Victor Made a Terribe Mess
By Arnie Saiki
Victor made a terrible mess. As he drove into Beale's driveway half-cocked and one-eyed bright, the dogs began to bark. Victor precariously carrying several bottles of booze, a large bag of McDinners, and an overnighter, was so overwhelmed by the dogs pouncing on the gate that one by one, the bottles slipped and shattered on the walkway. First the Grey Goose, then the Bushmills, then the soda water and Champagne. His fingers, already greased with the fries he had been gnawing, were useless as the bottles slipped through them like soap. Curtains parted in a neighbor's house, and Victor cowered from their view.
Beale swung open the door. "Hey Vic -- never mind about that," referring to the broken mess on the walkway, "it's great to see you!" Beale graciously gestured him into the house. He put his arm around him as he closed the door. Beale reached for a magazine, and suddenly beat Victor as he would his dogs. "Stupid, stupid, stupid! What the fucking crap you dumb ass -- can't do Jack!" Whack, whack, whack! Beale pummeled Victor unrelentlessly. The pages of the magazine quickly frayed and tore.
"Beale! Stop that!" Lee shouted. She just stepped out of the shower and was wrapped in a towel, her hair still dripping wet. She held onto Beale's beating arm and pryed the magazine from his knuckles, white with rage. "Stop it Beale! Stop it."
Victor said, "I'm leaving... it was those stupid dogs, I thought they were loose... that's no way to treat your friends..." Victor threw the McDinners on the coffee table and headed for the door. Lee held him by his shirt tail.
"Beale, apologize!" she insisted.
"That was over a hundred dollars in alcohol," Beale complained.
"It was those stupid dogs," Victor repeated, "I thought they were loose." Victor reached for the door and Lee tugged him back and pushed him into the sofa. Beale went into the kitchen and banged his head against the wall. Lee and Victor heard him muttering obscenities, struggling to calm his rage.
"Thanks for Dinner," Lee said, offering Victor a burger.
He declined the offer, "that's no way to treat your friends..." he hunched over, his face into his hands and sobbed, "it was those stupid dogs..."
Lee rubbed his back, trying to console him. "We're going to have a wonderful party together, as soon as Beale calms down, you'll see." She leaned over and kissed him on the back of his neck.
"How come you just don't tie them up in the back yard? Those are big dogs." He sat up, his one big eye, bright and red. "They must scare people all the time."
"I know, you're right." She mussed his hair as she got up. "I'll be right back, I'm going to get dressed. "And don't you dare go anywhere!" she added.
Just as Lee was leaving the room, Beale exploded into the room wearing his clown suit. With a forced voice, high and whiney, Beale said, "Hiya Victor, sorry for all the trouble I caused you, okay? Mr. Beale was just really angry and that was bad." He kicked himself with this heel, and hopped towards Victor. Lee shook her head and laughed as Beale booted himself with one leg while hopping to the couch. "Please accept my apologies," he said, offering Victor a hand and a boot to shake. Victor shook his boot in acceptance.
Outside, someone was cleaning up the broken bottles.
"Reconciliation is important," said the shrub.
The tree, it's branches sweeping the glass into a tidy pile said, "I'm glad that we're friends."
Arnie Saiki lives in Los Angeles, California.
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