A pale white fellow with a Jehovah’s Witness smile sidled up to me. My body tensed in apprehension. He bent at the waist and leaned towards me. He was going to say something. There was no avoiding it.
“Do you believe in the Rapture?” he asked, his eyeballs seemed ready to pop out of his head.
I looked away. Where was Montana? How did I get in this fix?
“Rapture this,” said the erstwhile Charlie McCarthy, with an obscene gesture.
My face, frozen in rictus, looked down at my petulant puppet. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad, after all.
“Are you talking about a stupid fantasy dreamed up by John Darby in 1830, or are you talking about sex, you castrated cock sucker?” asked Charlie. The pasty face of the challenger turned ashen. He made the sign of the cross and punched me in the nose.
Charlie bit him on the wrist.
I took the man’s shirtsleeve and cleared my nostrils on it. No blood. Everything was all right. Charlie let go of the attacker and the man pranced off into the din. I wanted a drink so bad I could taste it.
The chattering, blustering, gesticulating mob of opinionated noisemakers flowed around me like the surf breaking on a shore.
“What does a fellow have to do to get a drink around here?” I called out to this one and to that one. It seemed they were all deaf and blind to me.
Charlie’s head swiveled back to face me. “Let’s split this pop stand,” he said.
“Yes, by all means,” I agreed.
I pushed myself up from the sofa, my one hand buried up Charlies’ yielding behind, and I bobbed through the mob.
“The Zionists are Nazi’s,” said one fellow.
“Muslim terrorists are killing everyone,” said another one.
“We need ‘boots on the ground’,” said a fellow who looked like John McCain.
“Give peace a chance,” said some dead guy.
I finally made it out of the madness and elbowed my way into the kitchen. A double-wide refrigerator that looked like it was made of brushed aluminum beckoned. The deft little hands of my puppet opened the door and grabbed a can of beer. He rolled it along my fevered temples before popping it open.
“Hey there, big guy,” said Cindy Crawford, bending down to me. She was wearing just a pair of blinding white jeans and I blushed when she brushed against me.
“Hi Cindy,” I said. I was stuck for words beyond those two.
“Come. Let’s get away from this crowd so we can talk,” she said.
“Pssssht,” said the beer can when Charlie popped its top.
Some foam sprayed out and hit the floor in front of me. I was embarrassed purple. Cindy smiled so demurely and crooked her index finger at me. Like a dog on a chain, without a single thought of rebellion, I followed.
She paused before a heavy wooden door (that appeared to be an entry door) and waited for me to catch up. I took a refreshing swallow of beer and felt its cold company slide down my gullet.
Charlie cocked his head and said to her (in a brazen, demanding tone), “I’m lonesome. Where are all my friends?”
“They are just inside,” said Cindy, with a beautymark grin. The hinges on the door whined and grated, resisting her. But she was tough enough. The door swung open and we followed her.