Short story from Jim Meirose

Frankie of the Hot Harbors

Come tin. Tin in the basement. Need tin. It’s in the basement.
I mean, I mean to tell you, there’s plenty of tin in the basement, if that’s what you need. In the basement, if that’s what you need, is more tin. But, we fail to see, senor, we fail—fail to see why you need so much tin. Why do you need so much tin? Can you tell us, can you tell you—tell us ell u ll’? Pasta, la Frankie?

Frankie of the hot harbors is here. Hear him coming? He is in town, and he’s in town, and, he’s coming. He’s coming here, right here; here he is—Frankie, hot harbors? Hot harbors, Frankie? Need tin? Need more tin? Right here. Right here, and there, and there here and there, do you see it? I see it Frankie, you have come to the right place. Has it been that often you’ve come to the very right place, the right the very right place, Frankie, in your life? Up ‘til life up ‘til now ‘p ‘il now, Frankie?

Frankie! Frankie! Why you not answer me, Frankie? Why? Why you not answer me?
Victor slammed the cell door over. Turning to his partner, he said, Come on, it’s break time. Let’s go.
Hard all day listening to this, you think?
Yeah, hard is right. Right time, very hard. But, Frankie—why you do this to me, Frankie? Why why why—why? 
Why you make fun of me, Frankie? Why you make fun?

Go with the black and blue

The coffee poured. It’s been made fresh five priors, by the prior breakers, using the break room. As they poured their coffees, they saw scratched all ‘cross and over the tabular-toppe, Frankie; as Frankie does, you want ta’ go walking out, Frankie? You do want? I do want, too, but—must first make this coffee. You know when the pot goes empty the right things to do’s is’s to set up new brew. For the next guy. You get?

Yes, I get; buht not verry-y-one’s decent in the break room. Be thankful, Frankie, the pot’s not boiled empty full of cracklin’ black ash! Remember that time I scrubbed one down and out that and it bursted my hand out that bloody shatter? Remember that, Frankie? Mem-meber that blood showering shatter? Does it please you, Frankie, to mem-ember that? Trala? How’s about a new pot, Frankie? See the shards all re-essemble back-ards, like they did after that time I scrubbed one down, and out that, and it bursted my hand out that bloody shatter? 

Remember that, Frankie? And you were funny, really, so funny, you said, That’s the way it goes sometime, you know, you just red got to green go with the black and blue got to go with it go with the way it wants to go. Blue. ‘cause it will any way, Buckie? That s’wy that s’wy? Love your dog, so, y’know? Love your dog doggie do’ d’ get my drift got ut 5 4 3 2 1 got my—drift? 1 2 3 4 5? Frankie? Love your dog.

Hammer ‘em home 

They rolled with laughter at that one, just as the bulkerheaded fat square door of their muse opened, and in strode their Frankie, again.
Eh, Frankie!

Yahm, Frankie!
Get gone dad needs me under that car; he needed this wrench, and that socket, and it was amazing! He’d say five eighths open end, Frankie—half inch socket quarter inch box moon like when way, way back ‘member, Frankie—when we were helping the creator get up the light? Under that seventh Studebaker ye Pop-pop scrapped out? Eh ‘member that Frankie, mem-ember that dat?

Frankie at Eiknarf mem-member that? Let there be light, he said? Eh? Eh? 
Let there be light, eh let there be light, eh, eh let there be light eh, e’ ‘h, Frankie?
Eh ‘member that Frankie, mem-ember that, dat? Eh, Frankie?
Hammer ‘em home.
Frankie you there?
Yes! I do member that. Dos way dat way, we member. Dis dat. Dis and dat.

Hammer ‘em home Frankie! But, look Luke the bible’s closed over the ratatangle’s locked shut, and the celebrant himselve’s gone to chambers. Atchoo! Two to break’s end. Drink fast.
But it’s too hot. 
Hammer ‘em home.
That did not stop those who’s job’s to run in when everybody’s else’s ran out. 

