He woke to another day of what he looked at as just crawling through razor blades to get through it. It was going to be tough if yesterday had anything to say about it. He was down. Down as low, he thought, as one could go without ending up coming out of the opposite side of the Earth.
He decided to briefly go get come coffee and maybe a bagel at “Joe’s”, providing they had made any fresh; which was somewhat risky and inconsistent (the bagels that is), but he decided to go anyway.
He climbed down the stairway leading to the doorway to the Diner in his mind and noticed it was decked out in bright colors of neon and shining with tinsel and premature Christmas lights. That, he knew, could mean only one thing–Sparky was there.
For a moment, he turned away and started to head back up the stairs. Sparky was a pain in the ass. He was always up for anything and too excited and manic to be allowed to be around regular people most of the time. However, he wanted that bagel and coffee so he would make this a short trip. Besides, DeIDre always kept him in line and kept him from disturbing others too much.
He opened the Diner door to find the jukebox playing show tunes very loudly and everything was covered with decorations and party wares.
DeIDre, the waitress, wearing a plain, gray uniform with white collar and cuffs, approached in a hurry. “What’ll it be love?” she said very quickly. “I.ve got my hands full with this one…” and she pointed to Sparky.
Sparky was a walking, talking, singing, disco. He was clad in a silken yellow shirt with shining blocks of chrome attached to it, satin blue pants with stripes of oink running down each leg and shoes that lit u with LED lights when he walked. They also, of course, were made of a bright Golden leather.
Sparky danced over, literally, to him. “Hey! how’s it goin?? WELCOME TO THE PARTY!!”
“What party? Why??” he asked, with DeIDre looking on in a disgusted manner at the insane display of gyrating and jumping around Sparky was doing. “Look–” she finally said after having enough; “Get out of his face and go act like a moron somewhere else!!! I’ve got a customer here!”
“Thank you”, he said; “I’m just not up to his mania right now”…”All I want is a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee; TO GO this time, becuase I’m not staying for this today..”
“I get it Love, I’m going to throw him out in just a bit and send him down deep where he popped up from…”, she said. “He’s too much for me too.”
Sparky heard this and again, danced over to the two of them “Aw, Come on”, he sang this time–“Let’s all just party! DeIDre why are you wearing that grey mess? You need to be more festive!” DeIDre looked at him. her ash REALLY longer than usual, and refusing to drop once again, and said “I’m wearing this because I don’t want to encourage you , you jackass”.
Spraky just kept on dancing and whirling around, having a grand time. He jumped on the next table next to booth number 6 where DeIDre’s customer sat and began a full-fledged performance of his version “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.
This was ENOUGH for DeIDRE, she grabbed him by the pants leg and pulled him off the table then, with her massive arms, girth and bosom, she lifted him up off the ground and laid him, with great intensity, flat on the counter.
“THAT’S IT! You manic, annoying, flamboyant, ass! You are OUTTA here!”, and with those words, Sparky went from Party Animal to an almost fetal, crying, mess right on the sopt. As he lay there, curled up and crying he sobbed “I know, I take things too far; I just can’t help myself…no one really comes to see me or lets me out of my room downstairs and when they do…I just lose it. I’m so sorry—I’m not worthy to be around you all”, and he began to weep and sob as if he were at a funeral.
“I undesrtand, Love”, said DeIDre, “I really do…but you can’t keep doing this…you’ll eventually wreck the whole place and then we will all be out of here–as you say”….”Now, get these streamers and crap out of here and please leave; and quickly please”.
Sparky, his outfit not shining and bright anymore, but dull as plainsong and dimming quickly to shades of gray like DeIDre’s, began tearing down the decorations and streamers. He unplugged the juke box and “Stayin’ Alive” went from catchy, disco, bets to slooowlllyyy runninng doooownnnn….like Sprarky’s mania.
The customer watched s sparky finally gathered all the decorations and threw them in the wastebasket. He then turned to DeIDre and said, in a meek and repentant voice, “Sorry for the trouble..I’ll go back to my room now.” And he headed for the door….”It’s OK Love,” she called after him. “Maybe some other time when it’s better for you to be out…and you and I can have an agreement about your behavior.”
At this, Sparky’s clothes began to glow just a little more, and he smiled a small, snarky, grin as if to say “We will see about that won’t we?” and he left and headed downstairs to the basement room he lived in.
“Ok…whew” said DeIDre, “Now, I believe we are out of bagels but I can offer you a Danish and Coffee to go; and this time it’s on the house for all that drama!”
“Sounds like a plan…and thanks.” he said.
DeIDre went to the counter and opened the covered tray containing the Danishes. She said, “They’re a trifle overcooked and a little bitter–like your day will be; but it can’t be helped I’m afraid” He replied back, “Don’t worry, I’m used to it…” and he pulled at the razor blade already sticking out of his leg. He held it up and examined it then took the bag to go and said to DeIDre, “See ya tommorrow…I’ll have to dig out the blades first but I’m sure I’ll be around”.
DeIDre called after him, just as she did Sparky; “It’s OK Love, you’ll never get past these days, they will always be with ya! Better just keep crawling through–I’ll be there to make sure you get a decent meal when you need it…or not”, and smiled.
He climbed the stairs. As he reached the top, he surveyed the field of razor blades and rusty nails that lay i his way to the sunlight at 5:00; took a deep breath and ate his bitter bagel and downed his atrocious coffee and started his crawl.