By "Wild" Bill Blackolive
Captain Jack and Molly Bell had their ten year anniversary this past July of 1980. A hundred hungry souls waited on the beach, with expensive gifts, wearing their Thailand gold necklaces. In the pilot house of one of the moored cruisers, tinkering with the engine, his round ex-power lifter body wet through his shorts and T-shirt, on coke, Jack Daniels, Thai sticks, Captain Jack ignored them. Yay: went his jovial answer to most questions or compliments. He has original personality, copied by the others, his own version of Texas wise man, godfather. His clan await his word, favors, next move, for they are broke now, in debt, fat and soft and hating to ever go back to work, the IRS after them. They have waited a couple of years, squandering their wealth, since a fuck up. One of them had done a foolish coke deal on the side, brought heat upon the small Texas coast town, and gone to prison. Captain Jack, owning millions, tried keeping him out of prison, but had to give up, said the boy is probably the one who took a suitcase of his full of money anyway. The suitcase had been at Captain Jack's coastal ranch, the brush searched for two days, everybody made to take lie detector tests. The heat stays on, the rest of the town being jealous. Captain Jack would be driving his Wennebago about town, jewelry on his fingers, pistol on his hip, sneer on his lips, but now he is not home. He takes airplane trips, mainly the Americas, thinks to live in Panama or maybe Switzerland. Captain Jack has retired. Captain Jack and Molly Bell are from lower middle background. Molly Bell is humb1e, sweet, straight traditional, had never even wanted her husband to sell lids. But now they are rich the American way. A few years ago Captain Jack got set up by a busted dealer, and he had to do six months. They had wanted him bad back then, they had told him. But he had enough money and got out, on probation, in order he support his needy family as a shrimper. He had firmed up, power lifting. Captain Jack has been a tough, proud, dominating man always. Now he stands the heat. People would leave the beach to try a visit with the Captain, their necklaces clanking. Lesser men have small Thai gold necklaces, more important figures big clanking ones. The Captain gives the wives, most whom he gets to pinch on the butt, certain type Thai gold necklaces, the unmarried women and whores smaller type Thai gold necklaces. Molly Bell did not make her anniversary til around midnight, decked out in her latest Cadillac, the wasted hungry crowd parting, cheering their lady, who parked at the dock. Now they could eat. After barbecue, redneck Texas freaks, middle aged lawyers a few yankee hippie vegetarians, Captain Jack would take on a cruise, them what was able. Yaw.
Earthboy is the name Captain Jack has given his servant, a yankee hippy vegetarian. Not much over twenty, some fifteen years younger than the Captain, tall and thin and long haired, Earthboy does odd shit work, lawns to be mowed, boats to be scraped. Captain Jack has boats built to be sold or rented to survey crew. Captain Jack gets richer even not coming out of retirement. Before the retirement, there was dealing with yankee Weathermen - who are alive and well making plenty money if not revolution - and there are various yankees who mysteriously hang about or keep in touch with the Captain, who comments on the Weathermen- Hell, Jughead don't care about no Weathermen, Skipper don't care about no Weathermen - and vegetarianism - Let's eat, let's have some meat, good bloody meat! I wanta drink some blood with it! Blood, flesh, I'm hungry enough toto kill the first critter I see! The Captain works it that people are uninformed of one another or action of which they do not directly partake, and nobody local knows what Earthboy is waiting for. Earthboy has better knowledge on Captain Jack's retirement than they do. Earthboy unmoored the boat, helped two or three incapacitated aboard, ran up to the pilot house for a snort at Captain Jack's command, scampered back out onto deck, scampered back into pilot house, and so on, staying in ear shot of Captain Jack. Earthboy! Anybody O.D. out there yet? I'm bout ready for more meat! Yaw haw! The cruiser, named Starwars by the Captain smashed and slapped through a choppy gulf. Earthboy! Where are you Earthboy! Captain Jack puts on a frantic shrill. We got any niggers in the freezer? I'm hungry enough to eat anything! What, nothing to eat, Earthboy, you better fix me more this coke, I'm bout to get skinny as you, soon as I shit out some of this barbecue, yaw haw: Captain Jack was in one of his moods of antics. It would soon peak, but would leave him enough wake for following behavior. His racism is one tactic, all taking it more seriously than he does. They say gravely, Captain Jack hates niggers because or the time he did. Meanwhile, in the business, he can jive and be down home with anybody he has to. The Captain snorted and held the wheel a couple of hours, let Earthboy take over and went to the head to move bowels, came out onto deck with a cigar box full of Thai stick reefer, handed one to probably everybody but Molly Bell, who seldom smokes. Excluding Molly Bell, there were fifty-three stoned drunks on board at that time. The next large antic Captain Jack performed was empty his forty-five automatic into the air when for some reason Earthboy drove past a party boat within firing distance carrying early sports fishermen. The automatic ripped the night air along with a demoniac roar of crowd and engine and Captain Jack: Kill, kill, yaw haw, yaaiiee, kill! Earthboy gunned them past these likely peaceful men. Molly Bell seems able to endure much. Most mature man on board, another individual who seldom smokes or snorts but takes Valium like Molly Bell, and had not wanted to come, was a lawyer in his fifties. I'm not young enough for all this, he said. He bent over the side and barfed, said, I've had too much to smoke. Captain Jack molested some of the women and became cornier in his jokes and handed anyone dexidrene, a sudden hour or so later a helicopter was seen on the radar. Captain Jack takes pride in having the latest in technology, better than the Coast Guard's, due to their red tape handicap. Lights and motor were turned out. They drifted and a couple of the couples went to the bunks to screw or rest, people quieted and dozed, till the Captain startled all by lighting a cherry bomb in the cabin. Break of dawn he was carrying on with his camera, took some decent photos of a tattoo on a girl's ass, Earthboy heading them back in. The Captain fired his forty-five at seagulls, blew one into parts, lent his pistol to others for the sport, several rounds were spent, he drew conclusion it was bad ecology and called it off. Besides, we have to get cool now, he said.
