The Poultry and I
The trouble started two weeks ago. There was a pounding on my front door at ten o'clock at night. I ran downstairs and opened the door, and there was Gavin, one of the chickens from next door. He was panting and out of breath.
"Jesus Christ!!" he shouted, stumbling into the living room. "Farmer John just went off his freakin' rocker and started killing chickens left and right! Started lopping off heads with a short-handled axe! Holy m-----f------ crap! I've never seen anything like it! Said he was gonna sell us for meat! For meat, for God's sake! Crazy ass son of a b----! You gotta hide me! You got to!"
I sighed and agreed to give Gavin a safe house for a few nights. I'm a nice guy. He spent every waking moment pacing the living room and peering out the windows.
"He's gonna come for me, man," Gavin would say, "he knows I saw everything that went down. He can't let me walk around. He'll be here. And then....oh man...."
Then the chain-smoking began, and the sleeping with one eye open, which was just creepy in addition to him taking up half the bed, and then the raiding of the fridge. The days passed and we got on each other's nerves. He kept re-living what he had seen on the farm and swearing he was going to get on a bus out of this "godforsaken burg", and then he got all peeved when I wouldn't loan him the money. Things went downhill from there. It was clear that Gavin intended to move in permanently.
I admit it, I slipped a little Seconal into Gavin's popcorn as we were watching a Mets game. After that, I shoved him into my gym bag and walked him back over to Farmer John's. I apologized for hiding him for so long, but Farmer John was cool with it.
Last night, here it came again, the pounding on the door, this time at two a.m. It was Gavin again, flapping his little wings like mad, dashing past me as I opened the door and crawling under the piano.
"That crazy bastard snagged me in the middle of the night, stuffed me in a gym bag, and took me back to that slaughterhouse of a farm!" he cried in full panic mode. "I busted loose tonight! You see? You see? I told you he was coming for my ass! I'm lucky to be alive! You know how many chickens he's whacked over there? He's freakin' Charles Manson, man! The papers are never gonna believe it! He kills us and sells us for meat! Not in my wildest god--mn nightmares, you know what I'm saying? Come on, do me a favor, we gotta sleep in a motel tonight! Grab some stuff, we don't have much time!"
I'm having these thoughts now. Of a plump, juicy chicken breast slathered in barbecue sauce with sweet corn and a baked potato on the side, washed down with a thick chocolate shake. Hell, I haven't eaten meat in six years, but I can't seem to get the craving out of my head.
I'm scum, I know. Look, you don't need to get any further involved in this. I'll talk to you later.