The International Writers Magazine: Serialised Novel
On Cadillac - Chapter Five
went back to the frat house and knocked on Donna and Leannes
door upstairs. The ladies were in, with company, and the smell
of pot was strong in the air.
Well, girls, it seems like we came at the right time,
Frank said, grinning in that sly, knowing way of his. Something
smells very good indeed.
have a nose for that, dont you, Frankie? Donna said, smiling
and stoned. She had opened the door, a chunky brunette with short hair
and freckles. She wore a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and jean cut-offs.
Doyle introduced me to everybody. There was Leanne, of course, a pretty
blond with long hair and a good body, who knelt in front of the stereo
system, choosing a tape. There was Chuck, who sat red-eyed in a chair,
his short hair sticking up in all directions like the bristles on a
well used toothbrush. Paul was the other guy there, tall, lanky, hair
down over his neck, with some acne. And finally, there was Hailey, a
skinny young woman with a big nose and lips and a warm look in her brown
eyes. I found a seat on an old couch, next to Paul.
Frank and I had a six-pack of beers, but we left the rum downstairs
for later. We had gone in on a big cheap jug of it, and each of us had
a shot before coming upstairs.
He works over at Thriftway, Doyle said.
Thats where Ive seen you, Chuck said, laughing.
It would have come to me. Im not used to seeing you without
Mr. Thriftway, Paul said, smiling, as he broke up a weed
bud on a coffee table.
Thats right, Donna said. You work at night with
that black guy.
He finally got a day off, Frank said. You didnt
come out here to work every day, did you?
No, I came out here to spend some days getting drunk and stoned,
I said, and a couple of them laughed at that.
Im sure Frankies helped you with that, Paul
Franks been good company today, I said.
Hes gonna see if he can get me on at the store, Frank
Money, Frank? Donna said. Thats good.
She looked at him without her cheerful smile for a moment, and Doyle
lost his grin.
Poor Frank, I thought. In debt, it seems, and with something of a reputation
around here as a mooch? Apparently, he wasnt the popular, hip
daddy I thought he was, or rather, he thought he was.
Where you from? Paul asked.
I told them a little about myself, as an R.E.M. tape played. They seemed
a little surprised that I didnt go to school somewhere. I told
them that I had spent a year in college after high school, but then
had gotten restless. The guys in particular showed some interest when
I told them of my two-year trip.
This is my first trip into Maine, though, I said. Actually,
I planned on going into New Hampshire, but I was broke. Someone told
me about this place.
I had gotten high a few times with Kevin Hemming, but never as high
as I was that day. Never as drunk either. I never spent as much money
as I did that day either, yet no one ever said a good time was cheap
in this town in the summertime.
We sat around in the upstairs apartment for the next two hours, listening
to music and shooting the shit, drinking beer and smoking. This apartment
was a little bigger than Doyles, with a small, separate bedroom
off of the big room, where one of the women slept. They too had a portable
fridge and a small kitchen counter and sink. The one major difference
between this apartment and the one down below, besides a brighter overall
atmosphere (a light gray paint on the walls, plenty of sunlight entering),
was that the ladies utilized their limited space and obviously cleaned
Without some neatness in a place of this size, you had a depressing
mess like Frank had.
Donna and Leanne planned on going out somewhere later that night (after
they had taken showers), and Paul and Chuck had plans, but everybody
was just killing time for a while. I went and bought more beer at the
supermarket, not wanting to go anywhere near the workplace.
After leaving Donna and Leannes place (they would see us later
at Maxwells), Frank and I knocked on one of the doors downstairs
and said hello to a guy named David. He was another student from Orono
here to make some bucks for the summer. He had just pulled a shift waiting
on tables at a nearby restaurant and was happy that he had done well
on tips. He drank a couple beers with us and said he would go out with
us for a few later.
Im in the mood to let loose a little, he said, with
a little smirk on a thin face with the skin stretched tightly over the
cheekbones and hawkish nose. The dark eyes had a hollow, tired look
to them, as if hed had trouble sleeping lately, and he could have
used a few pounds on his thin frame too, it looked like.
David seemed on the restless side, his eyes kept darting around the
room, at us, out the window, at the walls, as he steadily puffed cigarettes.
I wondered if he was a coke fiend, but I didnt see any evidence
of it on the coffee table next to us.
I did notice that David was a reader. He had several milk crates full
of paperbacks, and some of the titles novels and philosophy
caught my eye. I commented on a couple of them and he smiled and nodded.
I made sure I brought plenty to read, he said. Im
a night person. You can ask him. He nodded at Doyle.
Yeah, David and I have been a late night team quite a few nights,
Frank said, grinning.
I dont sleep good, and you cant count on the TV,
David said. I read two or three books a week on average.
That was a lot of reading, I thought. I was good for maybe one a week,
depending on how many hours I worked. Of course, I did spend quite a
bit of my free time scribbling in my notebook (the project then was
a long, narrative poem Id started at the beginning of the summer).
I asked David if he did any writing.
Not lately, he said. I used to write all the time.
