Escape to New Jersey
I’m so pissed at Benny, “the cigar store Indian.” How dare he say to me, “know yourself… trust only yourself.” The bastard knows I don’t trust him, and instead of trying to reach out to me, he had to one-up me with those words—like he’s the better man. Screw him...
I was ensconced in a bed of sand, unable to fully wake or see the man’s chalk-white face clearly. He sat at a desk underneath a palm tree on the edge of the beach and hammered away at an old Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter. His hair and mustache were as black as the little machine. The beautiful whir of its keys sounded like a tranquil breeze. Just below it came what I thought was birdsong. I smiled and realized it was the all-too-familiar gabble of the pizza and Chinese delivery guys(aka num and nuts). But I didn’t mind. To hear those voices, which sounded so real, meant I had made it back alive.
I couldn’t say how long I lay without opening my eyes. I could feel myself becoming grounded in reality as my bed of sand morphed into the couch in my living room. The gabble became clearer. When sunlight touched my blinking eyes, I could have cried. Hell, I could have hugged num and nuts. Hair quaffed, wearing stylish black tees and fancy denim pants, they sat at the kitchen table having breakfast with a robed lady friend(LF). She glanced my way with a dull light in her eyes. If she only knew what had happened last night.
Feelings of relief poured from my viscera. I had made it back to present day. I was alive. Yet consumed by thoughts about last night. My breathing was long and deep. Benny, old Dan Tucker, and I had set sail on Staten Island’s western shore in the present. The artificially lit waterway slowly gave way to the light of the firmament, the former vanishing miles later after we entered the Narrows Strait; because we had fully reached our mystical destination. We had been *magically transported back in time. I’m pretty sure the date we arrived was August 22, 1776, the day in which 4,000 British troops ferried from Staten Island to Gravesend, Brooklyn. It was five days before the start of the Revolutionary War.
(*Map of NY, 1776)
We were there to kill a demon, which sounds crazy in the light of day. I could yell and scream and say I don’t want to be involved. Yet two or three past lives spent killing demons, has put me on an inescapable path. Alea iacta est.
That said, I will still complain. Sorry. I’m a complainer, therefore I blog…
The last thing I remember about last night was a cannonball explosion in the water. It must have been shot from Brooklyn. The plumes of water flew over us. We were remarkably unharmed, though were soaked, trying to keep our balance as the resulting waves tossed the sloop around like a toy.
The next thing I knew, I was dreaming that crazy dream about the man typing on a beach. Now, here I am, waking as Benny had said I would, in the present. He had also told me last night that he would come for me each and every night until we killed this very vicious and deadly demon.
Why can’t Benny come for the pizza and Chinese delivery guys? Those guys are whack-a-doodle-do’s. They both usually have the look of a woman eyeing a creepy-crawler. That’s a verifiable fact, especially when they look at muah.
Anyway, I decided that the best thing for me to do is to avoid Benny. Avoid him like an Ebola sneeze. It makes no sense, killing a demon in the past, and I’m Terminator fan and all. Hmmm… Maybe I could go to the movies tonight. No, that’s stupid. Benny would find me on the way home. Or I could go to bed early and lock my door. Or, even better, I’ll go to a whacked out foreign land. I’ll go to New Jersey.
That’s it! It’s a done deal. I sat up and broke the good news…
Well, we really didn’t go to Jersey to stay. But we drove through it, to a little cabin in Hunter Mountain. Not to get too far off topic, but we get a place up there for dirt cheap. I’d love to tell you about it, but I can’t. A religious organization owns it, and if they knew us loons were renting their digs, they might not like it.
We took our almost-new, white Ford Explorer. Which, kudos to num and nuts, they clean the mofo sh-t outta that vehicle. It’s so clean; people look at it like it’s a Maserati. And that’s another fact.
We took NJ Route 17, to the NYS Thruway. Though on our way, we, of course, made two mandatory stops. The first was for cheap Jersey gas. The second was at Bottle King, which probably is my favorite store in Jersey. It’s as nice a place as the Jersey beaches.
Inside the store, we acted like bats in the belfry awoken by clangs bells. Or at least I did. We bought chips and dips and beer and wine and hummus. Oh, can’t forget all the great cheeses we picked up, too. And all of it was complimented by the green sh-t, which was already in our cooler.
