May 112010
 

[I know, I know: reposting old shit from LiveJournal is a cop-out, but!! I’m trying to slowly move the entries I like over here so I can have everything in one place; I’m on a Robin kick; I’m trying to buy myself some time while I organize all the photos for Chooch’s birthday party post and I honestly go through these phases of extreme mania where I get a panicked sensation if I don’t post here once a day, what the fuck is my problem, I don’t know. No, really – I do know.]

When Janna arrived at my house yesterday, I’m sure it was beyond her wildest dreams that she would have front row seats for The Robin Show.

Around 5:00, Robin rapped on my front door. The sudden sound caused me to jump in my seat; but for Janna, it was the sight of Robin’s emaciated frame, skeletal face, and sun- and nicotine-ravaged skin that forced her to lurch in shock.

Robin asked to borrow a flashlight. A simple request, I thought; and besides, I have no qualms about lending out Henry’s belongings. I was unsure where he kept the flashlight, so I had to call and ask. Once he told me, I quickly thanked him and hung up before he had an opportunity to ask why I wanted to know.

While I was retrieving the flashlight for Robin, she skittishly prattled on about how “he put the papers in the rafter and I have three flashlights and none of them work.” I assume “he” refers to her son, Brandon. But papers in the rafters? No idea. The thing with Robin is that she has problems and wants the world to know it, but she cuts herself off in the middle of explaining things and then moves on to something unrelated, so I’m always left standing there in a state of confusion.

There should be anti-drug posters with nothing but Robin’s picture on them.

Henry returned home shortly after and cautiously asked why I needed the flashlight. When I told him it was currently with Robin in her boarded up house, he became noticeably irritated.

Every half hour therein, he would remind me that Robin had not returned his flashlight.

“Hey, I can’t see. I need my flashlight,” he would say dramatically. Still, I sat on the couch. I can’t express how badly I did not want to go over there.

Around 10:00 PM, Hoover had left to take his son Blake home, and I was getting ready to put Riley in his crib. Just then, Robin vaporized at my front door, nearly giving Janna her second coronary of the night.

Janna opened the door and Robin poked her head in, waving her white cordless phone in her hand like a baton.

“My basement is all filled up and I can’t see and that’s where your flashlight is. Can I use your phone? I can’t dial out on mine.” She waved the phone again to illustrate her point.

My cell phone was laying out in plain sight on the coffee table, but I put on my best “Uh-oh so sorry” face and told her that the battery was dead. She pointed her phone at Janna and said, “What about you? Can I use yours?”

Janna denied having a phone. In fact, Janna uses carrier pigeons and telegraphs, that’s how certain she was that she didn’t have a phone to lend Robin.

She turned to leave, promising to return the flashlight the next day, and took her perfume of nicotine and liquor home with her.

Janna looked at me with scared eyes and said, “Oh Erin, you weren’t lying. I have never actually seen such trash in real life!” We laughed heartily, and then Janna asked, “Does she always speak with such a slur?”

Henry returned home a half hour later, dismayed that his flashlight wasn’t awaiting him, swathed in ribbon and unicorn hair.

I should note that Henry is fiercely protective of flashlights. He used to have this small green flashlight and he would seriously flip his lid anytime he caught either me or his kids playing with it. “You’re going to waste the batteries!” he’d snap, always with more venom when it was directed toward me, because he favors his kids. If someone dropped a flashlight and Riley simultaneously, Henry’s head would probably explode as he tried to determine which to catch. I have no idea what’s up with that.

Janna and I tried to piece together what we could make of Robin’s incoherent reasoning, to which Henry responded, “Great, now my flashlight is part of her meth lab. Thanks, asshole!”

Earlier this evening, we drove past her house on our way home. Her son (who just turned six and had a ghetto birthday jamboree on Friday that I was not invited to–I wouldn’t say no to cake) was standing on the porch with the door open, and Henry yelled, “I want my flashlight back!”

An hour later, I heard the outer door open and spied the silhouette of Robin’s brittle nest of hair. A soft plunk alerted that she had dropped the flashlight between the two doors. As she began her slutty sashay back to her yard, she called out through my open window that she had left the flashlight inside the doors. We think she’s intimidated of Henry (finally, someone is) because she won’t come over when he’s home.

Henry swiveled out of his chair and snatched up his flashlight, clutching it lovingly to his chest.

I still don’t understand why she needed it.

  2 Responses to “The Flashlight Folly: July 23, 2006”

  1. Don’t apologize this is good stuff! You have a way for setting scenes.

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