JOHNNY CAME BY - barry basden


barry basden

He rode in on a little red Honda yesterday evening. Came all the way from Sacramento. Took him four days. Said he stopped in Phoenix and my dad gave him twenty bucks for gas. Last of the big spenders that guy. He still owes me the twelve hundred he stole when I was in the army.

Johnny said he was pissing blood from the road vibrations. He sat on the bike in the driveway while we talked. Mary Lou wouldn't let him in the house after last time. That was long ago, but she's like that. Well, he's still my son no matter what.

Then a grackle flew over and splattered him and it ran down behind his ear and into his collar. I hosed it off as best I could and gave him everything I had in my wallet before he rode off.

I stood there awhile listening to those fucking birds settle into the top of the tall cedar by the garage. I thought about taking the shotgun to them but decided against it. Sure as I did out there in the dark, one of those paranoid dopeheads across the street would start shooting back.

Barry Basden
Jayne Pupek