Break’s over, Frankie!

I can’t help that them, Frankie!
I cannot help that them, u’ the coffee needs cooling, uh’, there’s got to be more break time for that, Frankie. Can we extend it out, Frankie? Can we, oh can we oh, yes for can we extend, it, for sure; we extend it can extend it more, out.?
Yes! And, no-wise. Those are the only three answers this rig can support right now.

Quite ballsy of you, Frankie, but tell me oh, tell me—you have done a very good job of distracting us from your real self, that’s the one needs tin, needs oh so much, tin why, are you asking, blip, for so damned much tin, Frankie? Why, oh why, o why, Frankie? Some big war up ‘hind your horizon, Ben Frankie?
Goot, sliver—Trolli time! Time to get back, the bell’s coming. Some big war up ‘hind you then, eh? Hurry het up ready to dash back the bell’s coming oh, no.
Break’s over, Frankie!

In this Hot Harbors

They got back all legal, and reopened the cell door—and tin more tin, God, we need more tin eh, enjoy your coffees? Bell. More tin. God, yes! We enjoyed our coffees. Bell. Very very much good of you, tin tin, b tin e, to l ask l that, Frankie. But—Frankie, oh bell Frankie, hope you enjoyed, but, why do you need so much tin, Frankie bell. Too much tin gets quite fishy! Come with me sir, and bring your bags with you. Bell. Bell. We are the customs police, sir, its our job to get to the bottom of things, sir, but I will miss my flight and my sister will worry bell bell sir you got no problem but all must be examined. All bell tin tin bell, bell, Frankie, ah, Cell-Door, Frankie! Cell door! 

Ah, but all must be heck-sammined. Especially here. In this Hot Harbors, all must always be examined for the per-tection of the public. Plus you may call your sister tell her of the delay. Want to call your sister to tell her of the delay, Frankie? While we search your luggage for the delay? The tin for tin bell o’ the delay, your delay Frankie, our Frankie, by Frankie; do you wish to call your sister ‘n inform her of your delay bell bell bell lleb lleb lleb eh eh Frankie? You cool daddy-o, snappy dresser, you ‘dere ‘dat you be come on, come on, whistle us up, want to do ‘dat phone call now, Frankie?
Whistle us up, whistleus-up, whistle us up, into tin-land, rat Frankie?
Frankie, Frankie, Frankie wot, rat? Terrier terrier terrier—Frankie wot, Rat?
Whistle us up into tin-land, rat Frankie. No! No-not rip! Not bend, not rip, not roar, bend, not roar, cry r-r-r-rip cry, not bend, no not—twinnering! 
Swee’ mem-seur! 

By my graciously sorrowful Panda

We have now become two! 
Blessed be, blessed be—wait, no—we have been two all along. What did ya’ thinque?
Wak wok yesz-bam-boo. By my graciously sorrowful Panda companion, see this watch mime mine—break time again—whistle, yip! Soon henda-day hansie’s big tinnery & global petunians meeting hall—truckers welcome! 
Oops. Dropped our beads. One moot please-us.
Okay. Big bags in this diner, eh? Frankie?

Yes, dad. And ‘specially since we’re now gone downhill head’d top out the boothole of the back of yet another day, but—anyhow—now ‘at you’ve got our ‘ttention—and are done mastering that big trombone—what’s all this tin crush snap rip tear yelling out loud? This tinny din what’swat called it now—heck, ah, tin cry! What, the tinning tin cry, wot! The tin-cry-nin-whot-g the tinning tin cry of the lambs silent lower that there’s  a question for you, my sweet dolly-faced Mercury; can there be a sound lower than none, a negative sound, which-wha’ din, ‘stead tin cry of twinning pushing your drums in as your body’s designed for, does s’ su-u-u-uck your drums back out to pop off their framesets, and when the negative sound being so tremendously lower than silent as to suck your tin ears out from your face; nyah nyah nyah rip-snap out their frameworks? 

