I was walking, or running, or trekking, or marching, doing just about everything a man can do to get from point A to point B on two legs. Point A was the small town of Devils Lake, North Dakota, home of Satan, Sioux relocation and a whole lot of water. 79°F, sunny and windy. Point B was Bismarck, North Dakota, capital city, major metropolitan area and a total bore.
The year was 1934 and I had just quit my job as a small town milkman. I had been feeding, milking and breeding the cows for a full seven years. Did my own bottling too. Had a nice logo with a smiling bovine and a bunch of happy farmers dancing around. Bored out of my Goddamn mind. Got into drinking and gambling, smoking fifty cigarettes a day. Used to creep around the neighbourhood spying on little girls armed with a HB pencil and a drawing pad. I've got tons of sketches, fat broads, slim broads, tall broads, short broads, blondes and brunettes, boyfriends or lovers holding them hand in hand.
In all those seven years I had maybe four or five dreams, the usual anxiety-driven ones, mostly falling on
my fat face, and a more surreal one that kept recurring every four or so months, something to do with lactating monkey nipples, a young human male, a rusty bathtub and my mother's home made apple pie. Don't ask me what it all means. I just know it takes a week of heavy drinking, smoking and whoring to get over it.
He came in July, the man in black. His name was Horace. He had a small daughter and a nuisance of a wife he'd dumped in Jersey prior to hitting the road. His daughter's name was Augustine. He talked about her all the time. In his world she was smart, pious and good-looking. Had a boyfriend named Spike who took her dancing Friday nights on his bicycle. Horace followed the couple once. Found them kissing in the fields. Watched it all progress. Decided his daughter got raped. "No other possibility." He said and got himself a drink. He went to Church and made amends. Talked to the priest. He said "Johnny, I just can't take it anymore.", and heard "Times are hard my son. Talk to me, please, I can help you. I know I can. Open up to me, let me in.", to which he turned his back and ran away.