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RockyG666 63M
1746 posts
8/11/2013 5:09 pm

Last Read:
1/3/2021 1:37 pm

no deal

It was probably around 9:00pm on a Wednesday night sometime in early fall. I was living (rent free) in a basement apartment in my parents' building. I’d been there since I left my old lady over repeated acts of infidelity early in the summer before. It was still quite a few years before my moved in with me, and I was living the bachelor life in full swing. I was in bed taking a power nap, something I did regularly on weeknights so that I could go out partying and still get up for work in the morning. I would have supper after work, play on my computer a little, play a bit on my guitar, and then sack out for two hours or so. I would set my alarm for 10:30 (pm), take a 5 minute shower, and head out to the clubs til they closed. This was my regular routine. I had a different club that I went for each night of the week, with different venues and different women, but my basic pattern rarely changed. Work, sleep, tavern, sleep, work again. Once in a great while I might share my bed with some other lost soul that I would drag home with me. On weekends it was mostly the same, I just didn’t have to work and so got to more taverns and more sleep and was that much more likely to find someone else lonely.

On this Wednesday night, I sat up - suddenly awake in my bed for no apparent reason. My alarm clock was deafeningly silent. I was drenched in sweat as if it were mid-august. I didn’t know why, but I was deathly afraid, even trembling. I wondered if I’d had a nightmare, but I could not recall even dreaming. The ceilings in this apartment were lowered to hide a maze of pipes that carried radiator heat and plumbing throughout the massive old brick apartment building. Occasionally, I would hear a mouse or two scurrying across over head. I used to wonder if it were some kind of highway leading them to all the various places in the building where they might find food. They didn’t find much food in my apartment, I always ate out. Once, I lifted one of the ceiling tiles and placed a good amount of rodent poison along a few of the pipes that I could reach from where I had peeked in. The next day I opened the ceiling up to check on my handiwork and I found scores of dead mice. Some of them were mere babies, pink and tiny and with no hair. I really tried, and it was a really horrible painstaking labor, but I don’t think I ever got all of their little corpses out of the ceilings in that place. It smelled a little funkier than usual for a few weeks, and after that I never opened up the ceiling tiles again.

On this particular Wednesday night, as I abruptly sat upright in my bed sweating like a fat guy, the mice on the pipes were scurrying and scratching to and fro like rush hour on the freeway. I had become accustomed to hearing them up there and it usually didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I had begun to think of them as my friends, living all alone there as I was. After I had committed that past horrible massacre among their brethren (and ) I was so sorry and almost glad to have them back and going on their ways. But on this night, they were downright frantic. It was like they were panicking, and I was beginning to as well.

A cold breeze ran through me and chilled my heavily perspiring naked body (I used to always sleep naked) to the bone -- but all of my windows were closed. A scent of death and fear permeated the room, screams of pain and terror whispered in my ears, darkness blinded my eyes. I cowered under my covers not at all understanding what was going on.

There came a presence in my room. It was as old as time itself, powerful and arrogant, delighting in itself. It felt reptilian – and beyond evil. Evil expoteniated, evil without training wheels. I don’t know how I knew these things, I just did. It was making a sound that might have been considered laughter had it not been so terrible and ugly. I could not see anything at all, but I still tightly closed my eyes.

It came into my head then. I could feel it feeling for me, tweaking my innermost secret desires, holding up my wildest dreams and fantasies and dangling them before me in my mind. It was filling me more and more, I could feel it crawling through my veins, swimming in my blood, choking my heart. Still constantly laughing, taunting, teasing.

It offered me the world. Everything I had ever wanted, everything I would ever want. Images of girls gone by, things needed and never gained, dreams lost and forgotten, worlds imagined and lusted after, my ex-wife submitting – and MORE – so much more - all passed before me. All at once, I realized who it was, what was happening to me, and the laughter and the smell of death grew louder and was deafening.

All at once I shouted – in my head and aloud in my room – “NO! I belong to jesus!”

The laughter subsided. The cold breeze relented. The trespasser in my soul scrambled like the pipe mice for an instant. Then it hit me again, harder, louder, smellier. Like a tornado it swept me away. I was falling, twisting turning, lost and confused. I was losing myself, my very being, my soul was being wrung like a filthy rag in the bony wrinkled hands of an old woman. Pain, I was in pain. It felt like I was burning from the inside out. It felt like the air was poison and that every breath was death and every heartbeat was a blow to my chest with an anvil. I knew I had always been but a backpocket christian. I knew jesus the way one might know a rockstar after meeting him once on a back stage pass and getting a handshake and an autograph. I was having a hard time convincing myself it was good enough, but it was all I had.

Again, I gasped (I could not shout now) “no! I will not leave god!”