The Captain can have fits of paranoia. He may wonder it a merest individual is an agent. There was a person he did not know too well, whom he had sold a boat called "Wife of Frankenstein." The man had not fully paid for the boat, was stalling, yet said he also wanted to buy another of the boats, "Popeye." Popeye was a particularly large and secretly equipped boat. Captain Jack said he must be paid all the cash immediately or he would call it off. The business man agreed, said come over to his trailer, that he had the cash there, that he and the Captain could agree on the price. He would have a friend there, and Captain Jack could bring a friend or two.
After his anniversary cruise Captain Jack had slept a few hours, that night he arrived at the man's trailer out in the country flanked by two aids. One of the aids, a big fat young one named Jed, was to be heavy. Jed liked being heavy, and was stoned in different ways by time they got there. They had palm sized, small caliber pistols in their Levi pockets, only to be used in self defense, quick and get out of there, no stake in any fight. The business man owned a tommy gun from World War II, so he had bragged over whisky a few days earlier. Big Jed scowled and glowered and dug in his nose the first thing, and everyone but he took a seat. Next he drank the business man's wine faster than negotiations could be carried. The business man's aid. said, Say, man, me and you oughta go out and get some wine. We ain't here to buy wine, Jed said. Sit down, Jed, said Captain Jack. Hey, man, said the aid before Jed got seated. Take it easy, there ain't no problem nowhere. This man - he and his boss were both yankees - been around Texans before and believed he knew how to deal with them. Well, man, spoke Jed. I never hunt for no trouble, it just comes to me. There's always been someone trying to give me shit. Yeah, we all have that problem, the business man's aid said. Easy man, easy. Just shut your fucking mouth, Jed, said Captain Jack's other aid. Well, what I want to just get clear, said Jed revving up from his seat, but Jack bellowed: Shut up! Look, Captain Jack, you brung me here for a reason and the way I used to be taught, Jed began as Captain Jack exploded, snatching the other fat man and hauled him a foot. Jed came near falling, steadied himself and said he was sorry. You sonofabitch, Captain Jack said. For emphasis Captain Jack brought forth his new Barretta and fired downward. Arrgh, I'm hit, said Jed, and crashed to the floor. Get up, you sonofabitch, said Captain Jack, and booted him a few times. You're not hit! Next Captain Jack got his boot bloody. They said, He's hit! Goddamn, let's get 'im outta here, said Captain Jack. The two yankees were dazed. Captain Jack and his aid hoisted the groaning wounded man by his belt and limbs and hauled him away, blood all over and into the Mercedes. Where you hit, Jed? Aargh! Oh, Lord. Maybe Molly Bell can patch 'im. Fuck no, I'm taking 'im to Emergency. The incident occurred about three miles from the local hospital. Lucky it was late, they ran two red lights and dumped Jed out onto the hospital's sidewalk. Remember, Jed, keep cool, goddammit. I'm sorry! Arrgh! In emergency, Jed said, Shot myself. He was not questioned further. When he learned he was shot through both buttocks he offered the information: Yeah, goddammit, my uncle gave me this .25 Beretta and I left the damn thing on the bed and got drunk and sat on it! He figured this would leave them with no doubt. He was cleaned and bandaged and put to bed. He was hitting a good doze some hours later when the ranch had been cleaned and Molly Bell's house in town cleaned and Captain Jack and half a dozen of the boys entered his room. Heard you got shot, Jed! Just no shit blew my fucking ass off! I sat down on that damn gun, like I been telling them in Emergency, and I don't know if it ricocheted but it sure blew my damn ass off! Everything Jed's mind and body had been through this night had him higher than ever. He said, This has been some day and I don't know if I've peaked yet! Shut up, Jed, they whispered, We're getting you outta here! Huh, well, goddamnit, easy! They got him out of there, on to the house in town. There the party went on, the kids were getting up anyway. In a short while Molly Bell fretted that Jed was tracking blood. She went out back and got a blanket from the pit bulldogs, had Jed to lie on the blanket on her couch and stay put. Captain Jack was passed out.