Ok, you folks asked for it.
I call this one "Close Encounters of the Ugly Naked Kind".
There are certain things you can never forget, some events with great fondness while others dwell within those places in our mind reserved for the unfathomable. Those are the places we store those evil, horrible thoughts, feelings and remembrances, to be locked away, never to be opened but not completely forgotten. We always know the latter carefully secured images and feelings are there but basic primal fear keeps them in those safe, windowless rooms within our minds. But sometimes we find all it takes is one small mention of something by a friend or family member, a comment made off hand, a smell in an unfamiliar place, a scene on TV and suddenly we find ourselves creating psychic finger trying to hold back a tidal flood of horrors thought tucked safely away, coming to the forefront of our conscious mind and infecting our dreams as well as our waking hours.
This is one such memory. I have you people to blame in my bringing out of it's slime filled hold. In that I forgive you, since I can safely tuck it away once again after writing this essay of insanity and that can sometimes give comfort. They also say the in acknowledging that fact you have a problem is the first step in solving it, so in fact I must confront this scene, once locked in a small dark place in my head, and deal with it once and for all. Call this article therapy, a catharsis, whatever you make like, but if it becomes part of you, your dreams or psyche, do not blame me.
It was a cold, late fall day when the Slacker once again sent me on a fruitless mission. A bed was down and needed to be looked at and repaired. I had other calls already arranged by me and had told him to keep the morning open in order for me to complete "return" calls, i.e. repairs that were unfinished due to having parts ordered, etc. This was always a matter of contention with him and I never was able to truly get it through his head that time had to be afforded for such endeavors. So we agree for him to call the customer that I would be there in the early afternoon and not in the morning. Not really the best way to start out the day. It was a Friday and I was looking forward to a weekend without having to repair something that was broken and abused. I packed everything I needed and off I went into a cold, non stop rain.
The morning goes well enough. No major problems or fouls although the worn windshield wipers on the company owned van are limiting my vision in the icy rain. In this area of town,the streets are narrow and the residents have no regard at all for traffic signals or stop signs. I stop at every intersection, before making every turn and finally find the house.
It does not look too bad from the outside. This neighborhood is in better shape then most in the surrounding district and this house shows it. They even have a ramp going up the front steps, always a plus. I grab my tool kit and get out and start to approach the ramp. My first step sends great tremors through the whole structure of the aluminum, causing it to shake violently to and fro. I look closer and find it is not a wheel chair ramp at all, but several pieces of boat docking that has been hastily bolted together! The uprights are not even in the ground, but are simply sitting on the lawn. Some supports are not even touching the ground at all and the rain has made the ramp slippery so I grip the hand rails with one hand and hope I don't slide off into the wet grass. I make it to the door and fell the same triumph Hillary felt when he made it to the top of Everest and give a knock. A female voice bids me enter over what sounds like a television turned up to near "blow eardrum" volume, as is common to almost every house I go into. I then open the door and enter, shedding rain like a fresh waxed car.
The living room, the first room I enter, is fairly clean and the furniture looks to be in good condition. A young woman dressed in a nurse' uniform is sitting on the couch talking on the phone. How she was able to do this over the TV's horrendous volume was simple: she screamed. I could hear ever word she was saying. It was all non sequitor chatter about this and that and I had to wait for about two minutes for her to acknowledge the fact I had entered. At least it allowed to to warm up, since the temperature in this house was set to "Hawaii in Summer" level. In front of the the young woman on the coffee table are several bottles of nail polish, polish remover, scissors and other nail care paraphenalia. From this, my eyes go right to her finger nails, which I can see even at this distance since they are painted a garish neon florescent yellow with glowing orange stripes. It must take at least two bottles of polish per hand because these safety warning painted nails are at least four inches in length! Each one, including her thumb! If she got into a confrontation with me a) she outweighed me by at least 70 pounds and b) she could scoop my eyes out with those day glow claws with a flick of her wrist. I then wonder how she is able to use her hands at all to accomplish anything since she has useless extensions that must hamper her in everything she must do.
She finally pauses in her conversation long enough to point me in the direction of the bedroom, which is to my left and down a short hall. I turn and go where she has indicated, hoping she won't decided to make me a living organ doner from behind with her human claws as I go into an open doorway that seems to lead into a lighted room. I go through the door way and view biggest, most horrifying traumas my eyes had yet witnessed.
The room is indeed well lighted, which makes the unfolding image all the more shocking. Sitting on a bed, facing dead in front of me, is a woman that easily outweighs me by 4 times or more. The bed, probably the one I am supposedly here to repair, is sagging from her bulk. There is a smell, unpleasant but not overpowering, of human decay and unwashed age and I just know she is the source. And to top it all of, she is completely naked. Not a stitch of clothing anywhere on her body, legs spread wide open, arms at her side, giving me the "full frontal" shot that gives movies an "R" rating. Gravity and age have not been kind to this poor woman, everything rolling down from her shoulders in huge, doughy rolls of fat, skin and atrophied muscle. She is, however, wearing a pair of 1950's vintage horn rimmed glasses and her hair has been carefully been pinned up into a tight but on the top of her head.
It is not pretty. John Wayne himself would have fled in terror, tossing his Colt Revolver and Winchester carbine away as he ran because bullets could not kill such a monster. Lesser men would have been left blinded for life, having pulled their own eyeballs directly from their sockets. She is mouthing something incoherent to me and begins to stand up and reach for me. I can honestly tell you good folks I know what I would do if confronted with a zombie in real life because of this experience: My legs, reacting to commands from the lizard part of my brain, start to move my body quickly backwards. My empty left hands goes up to my eyes but my frontal lobes, the part of the brain that controls intelligence and reason, already knows it's too late and the damage to my fragile sanity has been done. I find myself in the living room, somehow having backed out, heart beating like a coyote chased rabbit.
I must have called out in terror because Ms. Color Claws is telling who ever she had been talking to that she will call back while giving me the Look-That-Kills, but does not hang up the phone. I quickly take a deep breath and tell her that the lady has no clothes on. Instead of going in to take care of her naked charge right away, she screams into the phone that "the old bitch forget to get dressed" and she would call the other party back soon. She pulls a pencil from her shirt pocket and uses it to push the "end" button on the portable house phone she was on, since her nails prevented her from doing so normally. She charges past me and goes into the bedroom and slams the door.
I wait several minutes until Mistress Tigra and Mrs. Free and Natural exit the room, the latter in a wheel chair. The poor old lady is wrapped in a bathrobe that could double as a twenty refugee sized tent and is still babbling something I can't understand. I tell myself that it would now be worth my while to get in there and get the bed fixed or find myself under those neon tinted claws, having interrupted what surely must have been a very important phone call (HA). I race into the room and quickly find that the frame of the bed is broken or bent in several places. Then, while doing the once over, I find a decal, stating who originally provided the bed and who was probably the owner.
It was not my employer, but my company's biggest rival across town. Miss Claws did not even bother to see where the bed was from, just called the first person she could find in the phone book (which was my company). Worst of all, the Slacker had not even bothered to check to see if this person even had equipment from my company! He simply took the call and schedules me to go out!
Infuriated for some many reasons and on so many levels, I told Tigra the Neglagent Nurse taht she needed to call Blank & Blank, who would fix it. I turned and fled out the door and flimsy ramp, wondering if my health insurance covered psychiatric care.
"Against stupidity, the gods themselves do contend in vain"