throwing a cog into the wheel of pitiful

lennie came
walking out of
his closet
with a shotgun
in his hand.

“that’s it”
he said.
“that damn bitch
has gone out on me
for the last
fuckin’ time.”

it was one
of those cheap
pay-by-the-week
roominghouses
and the walls
between rooms were
at best
cardboard covered with
splotches of paint
that started peeling
after a week.

lennie’s ex-old lady
had taken up in
the room next to his
after she had
moved out from
living with him

and usually every night
she would bring
someone different
home with her
from the bar

and you could hear them
drinking and fucking
into the early hours
of the morning
which
as you can imagine
usually didn’t
settle well with lennie.

i said
“dammit lennie
don’t lose yer head.
she ain’t worth it.”

i offered him a
drink of my beer
but he pushed it aside
and stumbled back
into the closet.

“DAMN!
I KNOW THEM SHELLS
ARE AROUND HERE
SOMEWHERES!”
he shouted.

he emerged from the
closet again
after a couple of minutes
with a box of shells
in his hand

and as he was
loading one
into the shotgun
his ex-old lady’s voice
came through the wall
in full volume
“OH BRIAN
THAT’S IT BABY
A LITTLE HARDER BABY
YEAH THAT’S IT DARLIN’!”

lennie’s face turned
a bright shade of red
and his entire body shook
as he pointed the gun
at the wall
in the direction of
where the shouting
had just come from.

he shouted
“GIT READY TA DIE
YA CHEATIN’ CUNT!”

but when he
pulled the trigger
nothing happened.

he looked stunned
and pulled the trigger
three more times

but nothing
happened again.

his ex-old lady shouted
through the wall
“HEY KEEP IT
DOWN IN THERE
YA STUPID OLD FUCK!”

and lennie
dropped the shotgun

sat back down
next to me

and said
“what the hell.
i guess i’ll take
that beer
after all.”

- terry everton

throwing a cog into the wheel of pitiful

Terry Everton

Pasadena, United States

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