Head Injured 2

"Henry," the father called to him. "Henry."
He opened his eyes and seemed to look beyond us.
"Henry, it’s Dad."
He did not look at the father.
"Henry, do you hear me, son?"
"Yeah, yeah," he mumbled.
"Who am I?"
Henry studied him.
"Dunno," he said. "Dunno. Who are you?"
"C’mon, son, think. You know who I am. What’s my name?"
"You’re Dad."
"But what’s my name, Henry?"
"Dunno--Know your own name. Know your own name."
"C’mon, Henry. What’s my name?"
He looked closely at the old man, focusing. "Bobby-Boom-Boom-Braxton. Boom-Boom-Braxton," he said slowly.
The father laughed. "What is this ‘Bobby Boom Boom’?"
Henry smiled strangely. "Boom Boom. Boom Boom."
"Do you know my name?" I asked him.
Henry stared at me.
"What’s my name?"
"No. What’s my name?"
"My name is Jesse."
"What’s your name?"
Henry looked puzzled.
"You should know your own name."
"I know, I know. I know my own name."
"Then what’s your name?"
"0H5," he said finally.
"What?" said the father.
"Your name is ‘0H5’?"
"Yes," he said, "Yes, c’mon, fuck, what’s the big deal. Fuck. Fuck."
"How do you spell your name," the father asked.
Henry looked as if he did not believe the question.
"0-H-5. Hey Dad, can you get me something?"
"What do you want, son?"
"Gimme shots. Shots."
"What kind of shots?"
"Fuck. Fucking, c’mon, c’mon. Get me shots." He moved his legs under the covers. "Do it, do it. Gimme shots--Hey, let’s go somewhere."
"Where do you want to go?"
"C’mon, get us a drink."
"Do you know what your sister’s name is?"
"Good. Do you know how to spell your name?"
"Aghh," Henry turned away.
"How do you spell your name?"
"Alcoholic ‘M’, alcoholic ‘S’, fucking alcoholic ‘C’—c’mon, fucking c’mon. Hey, you," he said to me. "Can you get me outta here? Just this once?"
"You need to stay here, Hank. You’ll be out soon enough."
"Let’s go upstairs."
"What’s upstairs?"
"Let’s go look. We’ll just look for a little. No. Hey. No, no," he mumbled, and then brightening, "I’ll meet you guys downstairs in 5 minutes. Lemme get my shoes, okay?"
"Sure," I said. "Do you remember what your car looked like?"
"Yeah. It’s white."
"What kind?"
"What kind of Chevy?"
"Piece of shit."
The conversation was annoying him.
"What’s my name?" I asked again.
Henry looked at me seriously. He did not remember.
"Take a guess."
"It’s Jesse."
"Jesse. Jesse," he repeated.
"Hey, Jesse," he said. "Can you get me outta here?"
"I can’t do that."
"But how much room do you have in your car?"
"Not enough for your bed and all these machines."
"What time is it?" he asked.
"Almost 9 pm," said the father. "Do you know where you are?"
"Vancouver," he said. "B.C."
"You’re in hospital in Miami, Henry."
Henry looked confused. "Fuck," he said. "Fucking fuck."
"Do you know what your girlfriend’s name is?"
"That’s your wife. I’m talking about your girlfriend."
"What’s her name then?"
"Lauren. Do you know what she looks like?"
He thought about it. "Blond, brunette…"
"She’s got black hair."
"What year is it?" asked the father.
"1920," he said without hesitation.
"’84. No, fuck, 1976. C’mon. Let’s just go get a bite to eat."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10.7.09

    i feel like im at a really good play and im noticing all sorts of things that6 keep me looking like the lighting the sounds the actorsw playing to the audience but all the while listening for what will be said next. really good its like a spotlight fell on your verse don shearer critic at large


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