Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Ranger? My dog from when I was nine? Here boy! What's that? The world is screwed? What? Evil plans? Who's got evil plans, boy? Who? Holland? Damn, I thought it was Dutchland. What's that boy? Netherlands? Holland and the Netherlands? But not Dutchland. What's that? Exist? Right to exist? Wait a minute here. Listen boy, it's not our job to question the Dutchlandian's right to exist. That's for the people on TV to figure out. What's that? Ranger! Stop peeing on my legs!

I come to with the familiar sensation of fluid filling my pants. Cold, dirty water below the belt buckle. I'm sitting in it, upright, leaning back against a wall. Brick wall. Four brick walls. No door. Cozy.

I'm not waking up from the American nightmare. Not yet. Only thing up there is a single bare bulb in the ceiling, crusted with bugs. A wall mount ladder too far across the room. Up the only way out? Can't see a hatch. Right shoulder aching, the arm raised. Hand numb, pinned somehow to the wall.

Don't recall a fair fight. I stagger to my knees and wince. Rub the painful welt behind my left ear. Caked with blood, baking sugar. Doubly sweet, hit from behind. I turn awkward, stand up, expecting to see my wrist shackled. Nothing so medieval. Don't get it. Right thumb, comically jammed in a tiny hole in the wall. I'm the little dutch boy on the wrong side of the dyke.

Nothing makes sense. I was stealing something from a roll top desk. My foot slips as metal scrapes under the rising water. Rising? It's up to my knees! I reach down, blindly feeling around. Sharp! I grasp gingerly, pulling it up. Glistening under stark light, dripping. Focus. A stainless steel baker's knife. Thermohauser, twenty inches. Serrated with a blunt tip. Not for stabbing. For cutting. I hold the blade in my free left hand and look down at my stuck thumb. Now I get it. Advantage Hintercloos.

Revenge is served colder than the stale, lapping muck. Drown like a republican or join the raving mad dutchman's thumbless jamboree. Clog steppin' spook watches some shitty movies.

I line up the blade. This'll hurt. Christ, am I too old to learn to shoot left and be good?

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