It was bad enough he lost his wool knit hat during booger freeze winter. And even worse that J. Pleebis nurtured the drama. He fixated on a suspect and imagined the hat being used in some strange ritual; a brew of his own hair follicles, powdered spices and incantations all designed to cloud his clarity, turn the simple words of strangers into drive by assaults. It was icy outside.
Luckily for J. Pleebis, he existed on the other side of 40 years old. His neuron pathways had mellowed a bit. His mind connected fewer illusionary dots, but a hat being stolen revived the darkest of days and his dreams didn’t help the situation.
A piece of cloth from his navy blue, wool lined mountain parka was found in the desk drawer beside a pair of reading glasses. No big deal, except that they weren’t his reading glasses and it wasn’t his desk drawer. It was inside a strange old man’s apartment; the neighborhood man.
the dream flashed outside to a four-sided clock. The old man knew it was 6pm from the bell chiming six times. He moved into apparent and began pacing in front of the shopping mall entrance like some sort of gatekeeper. J. Pleebis remembered the old man whispering, “I got your hat under lock and key, right beside eye glasses and a shard of your frock.”
J. Pleebis awoke feeling like a pretzel; a figure 8; half dream-half reality. Mice were scratching the oven top of his mind. He contemplated hydrogen as an intellectual escape. When combined with oxygen, there’s water; 70.2 percent of the earth, 75.2 percent of the human body, essential, soothing but also tsunami, hurricane, flooding, death, destruction…..and when mixed with something else, nuclear mushroom cloud, asphyxiation, melting flesh.
J. Pleebis tried to breathe. He drank up some Ecclesiastes, followed its code and took a sip of wine. Shadows covered the wall. The wall sockets took the shape of monsters. Pleebis ran to his always reliable Plan B escape-the pharmacy. The rows of products and bright lights served as an effective tangent.
The pharmacist’s little lackey immediately recognized the mind of Pleebis as a bottlenecked traffic jam. He wanted to share a concoction evoking endless possibilities, but didn’t want to sound pretentious. He knew the Pleebis mind. He wore it himself far too often and knew damn well he would wear it again. There would be more storms. He believed in cycles.
So he did the only thing he knew how to do. He told Pleebis the Tale of Two Names; of Chris Davis and Khris Davis.
Chris was big. Ruthian big, Played in Texas. Hit an opposite field home run on his first trip to Yankee Stadium. Hype grew and grew until the apple was bursting Ranger red and then suddenly after years and years of irrigation, nurture, and hyped harvest, the apple fell and all turned brown and rotten in seconds. Chris recycled as an Oriole. There was no hype. He hit 53 home runs in 2013.
Khris Davis emerged from the gash of Ryan Braun. He used red lumber and made strange facial expressions in the batter’s box. He hit 11 home runs in 136 at bats in 2013 and helped the Brewers to a winning record without Braun.
End of the story. The lackey reached behind the pharmacy counter and offered a St. Louis Cardinals hat to J. Pleebis as a gift. It meant nothing at all. It was exactly what Pleebis needed, the nothing at all that is.
He walked outside. The sun was playing a game of blinding mirrors and reflections with the snow. It was warm. Pleebis unzipped his jacket half way. He wouldn’t be needing a wool knit hat anymore.