Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Book of Sarah

The dogs chased Bob into Rittenhouse Square Park, where they treed him, just like a raccoon. Now I know that the easiest, most obvious solution is the best solution. No need for any magic here. I simply took out my cell phone (untraceable, of course) and called animal control. A small truck pulled right into the park exactly four minutes later. The dogs ran off as soon as they saw it. The truck took off after them. Bob climbed down from the tree. Fortunately there weren't too many people in the park at that hour, just two seventies era stoner dudes and they weren't about to refocus  and help anybody. I said - Bob, what happened? Are you all right? Can you climb down? He said - Wait. give me a second. Let me get down first. Then he managed to inch his way down from his perch with all the grace of a shrill, middle school girl in gym class. Some vampire he is. But he was nervous. He was really worked up, so maybe that was it. We retreated to a sheltered bench behind some bushes and sat down. Then he began to talk. He started babbling. It  poured right out ..........'When they executed me, they gave my family a body. It didn't look too much like me. But they chalked that up to my recent intimate experience with a few million, jillion volts from Old Sparky.'.......... He looked me right in the eyes, a rarity for him and continued..........'I remember. I remember who I am. I know my name. And I know who I killed.'.......... I nodded, taking it all in...........' Wanna know how I did that? Wanna know how it came to me after all these years? I'll tell you. There's this mole kid. He's got this patched together computer thing rigged up in a crumbling alcove, tapped into juice and everything. I see him tap-tapping away, while the rest of the tribe was off bein' jiggy with each other or tryin' out new and exciting ways to cook rat. I don't know what they were doing. But I know this kid. We talk sometimes. You know, when we play Yahtzee or like Barbie's Dream Date (they're kinda short on good board games down there). He knows about me, so I ask him. I say - I wanna know my name. What's my name? The kid says - Sure, when did you die? When did you disappear? With you it was the same thing, right?' So I told him. I said - Can you see who got zapped in Rockview State Penitentiary (instantly my stock went up in the kid's eyes) in say like nineteen sixty seven? He don't answer. He don't lok up. He just starts tapping and he says - Four people, but you are not black, right?'.......... I say - Yeah? The kid says - Then you must be the white guy. You must be Lyle, Lyle Talbot.......... A picture comes up. The kid says - Is that you?..... I look. Jeez, it was me. I nod.......... The kid says - Bingo, we got it......... So, I'm Lyle Talbot. Age at death forty years, six months and one day. That was on May seventeenth, nineteen sixty seven. So, can you imagine? That means I was born like November the sixteenth, nineteen twenty six.... I say - Noooo!..... He says - Yep, today's my birthday....... I say - Happy birthday. who'd you kill?.......... He gulps a little and says - I killed a nursey school full of babies, toddlers actually... and the five women who were there takin' care of 'em. A bomb. I did it with a bomb........... I didn't know what to say, but he just went on.......... The Sunnydale Bomber. I'm The Sunnydale Bomber. It was big. I was in all the papers. Phil Donahue interviewed me on death row. He was just startin' out then, you know? So, I figured I'd give him a break. He was a real nice guy too. None of this prima donna crap you gotta deal with today........... I said - No, not like today.......... But he just goes on and says - I had a wife. Still got her actually. The mole kid says she's still alive. So what can she be, eighty two, eighty three?.......... I said - Oh, really? Where is she?.......... He says - Here, right here. She's living in Philadelphia.......... I said - Gee, what's her name?.......... He says - Barbra, Barbra Muller. She don't go by Talbot anymore.......... Then he just stares off into the air, but do you want to know who Barbra Muller is? She's the godmother, the 'moral' compass to a group of skin head neo-nazis.  They do a story on her and the brood every once in a while, usually during sweeps when they want to run up the ratings. Lyle Talbot..... Barbra Muller..... Can you omagine? So the two of us walked back to Baylah's Place. I bought him a nice spiced candle. We found two seats in the back and just sat there. The piano man was starting in on Send In the Clowns.

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