Some Days

July 29, 2008
Some days just seem better than others.
I got a friend over in Denver who works a good living, dealing cocaine to good folks who really need it. He won’t sell it to the crack heads, he says; just the folks who don’t have a thing else to look forward to. I tell him there are lots of other things to look forward to, and that cocaine is no way to treat a depression. He asked me what a few times. I just tell him, “Dying, for one.”
Then I got this friend up in Minneapolis, who’s a certified, holy-man kind of priest. He preaches up at the Roman Catholic church of St. Augustine, talking to the sinners and the saints. His name is John Patrick O’Grady, and he’s pressing forty-five. He knew my bud from Denver once, but only once and that’s all he’s ever gonna know him. Cocaine and the Holy Spirit aren’t even close, John Patrick O’Grady had said. I agreed, but I don’t figure sex and alcohol and all that other damnation are real close to the Holy Spirit either, but I see it every day on my Cable TV. I wonder if John Patrick O’Grady has the Cable TV.
Bobby Malone was a no-name, pickpocket good-for-nothing sleaze from Hot Springs when I first met him. No one knew his name, or even his face. And as a coke dealer, I can see the benefits in remaining a nobody. But there comes a time when you need a name, just with the right kind of people. You need that crew of guys out on Sunset to hear the name Bobby Malone, and know they can get what they want from you. You just gotta stay untouchable, he told me that once.
I met him fresh out of high school. We were both after the same girl- her name was Amanda- and we were both willing to do pretty much anything to get her. I tried flowers; Malone sold her some cheap coke. Less than half price, really. Turns out this girl likes her coke more than her flowers. Guess she’s more the city type.
John Patrick O’Grady says she chose the cocaine ‘cause she don’t know no better, cause her folks was a bunch of sinner Methodists who never sat her down and had a good talkin’ with her. I told him my parents didn’t talk to me about cocaine, but I ain’t ever did it.
Don’t know what all the fuss is about, being a Methodist or a Roman Catholic. We all got the same God, don’t we? John Patrick O’Grady says the Methodists and the Lutherans are all revolters, a bunch of bible-kissing loonies.
I asked Bobby Malone if he was a bible-kissing loony like John Patrick O’Grady had said, and he told me, “I’ve never kissed a Bible in my life, but if I had maybe I wouldn’t be selling this cheap schwag crap to everybody who won’t pay for the good stuff.”
I don’t know what cheap schwag he was referring to, but it’s probably something Father John Patrick O’Grady would preach about not using.
Sometimes I bring up Father John to Bobby Malone, and Bobby Malone likes to say lots of stuff about little boys, and naughty priests and stuff. I tell him that Father Malone sure ain’t no naughty priest. He’s about as straight and narrow as a man can get.
One time though, I was watching TV and this thing came on about the Roman Catholic Church and it’s sex scandals. It truly disturbed me, it did. I didn’t know that there was so many of them out there, so many of those men in collars walkin’ around and molesting folks. That’s just plain unsettling. Makes one wonder if it’s real worth it to go get a confession, huh?
I never got a confession. Father John Patrick O’Grady said it’s because I’m not Catholic. Guess you have to be Catholic to get your sins forgiven, which puts me and Bobby Malone at an awfully awkward position with Jesus Christ.
I asked Father John about the sex scandals, and he told me not to worry about it because no one’s gonna molest me as long as I keep going to John Patrick O’Grady’s church.
Some day I’ll have Bobby Malone come with me. I like them both, I really do. They’re swell guys.
Some days I like them both.

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