He got the cops to call me instead of his Ma. She had said if he was arrested one more time that he would have to sleep in the town dump ‘cause she was washing her hands of him. Buzz knew she’d never do that but still – he didn’t want to take the chance, so I get woken by a call a 3.22 in the morning. I kid you not.
The cop at the desk looks at me as if I’m just as stupid as Buzz.
“He’s in the back and I think you know where to go.”
The truth is, I did know where to go – over the years, me and Buzz both had cooling off time in the room at the back. It was never for anything serious but then that’s what happens in small towns, the cops throw you in the back room to keep you out of the road of your Ma and Pa.
Buzz’s face was deep purple, I mean deep grape purple by the time I got to the room and there was some cowboy counting: ‘1001..‘1002’…’1003’…. I need to tell you at this point that Buzz was hand-standing against the wall and he was betting with the other kids in the jail that he could stay up the longest.
“Another ten seconds and you’re the champion of Duchess County jail,” shouted the cowboy. Who would have thought then – that would be the exact second when Buzz passed out? I mean he just lay there all dead to the world. I looked at the cowboy who looked at the other kids in the cell he’d been betting with.
“Act of God,” called the cowboy.
“What cha sayin’?” said the skinny little kid with bad skin.
“I’m sayin’, it’s an act of God.”
“And?” asked the mean kid with the tattoos. “And I want you to think real careful before you answer.”
Then the mean kid punched his palm with his fist followed by a real evil smile. I always wondered were these kids born with evil mean smiles or did they practice hard at it?
Buzz was coming around to opening his eyes as the cowboy was handing back the green stuff to the other kids.
By the time Buzz could stand, the rest of the kids had been released. He stuck his arm around my neck and I carried him out of the cop store.
Buzz didn’t want to go home, not yet, leastways not until he got a story together that his Ma would believe. She was like the secret police or somethin’, I mean that woman could smell a lie at spittin’ distance with her eyes closed – and boy did Buzz’s Ma know how to spit. When she was younger, she’d been the Tri-county spittin’ Champion. There were cups on her smoking table and she was real proud of them.
Every birthday party whether she was asked or not, she would chew some baccy then spit the whole caboodle across the room into a vase which was always sat next to her Grandma’s urn.
The back wall had brown stains where she’d been practisin’. When she got the baccy in the vase she’d give a chuckle then spit the rest of her goo into the fire, and after it sizzled she’d declare it the best birthday party ever.
You can kinda see where Buzz got his craziness from.
But I’m floatin’ away from the story here – so where were we? Oh, yeh, so Buzz comes back to my place and I asks him:
“What was you in for this time?”
“It’s a long story,” he says to me. It always is.
So I sit down knowin’ I’m gonna regret askin’ but I can’t help myself but before I can ask him for more, he’s already started the story…
“You remember, Becky Weiss?” asks Buzz.
I think I do but I ain’t sure, so I just kinda shrug my shoulder.
“Yeh, you do. She was the red-headed kid who claimed she’d been abducted by aliens.”
Then I remembered that Becky Weiss. She got pregnant at 15 and told everyone the father was a creature from Saturn who took her against her will in the middle of the night. When the kid was born it was the spittin’ image of Frank Dunbar from the farm down by the lake, I think her story kinda fell apart at that point.
“She’s got 5 kids now, claims the man from Saturn visits her every full moon and every year she gets pregnant. Well I met her tonight and guess what, she was askin’ ‘bout you.”
“Me?” Jeez until five minutes ago I could even remember who Becky Weiss was.
“Yeh, she asked what had happened to my cute bud.”
The blood-shot straight through the top of my head.
“Did too. Anyhoo, that ain’t the story. When I first see her, she’s carrying some groceries and they spill over onto the sidewalk. So I stop and I help a lady in distress. Then I sees who it is, well I saw that tattoo of Jimmy Carter on the back of her neck first and I knew it was her.”
“Becky?” I said.
“Buzz? Is that really you?”
So Buzz tells me that he and Becky got quickly to talking ‘bout things and what had happened to her since her first alien abduction; nothing much, apparently, ‘cept for the other alien abductions. You gotta wonder if Becky was a prize in some lottery for aliens? I mean, these space creatures travel way across the Milky Way just to meet Becky Weiss?
Yep, it’s got me puzzlin’ as well, bro’. I ain’t questionin’ anythin’, just wonderin’ that’s all.
“So we’re talking and there’s nothin’ else you understand, just talking,” says Buzz.
“I hear ya,” I say.
“Then there’s a knocking on the window of Becky’s place.”
“So what?” I ask.
“She says that it might be the alien comin’ a callin’. Now I don’t know about you but I ain’t one to be abducted by no alien.”
“So what did you do?”
Jeez this story was starting to get excitin’, ‘though I’d never tell Buzz that.
“Well I just punched the alien straight in the face, no whys or wherefores, you understand don’t cha?”
I nodded my head that I did but I don’t think I really did.
“So….,” and I knew I was gonna regret asking, “what happened next?”
Then Buzz got real upset and said that the alien had called the cops because of the fact that the spaceman had been hit straight in his antenna.
“I didn’t know aliens could call the cops,” I said, genuinely.
And apparently neither did Buzz.
Now here’s the thing, it was only years later when I was attending the funeral of Becky Andrews (once known as Becky Weiss) that I found out that some of the boys of the town used to dress up as aliens to have their own sweet way with Becky. You hear what I’m sayin’, don’t cha?
Just so’s you know, Buzz told his Ma he’d fallen asleep at my place and she seemed happy with that.
bobby stevenson 2017