Fiction

Bottoms Up

By: Alan Berger

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What a wonderful year it was for business. An architect with a waiting line was he.
Word gets around after you do a few good buildings. Then again, I do have a style reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright. Who am I kidding? I do my best and it works out, the architect reminded himself as he looked over an offer from the city he lived in to build a prison. He looked it over, and turned it down. Not for him. Not now.

He was putting things away in his office in the village where he worked when the call came in. After telling the police on the other end that yes indeed, this is Roger Marks, the police told him his wife had died in an auto accident, and by the way, could you drop by and identify?

The funeral was quick and painful. After it was over, Roger Marks went out for a drink, drinks.

The trial of the driver that killed his wife did not last long. Every charge was thrown out because he was too drunk to hear his Mirada rights, and they did not follow thru, when he came to. Gee, they read it right all the other times with this suspended licensed alcoholic.

He did promise to not drive until he got his license back. “I’ll be good”. He said. His mother and father believed him, like he knew they would. They were the only ones including him.

She put Roger marks thru college, and pulled him thru, and pushed him thru all the crap in his life, which was plentiful. She knew it would all turn out fine. He wasn’t so sure but her passion was undeniable, so, he went along with it too.

The best part about it was, they loved each other very, very, very, much.

Back at the office he again looked at the prison proposal, and the next morning accepted the job. He said to his friends and relations that after this one last job, his civic duty, he said, I’m going to Paris and learn to play the violin or something like that, but he had to get away, and that’s where they honeymooned. They all thought it made sense and supported him. Like he knew they would, and after the design, and the blueprints, and the construction, he left.

He never told anyone that she was pregnant with their first, and last.

When he walked in the sun, he felt like his skull was split open, and he felt the heat was making his brain squirm like under cooked worms.

He kept it to himself, and it would stay that way for a very long time. Like forever and a day or two. While in France, he told his friends and relations that this was going to be his new home and not to worry about him. They supported him again, like he knew they would. In Paris he took acting lessons instead of violin lessons.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the drunken motorist got his license back. Why did they give they give him his license back? Simple, he had a lot of friends and relations with money and influence. And they supported him, like he knew they would.

One night, at one of his many regular drinking spots, there he was, knocking them back as he toyed with his new set of Porsche car keys with the oversized logo on the key chain for all to see.

He left the bar with a few car groupies, and strutted to the drivers’ door.

As he was about to get in and drive away with his also drunk passenger, a brand new Cadillac slammed into him, crushing him against his new Porsche. It was a German American sandwich and he was the meat.

Dead on dead bread. How could he not be? Karma and cars go so well together. When the door of the Cadillac opened, out poured an old dirty drunken bum, who as soon as he hit the pavement, went to sleep. When was woken up by the cops, he asked one if he was the guy he stole the Caddy from, and that he was sorry he was drunk, and hoped there was no damage before he went back to bed.

He pleaded guilty to everything and was sentenced to forever, and a day or two.
He was sent to the jail Roger Marks designed and built. He was heard to mutter “Three hots and a cot, here I come” And away he went.

The prison had a room in it that the sole purpose was for in house jail house AA meetings, and the old drunk began to attend. After a few meetings, after he gave a nice speech about this and that, and that and this, he asked to go to the bathroom. He said he needed to “Get himself together after letting it all out for once in my life”, and they let him. You could hear him crying to himself on his way to the room of toilets.

After he went in, he went to the last stall, and deftly, and quietly, removed the toilet from the floor, and down into the hole it left. In the hole he put the toilet back, and disappeared like a little rabbit, never to be seen again.

A month later Roger E mailed his people that he was ready to come home, and get back to work. Again they supported him, like he knew they would.

When was out having dinner with friends they told him about the night Mr. Porsche, bought the farm the same day he bought the Porsche. They said the drunken bum that hit him in a stolen Caddy was such a mess, it was comical. And oh yeah, he fucking escaped the prison he designed.

Ain’t that something, said Roger Marks, I should have done a better job.

Roger Marks was glad he paid extra for comedy and make-up classes along with the acting ones he took in Paris, where him and his love, honeymooned.

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Categories: Fiction

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