The hidden years in Canada 15, zombies

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 15 March 18:32

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The zombies

‘Does it still hurt very much,’ Rico asked, pointing to my hand with the black threads, leaning on the steering wheel of the old Pontiac? ‘Only when I breathe,’ I answered. ‘So bad man?’ ‘Well, no,’ I said, ‘it is really not too bad, it's not right, it just aches.’ We had changed our clothes after work and were on our way to Toby's jug. Changing clothes had gone very clumsy. The disaster is to tie your shoelaces with fingers that should not bend. Pulling a zipper up was okay, but buttoning a shirt was yet again  a different story. Rico turned the chrome selector knob of the radio. CKXl we heard just from the drives advertising. 'Little kind words', think of that studs, those of you who are about to go out, those are the words that are really appreciated, the announcer was back with glee yelling into the microphone. ‘He was talking about us, we are the studs who are about to go out,’ laughed Rico. ‘We and 10 thousand others,’ I replied. Little kind words, by Lighthouse. La la la, ‘ Rico sang along overdoing it. ‘Hey man don’t,’ I said, 'it sounds good. ‘ We came to Centre Street and parked in front of the door with the sign 'Toby`s jug' above it. A time when there were no parking meters and you did not turn your car doors on locked.

‘Have you been here before,’ I asked Rico. ‘A couple of times,’ Rico said. ‘It's a lounge, a ladies bar. Here come classy ladies, you know like a secretary working for big companies. ‘ Yeah,  I could picture it, they would never go to an Indian bar like the Queen's. ‘It's all a bit more expensive and you can not order beer,’ Rico continued, ‘we'll see if our ladies come. 'Tonight, Zombie Night, was chalked on a board next to the door. ‘You ‘ll do well with your hand,’ said Rico laughing. Inside it was a passing mood. You walked over thick red carpets to a room with a bar and some tables and chairs.

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Soft music floated through the room, I recognized ‘A Horse with No Name’ that was about anything except a horse, it was about a trip on heroin. The group America, the sweet voiced group sang as easy as Neil Young and would not have  gone amiss. It was a hypnotic voice that moved in a desert with simple accompaniment. The text evoked images of a desert and someone who found himself. 'Cause there Ain't no one for to give you no pain. Boy, if that was not slang. Many years afterwards heroin, would still be called horse. We walked to the bar and slid our hat backwards. ‘Hats on the hook, please, gentlemen’ the bartender greeted us. He pointed to an old coat stand on the side. Rico and I hung our hats to what would now be called a nostalgic peg. ‘Here enter only gentlemen, you know? We do not like cowboy studs. ‘ ‘That's fortunate, then,’ I said, 'we are gentlemen and we would like to order something. ‘

‘Want to see the card,’ asked the man, and he kept a card in front of him with only cocktails. I got a shock, there was no drink under 5 dollar. ‘I'd like a Coke,’ I said, ‘I cannot drink and I put my hand up with the stitches.’ Hey dudes, I heard behind us and there was pancake girl who came walking up  with her friend, but now she looked nothing short of amazing. ‘This is Shirley, she is a nurse and she  introduced a girl to us. Typical North American, you hear within 5 minutes who does what and how much they earn. Shirley had her hair up and looked very attractive. ‘Hi Shirley,’ I said, ‘nice to meet you.’ ‘And you,’ I said, 'you ..are’, and I paused ...? ‘The pancakes girl,’ Debbie said. Rico took over, ‘we are the urban cowboys, I'm Rico, and that's big mother.’ Big what, ‘said Shirley? 'Mother,' I said, 'but that's a long story, forget it, shall we order? 'Okay Big, ‘said Shirley.

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‘Ladies, gentlemen,’ the bartender had come walking to us, what shall it be? ‘There was silence. ‘May I point out that it is zombie night?’ ‘I ‘ve seen it outside already,’ I replied, ‘but I cannot place it.’ 'Drink of the evening, ‘the man said,' our 'Zombie'. ‘If you drink four of them, then the 5th is   free.’ ‘Oh, Shirley said,’ what's in it? ‘ Five layers of rum and tropical flavoring. ‘ ‘I cannot do it, I said, I ‘ll have a coke please.’ I had the idea that if you had downed 4 glasses of rum, you really did not want the 5th. ‘Rico beware, hey,’ I warned Richard, ‘we are going to the 15th floor tomorrow. ‘Man, Rico said,’ I am the urban cowboy. ‘ Now sounded a muffled spill the wine 'Eric Burdon.’ I could never leave Calgary, I said, the music is so good. Hey Big, ‘said Shirley,’ I see it in you, you really enjoy it. ‘‘ Yes, ‘I said,’ it's hard to believe, you cannot turn around or there is already something else that’s good and that without stopping. We are in a  rapid.' 'I do not understand, ‘she said simply.

The first Zombies were put down. ‘How far do people come with those Zombies' I asked.? ‘Two, sometimes three,’ the man said. ‘Depends on how strong you are.’ ‘So there are six for me,’ laughed Rico confident. ‘Cheers,’ shouted everyone at our table and I took a sip of the sticky cola. Rico downed  the glass in one go. The girls sipped their drink that indeed looked tropical. ’The next please,’ shouted Rico. The waiter made a gesture, ‘here we speak and never shout. ‘Can you wait,’ Rico said when the man came along with the second Zombie. I was still on my diet of coke and the girls sipped through a straw their first Zombie. Richard pulled the straw out and downed it again in one gulp. ‘Rico,’ I said, ‘lay off, that is not nonsense.’ ‘I am the cowboy,’ he said, and he sounded sober. ‘Let the third come. You have nothing to prove, ‘said Debbie,’ I like you as you are.'

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We still sat at our first drink when Rico gulped the third zombie away. When the fourth came, he looked at me glassy and began mumbling incoherently. I understood at once what had happened. Because of the rapid drinking the effect was delayed. The blow hit him now full force. ‘Oh,’ he moaned, ‘pff my stomach.’ ‘Don’t touch that junk,’ I ordered and picked up his drink. ‘I want to pay and we will go.’ ‘I had imagined it differently,’ said Debbie. ‘That's too bad,’ I said, ‘but tomorrow my friend must be able to balance 15 high on a beam. It's just not worth it to me. ‘ ‘Hey,’ said Shirley, ‘you're cool, wait, and she wrote her number on a piece of paper, call me if you want.’ ‘Thanks,’ I said and stuck it to me. I paid the bill with two bills of $ 20 and thought with pain of the hours that you had to work to get that money.

I helped Rico and he limped along, I put on his hat, and now he was almost unconscious. ‘Come on cowboy, ride em,’ I said, and I dragged him along. . Shirley threw me a kiss while we went out as a shuffling lobster. I had the paper in my hand and broke off contact with this evening by throwing it away. ‘I'm the best,’ said Rico ‘and Debbie's hot.’ 'And you are not, ‘I thought. It was a pity, under other circumstances, I thought it would be nice to have been with Shirley, but the important thing now was to get Rico home and as we drove into the night turning home, I was so tired of the whole world with its plastic cocktail drinks and fake stories.

San Daniel March 2015

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