Something! And, I don’t know what something’s going to happen scientifically which someday more advanced minds from yours will be able to understand, what? Only I know of this, right now, and explain and charge big money to—make the tin cry, no no, the drum cry, s’ ‘at this will be; and, as two drums are normally issued to ‘cept’n those few odd loners found at the bottom of some Florida sinkholes, otherside known as the Bismarcks f’ Hoodlian-boys of the develing archangel’s hop frogging whipmen—uuuuuuuuuuuu much too hard to catch, see, touch, or believe in at all. Imagine the touch of your chosen God’s hand; imagine the touch of the hand of the Buddha; Jesus; Mohammed; Arjuna von Krishna; or or ‘tis all the names we know, and we’re lazy, so I know you’re following the pointer tip a’ rubberized ending off that big woody whipping stick all grade school big black white holy nuns wield, to, hit you, and hit you, and hit you hit you hit you to gasp, to knuckle you down; pansies, whoop; what style rings would your God purchase, Frankie? 

What rings? What watches? What rings, or what watches? What God is yours, Frankie? What will they purchase from you? Rings? Or watches? Is the savior tempted by gold more than silver? What cologne qua what deoderenizzerian spray ball or rub; and, in the company of Gods, do shoes make the man? If not, then the shoes of this-that savior have little or no bearing. 

Down a Hot Fluming Log-Ride

Necroadymancia; ‘fter wise the powers informed us, hot Frankie, hot maybe might (‘r might not jus’ also) benefit from a d-day at the local Theame Parke (adjacent to that big controversial tannery building wha’ smells to hot heavenly, eight miles wider than high) but that being downwind of us the time-date we’d get there, it was a good idea we thought also as who cares, really, how it benefits this patient and wh—who cares, really, ‘f it takes his mind away from his dead spothole bored into his deep that he’s here to get healed over and who cares, uh, who—cares rub dub dub—but; when we both cleared our showers, and compared equal notes, acc’ding to the two-man control of all wizardry rule which, State prison, I have never experienced. I wonder what it is like, the Dad said to her as she sat reading up on that rule. She looked up to answer, ignoring the small boy highchaired ‘n ‘tween them, saying, Huh? State prison? Why specifically state prison? Have you experienced other kinds of prisons and never told us? Whoop?

No, knotsie, me never been to prison, bo-noonos hove any kind to, at the waterside shipdock at all dock the ship hove to it hove to—this passed through the small boy, sat still in ‘tween, thinking into the sailing ship painting back the wall behind them—the beautiful, What? I just said something little like that, and you jump ri’ ‘top me to pluck it all apart! Je-johnsola, suss! 

Buggo; within the boy they saw her arm thrust o’er the far shipbow, obscuring its blue ‘hind the swift blur of her tension. 
Pluck it apart? It seemed a good question, no scabyank required, oush, don’t you hate it when you’rer watching a good show, and you do that without thinking, my God—my God, why did you not just say prison—as in any prison, just slid from her out from under the slowly digesting text of the two-man-control rule white paper she’d been reading she did not reach it in time so let herself say, Why state? Why specifically state? Why did God not make us to get rigid and immobile when distracted way past into and through the action on our TV sets? You could have said federal! Where’d the phrase hove to come from? 

So we do not pick our scabs off prematurely, ouch, TV was not invented yet when God created the universe, huh? What about when God created man? Somebody probably meant to say something Dionysian else and it got corrupted out ouch and they thought hey, hove to’s got a snap to it! Plus God’s supposed to know everything that will happen and has happened so for sure he’d know all about the TV. And so county jail, city holding cell, overnight New York city drunk tank, stretch, and hey, parabola; parabola’s a great word; look it up, what’s it mean? What a beautiful ship on the wall a hundred bottles of beer also men, take one down and pass it around, and uh-oh where’d the ship go, sob, sob. The squall had passed quickly. So, they ate the rest of the meal in silence, God, and silver—silver and God and, there round the corner ‘cross from a fat-red big tilty-whirl, more whiplike actually, but—great restaurant-quality presentation if you ask me—there, said Frankie! Log flume! Said Frankie, said, Frankie log, Frankie flume! Log Frankie flume! Frankie flume! I want to go on the log flume, so there, there it is, wheezed Frankie. 

