RESPONSIBILITY

By Josh

 

1

What is that smell? If Matt didn't take Barnabus for a walk and he's gone an shat on the carpet, I'll be pissed. Lucien mustah told Matt to do that 'for he went to Two Falls for his trip. Dumbass dog is Lucien's resbonsibility.

My mood just about settled into Shittsville, when Lyta walks through the door. Cars actin' up again, Mervyn, she says, ain't riding right. I smile and good naturedly look under the hood, mostly so's the Reverend not suspicious. He's been lookin' in the door all afternoon. I close the front door and put up the 'closed' sign. Quittin' early, I say with grin, On account of the rain. He looks up at them menacin' storm clouds, gives me a sour look and a grunt an' walks on. I turn to Lyta, Nothin' wrong under that hood, hows about under yours? I says leanin' 'gainst the car. She tries for a girlish laugh and goes up the stairs to my apartment. It's above the garage and down the hall from Lucien's room. What is that smell?

It's later an' Lyta's fixin' her hair in the mirror. She's not the Miss Iowa finalist I remember, an' she's saggin' in all the wrong places, but who am I to say no to an old friend? She was good enough to take care of Daniel, even though he's my seed, not her dead husband Hector's. I got lots a kids in this here town. I walk her down a tell her good-bye. The air smells clean 'cause it just rained.

I'm feelin' right dandy, when young Jack Holdaway comes prancin' up lookin' like he's on cloud nine. Afternoon, he says all dream like. What's with you Jack? I asks suspicious like. I'm getting married Sunday, he whispers. I claps him on the back and ask: To who? Why, Miss Rose Walker, he says and smiles.

Fuck.

You see Jack's my kid, raised by his uncle John after his ma dies givin' birth to him. Not so bad you say? Well so's Rose. Me an' Miranda, that's her mother, had just one night together, and nine months later out pops Rose. Jack, sees my scowl an says What's the matter? His face is all scrunched up and I says Nothin', just my bones. He gives me one of them queer looks and says Well, I was hoping you'd come an see us get married. It's this Sunday. I look him in the eyes and say Since you was such a help a couple years back, and me bein' friends with your ma, I guess I should. He smiles and sticks out his hand, which I shake, and says I'm grateful. For you coming and for that job you gave me while I was in school. He walks away with a spring in his step and I go back to my room for some coffee. That smell is still there.

 

2

Now before you get it into your head that it's my responsibility to tell Jack who his daddy is I'll tell you it's not my place. It's his uncle's. How would you like it if some fellow came along and told you that you were about ta' marry yer sister? 'Sides, maybe she can't have kids, so they won't have no freak children. His uncle should know whether or not it's right to tell him. Not my responsibility. Same with the money at the Gas 'n' Auto. Told that limey cocksucker Lucien that I'll do the fixin' and he do books and we'll both be happy. Now that flake has gone to Two Falls to shack up some two bit whore. Says the local ones are dirty. I think lovin' gotta be givin' freely. That's what I do.

So that no good Brit leaves me two weeks ago and the money goes to hell and his dog makes a horrible smell down the hall. Hope Matt cleans it up. Ain't my responsibility.

Had my fair share of responsibility when I was a kid. After Pa left us Ma just sat around listenin' to the radio an I had to pay for the two of us. Droped out of High school an got a job here, workin' full time. Never been good with money, an so we just squeezed by. Now I only take responsibility for the cars. Lucien does th money, I do the cars.

I go into the office ta' put a note on the board for Matt ta' get me a suit. He'd better get it done tomorrow, else I'm gonna be going to the wedding nekid. They'll be good together.

 

3

Well, Sunday rolls around and Matt says he didn't pick up my suit. When I ask him why he gives some lame excuse 'bout havin' the week off. I say You didn't see it when you came to feed the dog? He acts dumb and says What dog? We are walking through the office towards the stairs when he grabs my arm and says Look at this note!

It reads :

Mervyn,

As I am going to Two Falls I expect you to take care of Barnabus.

Lucien

In that faggot curly script of his. It wasn't my job to take care of the dog Matt says all proud of his self. Well you better go get a bag and take the body outside I says. Ain't my responsibility.