
and an assortment of bagels. He strolls into the kitchen to find
me sitting in John's
oversized pants with a soaking wet head and a big purple shiner on my forehead.

What the hell is going on here, he asks, while puffing an unfiltered chesterfield?

“Armand, do you remember that fence I've been asking you to paint for the past six years now?
The one you've been avoiding, cause you're so busy all the time reading the paper and looking
out the window at birds. That wonderful fence with no paint that makes the house look like shit?
Just take a look at our wonderful fence.” She points to the backyard and Armand's jaw drops.

                               The cigarette falls from his lips to the floor.

Gee that's nice, we just lost a fence and now you're gonna burn down the house!

He held his head back and we bust out laughing. Even Armand
found himself tickled by the whole patheticalness of the situation.

A short while after this, the cops arrived with their little notepad and John
hastily escorted me into the linen closet. There I sat like Anne Frank in
the darkness, hiding. Listening in fear as they began to interrogate Armand.

“Look, I wasn't even here, I don't know what the hell happened.”

The officers then began questioning John and his mother. “We weren't here either,
we just got in the house,” said John. Well, that's not what Mrs. Cohen just told us.
“Excuse me,” said Barbara, “but that woman is a raving lun-a-tic. I wouldn't be
surprised if that psychopath sent someone over here to destroy our property! Do
you know how many problems that witch has caused for us over the years? Plen-ty,
and she acts like anyone who isn't Jewish, has a six by eight foot oven in their house.”

When the voices faded into the backyard,
I made like Houdini in the great escape.

Halfway to the street I heard a female voice scream,
“You - ly-ing - bas-tards!!!”

I smiled smugly as a song began to play in my head.

It was the visit by Keith West, and it sounded
better than it
did on my Polk Audio system.

                                                             Keith West - The visit

There is a place in the mind where every thought, every emotion, and every word
ever spoken is kept. A small vault that cannot be accessed with a key. One that is
roughly the size of a humble loft, built on the ruins of a shanty town which was once
a thriving empire for two decadent and underprivileged souls to explore. An empire
which has long since crumbled. Within the quiet room that houses each and every
utterance, a change was taking place. Memories were dissolving. I realized the time
for moving on was now, for all the obstacles that had once cluttered my path were
now lying near the ocean, and were slowly being carried away by the morning tide.

As I entered the dawn of a new day, the sun was shining brightly
in the horizon, expanding out and over this wonderful town of mine.

Halfway down the block, I paused to study a single butterfly
which had entered a bright yellow tulip, before turning to
smell the fragrant purple flowers of a garden heliotrope.

All the excitement that had come to a head over the last few
hours had now culminated into a feeling a total peace.

As I rounded the corner, I saw a beautiful lady come down her front
steps and get into a jet-black sedan. Upon seeing me, she immediately
smiled, and I smiled back. As she sped off onto the main roadway
and dissolved into the fabric of the day, I thought to myself quietly.

"No different are we than the flowers that grace the land.
 We are here for a short while, and then we are no more."

Only a fool can say there is nothing out there, for even in the
great expanse of an ever-consuming darkness, there is always
a tiny flicker of light to guide you through your darkest hour..

Looking up, I saw a tiny jet in the furthest regions of the stratosphere.

He must be smiling, I thought to myself as he left a fine white line
emblazoned across the morning sky. A trail that would keep
on a distant course as he headed for a wondrous destination,
he will escape the doldrums of the day by weaving
himself into the
fabric of an ordinary day. Strolling down the road, I was
as any man could be, but would I feel the same way tomorrow?

Who am I to say?

I am only an observer of time and space,
forever yearning to redefine the purpose of man.


                                                                               Pg 274


Reviews for chapter 42

Joe Kessler - What a long strange trip it's been

"Worthy of Publishing" reviews for chapter

Sylvia H. Mullins - nice... I liked this ALOT!!!! I havent checked your profile
                             yet but I hope you got more books!!! 
*rating = 5 stars*

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