Journals, stories, poems. I havent had the time for it in the
last year. Between school and jobs, forget it.
David was an English major, which didnt surprise me. He said that
one day hed like to try his hand at a novel, but that hed
probably end up teaching school somewhere.
I told him that I had done some writing nothing published - but
that I hadnt attempted anything longer than a short story. I mentioned
my poem, which was getting longer by the day, and he laughed at that.
One of those epics, huh?
Yes, my island epic.
Am I gonna be in it? Frank asked.
He laughed at that.
I want to read it before you take off, he said.
Yeah, youll have to bring it around some day, David
I was already thinking that Id stop at Davids to borrow
a book some day. It wasnt everyday that I met a man who enjoyed
reading (especially literary classics).
I hate going back to my room, Frank said, looking almost
wasted. Its such a fucking mess and it stinks.
You still havent cleaned that place up? David said,
shaking his head. What the hell have you been doing with your
Doyle held up his beer can and laughed.
Jesus, thats pathetic, David said, looking at me with
Im a drunken bum, what can I say? Frank said.
Another Jordan Harbor waste case, David said.
Thats me. I cant help it if I like to drink and get
Nothing wrong with that, I said.
There isnt, is there? Frank said. I mean its
not like Im some asshole criminal or something. I dont go
around hurting people or stealing. I consider myself a friendly guy.
I had gotten the impression that some of the other tenants thought him
to be a little too friendly, but I could have been wrong.
Did your old man run out of jobs for you? David asked.
My old mans drunk today, Frank said. No surprise
there. I dont mind working for him when hes not around.
Half the time I just tell him I did something and he pays me. If he
ever got caught out there in bad weather, he probably wouldnt
make it back in.
He ought to hire someone to drive the boat, David said.
He does when he has his parties. People wouldnt go out with
him if he didnt.
A man adrift in his personal sea of scotch, I thought, telling myself
that it could be used in a story.
I smell reefer, David said. You got any more?
Yeah, pot we do have, Frank said. Although Im
starting to think I need a little something else. He looked at
me and pinched a nostril.
I couldnt stop myself from laughing. This guy had all the cool
Thats one way of getting your room cleaned, David
remarked. Do a couple of honkers and have at it. Wouldnt
take you more than an hour. He smiled at me.
If I do a couple of honkers, I wont be doing any housecleaning,
Frankie said, getting his baggy of pot out.
I havent touched that stuff once this summer, David
Its about time you did, isnt it? Frank said,
and he smiled at me.
It might just be, David said. Im due for a night
I told you that you came to the right place, Frank said
to me. B--s looking to have a good time tonight.
The wage slave throws off his uniform for the night, I said,
grinning and popping the top on another beer. When I told David where
I worked he shook his head.
I tried that once, he said. But once I found out how
I could do with tips, that was it. Ive stayed with the restaurants
ever since. If Id met you two weeks ago I could have gotten you
on where Im at. But right now theyre all set.
Well, Ill stick with this for the summer, I said.
Rita was nice enough to give me a job immediately.
She was desperate, thats why, Frank said, preparing
to roll another number. I bet she started you the same day you
asked for the job.
That she did, I said. She told me to have a coffee
on the house, and then she took me upstairs and fitted me for a jacket.
I knew it, he said. Thats why I dont understand
why she wont hire me. Shes known me for a few summers now.
She knows your druggie reputation, David said, laughing.
Please, Frank said. This guy smokes pot. He
nodded at me. Kevin Hemming smokes pot. They drink. Sherry parties.
Rita parties. Ive heard stories about her.
So had I. From Kevin, and from Rick on the third shift. And from some
of the younger regulars in the coffee shop. Well, Rita was only in her
mid forties at the most nowhere near retirement age.
Frank, you need a new image, David joked. You cant
go around looking like the frat boy with a six pack under his belt.
I laughed at this, and even Doyle smiled. He gave Dave the finger.
You need some decent duds, David said. Borrow some
from your old man. He laughed. Some of those sports shirts
with the little animals sewn on them, some tennis shorts and some clean
All right, all right, Frank said. Ill get one
of his suit jackets and a tie. Do you think thatll be good enough
for Thriftway? He looked at me.
They say the right look can open doors, I replied, still
I didnt know Rita was so fashion conscious, he said.
They might have an opening for a dishwasher where Im at,
David said, still grinning and enjoying this, it seemed. Perhaps he
too was tired of Frank Doyles unemployment woes.
Doyle stopped rolling the joint.
I dont think so, David. Thats one thing Im not
I didnt blame him there, having washed my share of dishes in different
parts of the country. A shitty job for too little pay.
We listened to a Fleetwood Mac song on the radio as Frank put the finishing
touches on the joint.
© M. Blake Sept 2005
in Cadillac - Chapter One
Mike Blake - a novella in progress
had no intention of spending more than a summer on the island
Summer in Cadillac - Chapter
Summer in Cadillac - Chapter
Taking a Break in a pig's sty
ion Cadillac - Chapter Four
Need a job?
in Cadillac - Chapter Five
in Cadillac - Chapter Six
The secret pool 9.01.06
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