Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Space between us

Everyone had temporarily dismissed the heroic deeds of our new light guy and now gasped in horror as we realized our self-proclaimed leader was not among us. Even Wires’ brow furrowed at this realization. I could see it in the rear view mirror.

"Hang on!" Wires yelled as he twisted the wheel hard to the left, spinning the Ghost around in a cloud of dust and spitting gravel.

"Wires, careful. The trailer!" Doc checked the side mirror. The trailer was still following us. A good sign. We peeled back toward Nasty Tree. Despite being armed with Bronson, our martial-arts secret weapon, I felt sick and once again my bowels tightened. It seemed to take us longer to return than it did to leave.

"Wires, you have to step on it. Space is gonna get a little visit. He said . . ."

"– I’ve got it floored Wally. You want to get out and push?"

"We may be too late already. The Sherif might be there waiting for us."

"Let’s get there first Wally and then we’ll deal with whatever," Doc retorted, "Besides we have Billy Jack here," he motioned to Bronson.

"No. I don’t do cops."

"Yeah Doc. I think that would be a bad idea," I stated, "Bronson’s probably in enough shit when the Sherif hears from his brother-in-law Bruiser."

The bar was in sight now, but so was the police car that pulled up and four dark figures
emerged and entered the building. One appeared to be Bruiser, a tall shape who hobbled, favoring his left leg.

"Oh great Bronson. Looks like they have Mr. Revenge with them. Things just got a hell-of-lot worse."

"Shut it Wally. Wires! Go to the side where Spaces’ room is," Doc ordered.

Wires deftly maneuvered the Ghost up the alley next to the club and stopped below the third story window of Spaces’ room. He beeped the horn, three short blasts. Wally hung out the side of the van, and the rest of us pressed our faces to the windshield. Space appeared at the window still in his pink stage clothes and peered out.

We honked again. He opened the window. "I said to come up and tell me when you were ready to leave, not honk below my window. Are you guys fuckin’ deaf?"

"Bronson I don’t suppose you play drums too? Do you?" I inquired.

"No. No cops and no drums."

Wally yelled, "Space you have to get out of your room now and meet us down stairs!"

"What? I don’t have a broom."

" Room!– Room!" Wally turned to us, "He thinks – we’re deaf?" Wally repeated his message again but threw the word Sherif, into the mix. The panic was evident, even looking up
from where we were, as Space quickly vanished inside.

Moments later he reappeared at the window, "I can’t get out! They’re comin’ up the stairs! What do I do? God! What do I do?"

"He’ll have to jump," Wires said calmly as he lit up a smoke.

"He’ll break his legs from that distance Wires. What are you going to do get on you hands and knees and push the pedals for him the rest of the tour? Bronson can’t do it."

"No cops, no drums," Bronson repeated.

"He’ll have to jump onto the roof of the truck."

Wally leaned out again. "Space you have to jump onto the truck!"

"Are you fuckin’ nuts!? I can’t do that. Jesus! There’s a knock! They’re at my fuckin’ door!"

"Space! We’re right below you for God’s sake! Just hang and drop."

"OK! Wally catch me!"

"I ain’t catchin’ nothin’ sept maybe a cold," Wally huffed as he crawled back inside. There was a tremendous thud on the top of the van.

"Shit!" Doc moaned, "That sounds like a dislocated shoulder to be sure."

Wally thrust his body out the side again. We could hear his muffled voice from the Ghost’s exterior, "No that was his luggage."

Space was still above us, screaming, frightened, pink. He slipped a leg out over the ledge and then another as he lowered himself as far as he could. "They’re unlocking my door! Fuck!"

"Let go Space! LET GO!" Wally hollered.

"Jump now!" Wires demanded with authority through a smokey halo.

There was another thud heavier this time. It was Space, as first his legs, then his hands hit the roof and there was a discernable, Ugh, as his stomach made contact with the metal. The roof dented slightly.

"Hang on up there!" Wires shouted as he punched the gas and the truck lurched forward.

"Wires!" Space hollered from above as his palm appeared on the windshield, tightly pressed to the glass, trying to hang on.

Above and behind us, four unhappy vigilantes appeared at the window. They had been out smarted. The Sherif stopping to pick up his angry brother-in-law had cost them precious minutes and had allowed us to rescue our drummer. Bruiser now had a mental ass kicking to go with his physical one Bronson had given him. I wondered how we looked from their view point speeding off with the frosty pink image of Space, his legs splayed, clutching on to the roof of the truck with one hand and his suit case in the other. We left Nasty Tree in our dust and none of us would be coming back.

Tomorrow excerpt from: Corned beef and ass-cabbage

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