Published on October 1st, 2009 | by TLV News0
“What the Faulkner Presents: Adventures with Pinecone” by Charles Hale (From TLV #90)
Sheila was sitting on the couch next to me when the phone rang. We had been reading Bukowski and Cummings poems to each other. She was in the middle of a poem about a man fighting someone for spraying his dog with a hose when I saw that it was Pinecone calling. Sheila had told me earlier in the week that their father had moved out of the house and that divorce proceeding had started. Lawyers had been hired.
“Hey dude, are you rubbing on my sisters boobies right now?” I just shook my head and looked over at Sheila who had closed the book of poetry. Pinecone had told me once before that he preferred to talk on the phone from inside his closet. I didn’t understand it but I’m not of a mind to change a little boy of his habits; especially when his dad just moved out.
“What are you doing today?” I asked and watched Sheila walk into the other room. Pinecone started listing all the things he had eaten that day. I wasn’t sure if he was having a contest with somebody or had been underfed for a week, but he started with two hotdogs for breakfast, then some Poptarts and potato chips. Pinecone said he took a break from eating for an hour or so and watched TV but then had a grilled cheese sandwich, a glass of milk, and a bowl of ice cream. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and I wondered how long it would be before he vomited.
“Can you come in the morning?” Pinecone asked after he finished talking about food. “Yeah man, I’ll come by. What do you have in mind?”
“Just be here early, like 6 am, and wear camo if you’ve got it.” Pinecone said and hung up all of a sudden like someone had just offered him some chicken fingers with BBQ sauce. When I got off the phone I told Sheila what her brother had said and throughout the rest of the evening she kept smiling at me like she knew something I didn’t.
If the kid wasn’t losing his father there would be no way I would wake up as early as I did for him. After his eating escapades of the day before I was hoping he would have a stash of sausage and biscuits waiting for me but instead Pinecone was standing in the driveway with a bow and arrow when I pulled up to the curb in front of his parents’ house. Before I could get both feet out of the car and onto the ground I heard Pinecone running up to me.
“Check it out, dude, check it out,” Pinecone excitedly said. He shoved a laminated pass with a string attached to it in my face. It looked like a backstage pass for a Rolling Stones concert or something, slick and brightly colored. Then it dawned on me why Pinecone was having me come over to his house so early. Pinecone’s bow was too big for him to pull back and lock into position, but he had the pass and wanted me to do the shooting. His father had left the pass behind and since today was the only day that the 20 chosen hunters could shoot deer inside the city limits, Pinecone decided that the pass shouldn’t go to waste.
Once we got inside Pinecone’s house I tried to explain to him that I had never shot a bow and even if we did kill one I would have no idea what to do with it. But, after I was handed a cold piece of cheese toast, Pinecone sternly informed me that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I ate my cheese toast as slowly as possible all the while hoping that something would happen so I didn’t have to take this boy, who was about to lose his father, hunting. “Besides,” Pinecone said. “My birthday is coming up and there’s nothing I want except a dead deer.” I promised Pinecone we would hang out for his birthday, do something fun, but there was no way I could talk him out of a hunting trip to Avent Park.
I guess our conversation got a little loud because I heard the toilet flush and someone walking down the stairs. When I turned to look I saw Sheila appear in the hallway. She was looking sexy in flannel pajamas and smiled at the two of us. Then she started laughing and asked me if I had read the paper yesterday. I told her I hadn’t and then she told Pinecone to go wash the mud he had smeared on his face off.
“Something went wrong with the paperwork,” Sheila said. “The state revoked the permits. The deer are just going to keep eating rich people’s plants. Charles, I can’t believe you were going to do that. I love Bambi, don’t you love me?”
This is part 9. To read part 8, click here.
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #90 (published October 1, 2009).