Everything suddenly stopped. It was ominously silent. Not a creature was stirring, not even the mice. Familiar furnishings became visible in the dim dusk lit room. I breathed in deeply and released the air slowly. The smell of death had diminished, but still lingered faintly, almost as if it was coming from afar. I’m not sure how long I sat there crying. It might have been five minutes, it might have been an hour. I told myself that what just happened did not at all. It must have been a bad dream. I was still sweating, see? After a time I got up to get myself a drink, I was parched.

I had a 40 gallon aquarium in my kitchen in which I kept anoles for my . Anoles are frail little reptiles that don’t live very long or do very much except eat and sleep and occaisonally make more anoles. They were a slovenly compromise because my wanted a pet, but I only saw them every other weekend and did not want the responsibility. Anoles required minimal maintenance. They ate crickets, which were easy to keep in the tank with them as they were good at hiding and would survive long enough to breed and then the babies would provide additional meals and breed again. Almost the perfect low effort self sustaining pet system. I would clean and change out the gravel flooring every few months when I was bored or when it began to stink. Our anoles generally only lived 5 or 6 months, and so I would just keep a lot of them in there so the would not be too disappointed when one or another of them kicked off. They were hard to tell apart too, so when one died, I would just flush the scrawny little carcass, call another by it’s name and nobody ever missed him. I had more than a dozen of them at that time.

When I came into the kitchen to get a glass of water on that night, all of the anoles were dead. They were more than just dead – their little aquarium world looked as if it had been turned upside down by a tsunami. Their tiny reptile bodies were twisted and broken and laying as if they had been pounded to death by baseball bats. Their plastic plants and artifacts were uprooted and strewn everywhere. If it were possible for them to have human expressions, all of them had an expression of terror on their face. Each of them looked as if it had died in intense fear and pain. There were none alive, not a one. All of them were dead. The smell of death and fear wafted out of the tank.

I sat down at the kitchen table for a moment and tried to compose myself. I think that I knew all along that what I had just gone through in my room was not a dream, but after this, I could no longer tell myself it was. Something very evil had happened. Our poor little anoles did not survive it. They did not have the protection that I did, however faltering mine was. I decided right then that it was a good reason to clean out the tank. I threw away all of it, gravel, plants, rocks and donated decorations – with the tiny reptilian cadavers. I took it out back to the dumpster, I did not want it in the garbage in my house. The next day I went to the pet shop and bought a dozen new anoles and did my best to try to replace the various tank decorations and rocks and plants. The next week when the came over to stay, they never even suspected anything. are so trusting that way.

After I removed anoleville on that night, I took a shower and went out. I was too freaked out to go right back to bed. Actually, as things went, I didn’t go to sleep in that bed again for almost a month. I stayed awake for several days straight afterward, and then took to sleeping on my couch when finally I became to overtired to function. Two months later I bought a new bed and threw that one away, it was old anyway. On that particular Wednesday night when evil had personally visited me in my apartment, I went to Estelle’s. I always went to Estelle’s on Wednesday nights. I knew the bartender there, Carla, and she always made me double shot rum and cokes for single shot price. Man, I miss that girl. Mary Mac ran the open mic and she was a dear friend as well. I tried to tell Mary what had happened to me earlier, but she was not really listening. She was just nodding her head and saying “uh huh, yeah, hey, you know what happened to me this morning?” I stayed until my set came up, played it poorly, and finished my complimentary cocktail for playing. I told Carla I would gladly pay her double if she would make one a quadruple and she gladly complied. Three times.

On the way home, at about 2:00am, I saw a familiar figure at a dark bus stop. I could tell who this person was even in the dark because he stood about 6 foot 3, weighed about 300 lbs, and carried a folding chair and a mid-sized casio keyboard with him everywhere he went. His name was Wesley Willis. I say “was,” because he passed a few years ago. Wesley was a complicated and troubled soul. Many said that he was retarded, but that was way too easy of an explanation. Wesley himself believed that he was possessed by several demons, and could name all of them. He would, at any given unexpected moment, curse one or another of his demons, and/or physically try to swat them off of him as if they were flies buzzing around him. I first met Wesley downtown when we were both guests on the Mancow in the Morning Show, on that station where he was before he was where he is now. Before that, I think it was 105 theBlaze. Wesley was a also a street musician, and Mancow was in the habit of collecting oddballs like us and bringing us on his show to ridicule and show off. He ridiculed Wesley more than he did me, because Wesley had so much more to pick on and he would react so much funnier. Mancow used to call me “Rocky the homeless guy” and say that I lived in a cardboard box under the expressway, which was all fiction. With Wesley, he didn’t have to make anything up, Wesley’s whole life was stranger than fiction.