So, right after we packed the bags in the back of our super-sleek Explorer, I jumped into the driver’s seat. I started to back out of the spot when a head popped up between num and nuts. At that very moment, my eyes crossed the same way as Ralph Kramden’s always did when Norton pushed him to the edge of Brooklyn highlife.
Seated happily between num and nuts was a bright-eyed Benny, “the cigar store Indian.” I checked to see if he had a seatbelt on because I wanted to eject him. I wanted to rocket him off into outer space–straight to the moon.
I couldn’t speak and was so angry, nor could I drive. And of course, Benny knew just what to say, especially to make me look like the bad guy.
“I’ll answer any question you have, on any topic, Joe,” he said with a hint of a grin, knowing his tactical words could put me in a bad light if I responded in anger. Especially ’cause I’ve been begging for more info from him for ages. “Any question I can.”
Ok, so I was huffing and puffing, but I knew I had to go with it. LF flat out thinks the sun and moon of Benny. And here he was, finally opening up as I had long asked. Benny was the better man.
All I was thinking up to that moment was about all the fun I would have slurping down beers and chips and stuff. Maybe we’d BBQ! Which smells great in a forest, on a cool night, especially in the woods where the legends of Ichabod Crane and Rip Van Winkle were born and still flourish.
“Who or what is this demon we have to kill,” I said, instantly regretting it because I wanted no involvement. But it was the first thing that popped into my noggin.
“It’s sort of like a vampire,” he said.
“In the vampire family,” LF said.
“Yes, but it’s pure life it desires, not blood,” Benny said and looked curiously into my eyes for the meaning of his words to register. But they didn’t. I was in chips and dips mode, looking for a way out–at all costs–from alternative plans. Especially those that might get me killed.
“Who told you to go back in time and kill it?” I said.
“It’s what we–”
“No,” I cried, and threw out my hand. “Don’t start with that nonsense again: ‘We’re demon killers.’ Because I’m not. I’m not.” I looked at LF, who wore eyeliner and pale makeup. She looked sort of ghoulish, yet in a gothicy-cool way. “I’m really not.”
“Jack Jefferies has more answers than me?” Benny said. “He is my confidant.”
“Where’s Jack?” I asked.
“He’s dead,” Benny said. “But he communicates with me. He would with you if you’d listen.”
“No, he doesn’t have to, because I want out. Let me be.”
“You have demon blood in you,” Benny said. “So whereas I might have a choice in these matters, but you, it’s kill or be killed.”
“Not in this life did I once drink demon blood.”
“From a past life, yes, but it’s in you. It will always be.”
So we made it up to Hunter Mountain. Right now, I’m all safe and sound, locked away in my bedroom with chips and dips and plenty of beer. No green sh-t, if you must know.
Benny has tapped at the door a few times, wanting to talk to me. But I’m ignoring him. I’m browsing the Net, listening to Bloc Party, while finishing up this post. I’m maxing and chill-axing. Oh! The place here has an indoor Jacuzzi. I’m gonna sneak over to it soon.
Wait. Now Benny’s got LF banging at the door.
“Joe, open up,” she’s saying. “Listen to Benny, believe me, you’ll want to hear what he has to say.”
“You’ll want to come with me,” Benny’s saying. “You know who and what this demon is part of and where it came from. You wrote the book on them.”
I gasped. Thoughts about the type of demon he was talking about blurred my vision. Blood vessels squeezed throughout my brain, some ready to burst.
A few moments have passed since I agreed to go with Benny, back to August 1776. I’m as drunk as one can be on light beer and shaking as I type. I’m terrified. The bejesus is scared out of me. But I’m going out of cat-killing curiosity. I can’t write much more.
Oh, the demon is an alien demon, which sucks the souls out of people. Click this link to read more on the book I wrote about them. It’s in two 80k word parts. So it’s two books. Maybe someday I’ll publish them. But this is probably it for me. I’m done.
Bye! So this is it. Wish me luck. You will probably never hear from me again.
Joe aka Bald Punk, aka Baldie
P.S. To the one in NC who keeps seeing my face in the forest and emailing me about it. Please stop.
P.S. P.S. Don’t ask me for help. I’m a mess. I can’t get out of my own way. I’m cursed. I really am. If you don’t believe me, see this post: Photos Of The Succubus In My Bed. I sleep with evil. Sometimes I hate my life.
Wow, I really am a whiner. Glory be to God for creating Word Press for whiners like me. Oh, that reminds me. Dear God, please help me survive the night. Amen.
*I know, I need to ask Benny how we were able to time travel.
More coming next week…