On that first day when we met, Mancow had us play together on the show. Wesley’s trademark, and pretty much the only thing he ever did, was to put his casio on some stupid autorythm or another and rant crazily against that music. He once had a video on MTV in which he ranted about britany spears that was kind of infamous in the underground. Wesley himself was infamous in the underground. He was kind of an idiot prince among people who died their hair unnatural colors and pierced body parts that should never be pierced. On that day on the Mancow show when we played together, I did not know what to do, there is not much one can do against casio autoplay and random ranting, so I played a slow soulful blues lead guitar. Wesley seemed to like it – it calmed down his ranting chatter and his eyes rolled back in his head – for a moment or so, he was almost melodic in his rant. Then Mancow cut in and interrupted (Mancow’s trademark) and threw us both out and moved on to his next segment.

I gave Wesley a ride home that day. He made me stop at rock n roll McDonald’s which was near the station, he said he always went there after the show. He ordered and ate 12 regular hamburgers. I treated him. I can’t remember exactly where he lived anymore, and I gave him a ride home that Wednesday night as well, but I think it was near Damen and Division in a minor ghetto of a neighborhood. I think that I remember his saying that he lived with an aunt, and that she was always bossing him around. On the way to his house on that first day that we met I had asked him “you don’t really think you have demons in your head, do you?” he insisted then that he did and went on in detail as to the names and dispositions of several of them. I thought that he was insane and didn’t really listen to him. I got him home and was glad to be rid of such nonsense and be on my way.

On that Wednesday night after Estelle’s, when I found him on the corner waiting for a bus, I was very glad to offer him a ride. I could not think of anyone better in the whole wide world that I might talk to about what had just happened to me earlier. I knew he would not ignore or ridicule me. I hoped that maybe he could give me some insight. He became terrified. He became increasingly anxious as I told him about it, I had just about jumped down his throat with it the second he entered my car saying “Wesley! Am I ever glad to see you. I really need to talk to you about demons…” As I conveyed my story he withdrew farther and farther away from me, almost burrowing into the side of the passenger door so much that I feared he would fall out. His eyes darted back and forth in fear as if he were hiding from someone, his lips trembled, his jaw shook. Suddenly he sat up straight and said: “I’m sorry man, I can’t help you, I’m sorry, I gotta get outta here. Lemme out! Lemme out!” and he was opening the door as I came to a stop at a traffic light. He got out quickly and was in such a hurry that he almost forgot his folding chair and casio which were in the back seat. I called to him to get them and he seemed for a moment to consider leaving them, he was that troubled and in a hurry to get away, but then he quickly opened the back door and grabbed them, waddling away saying “I’m sorry rocky, I’m sorry. I gotta get outta here.”

I never saw Weseley again after that night. A few years later I read about his death in the Illinois Entertainer, I think he had a heart attack (Mickie Dee’s revenge?), and they did a little expose on him. It was a minor feature and the headline was something like “Local Street Musician and Underculture Pop Hero Dies.” It didn’t do justice to the man. It didn’t even mention his demons and it went WAY on about Mancow and his video. Every now and then I will find someone who remembers him or his “music” and we will reminisce and I will tell my story about him without the part about what happened to me that Wednesday night. I never told this story to anyone besides Wesley, except that I tried to tell Mary Mac that night too, until now. I have more or less put it out of my mind, tried to pretend it was all a dream. It does not fit properly into my world…and…it still scares me to think on it.

I guess that is about it. There is no huge finale of an ending where everything ties together and suddenly makes sense and delivers some deep message that leaves you breathless. Real life is like that most times, no sudden sense out of chaos, no clear undeniable answer to everything or resounding moral of the story closing. Those are the niceties of a work of fiction, of a creative mind dutifully worrying all the loose ends into a nice little tidy bow knot with one mother of a ribbon of a beautiful ending. This story, however, is not fiction. I could never make up shit like this. I never have found the sense in any of it, or found a moral to the story other than I am really glad that I trust in god. He is mighty.

After the new dozen anoles died off, we tried geckos for a while. I got a mating pair of really beautiful ones for a great price at lambs farm. One got really big and escaped from the tank. Geckos have suction cups on their toes and can walk up walls (and ceilings). I think that the escapee got onto the mouse highway and started clearing traffic because after she got out, I never heard mice in the ceiling anymore.


10/1/2013 5:07 pm

I believe you. And I can relate. I never got offered the world, just attacked physicaly. Like you I called on Jesus, and made it known I wanted no part of them. My attacks were of ufo/alien nature sometimes. It's all a trick on humanity. They got real mad and mean when I figured that out. I thought they would kill me a few times, but Jesus saved me. He's good like that. Glad u shared that.

"Love is Patient..."