The Pacificist Nord-west loomerjanck’s flume ride looked quite dangerous, if not too scary, really, so; we got in, the like, we two—because, only one of us two, who each are not Frankie, who brought Frankie here, paid his way, used our own money, which we were hash-sewered ’d be reuniversed ‘ack to us, and, so. Him or me, take your pick, got in the ride with Frankie, and; the bombs away’s not scary if your in the way high up bomberplane; after all, why should it be after all all, why the hot, hello la-l’ hell, should it? We are not below, but up here, so bombs away and below are all just one target, so equally apprehensively, we all got in. 

Simultaneous bomb and target target and bomb wrapped into one, we thus became, so, what could possibly go wrong? Plus, two beings, just one bang—swoop! Bullets are expensive; the clickery slicked highschool part-timer running the show pushed a steel something forward; but, these are not; and so, that caused the—fast, fall, slip, slide, rush, and lunge, chain saw waterfall baby-boo styled mincemeated down big-Nixon stew prexy-ex-candidate, nope, no—sss’ superhuman buzz too loud, no brakes o’ gravity so flail your arms, Frankie, the-the logs smash down, Frankie, ha hey why you flail your arms huh? No gas, Frankie? just gravity the flume’s first big soaker Nehi Orange no tin up there Frankie taking you down to his like a bomb-splash slam-nee nii noo no tin rin-rin down there n-neither soaked all cold icy hoo Cliquot Club s’ go go go cold down and around pulled rattlin’ roll pull faster grav’ faster yell scream go go no one can help you hah ah ‘h ‘til down at the end through great waves o’ drownin’ mist stopped up, we—slam! 
Jesus Christ!
Frankie; no tin, no tin, no tin.
Yes? Drifts off the clouds.
No tin no tin no, tin—tin.
Shut up, Frankie! Very funny. 


 Roundy ‘bout dripped tin, in the basement; stone, coarse, fine stone, laid down in, no mortar nee’, ‘fter all they could build this whole correctisseum with not one inch of portable, or, in the case of the stationary version of these types of machines, not one to three centispheres wrong of only and just the slight touch of glu’ needed to keep all safely in place. I mean, we don’t ‘ppreciate the unseens below the boards th’ push up our soles and keep us all safely up here, there, and maybe nearly everywhere indoors, where we may choose, or be told, or just by chance stumble into, be, that we don’t just sluice down disappeared into the floor like the last push of a wave sinks down in the sand when everything about the wave is over as we’ll be over as we’ll over be gone dead and dumb and worse yet here in this worse yet job. 

By all that’s currently Basilio’s, hair-tonicala’d slap! Tin! cries out Frankie-cat; tin tin, tin and, more tin, it he, hic! Who cries out jess’ nasty; roundy-witch’s call up out and over, o’ the hot trouble light hung over, that with the currently fashionable orange caged plasticuloed boned-over style, they never installed sufficient lamplights o’er this gate, to that other side, where—tin and more tin and tin and more Frankie! Hey, Frankie! As they began laying the stones, heaven beamed down past them ‘oth, but; ess-cause of flowers the false yes of the log flume the small squirrely disneyized pout faces watching ahead, for the entire span of the log flume ride’s moveable existence, and oh, yah, it may sound glamorous, sure eck; yah slap give that here to ride me all day ‘round down slushlian-splashey followed by mass upon mass of noisy delight-squeals cast out ‘head from behind, so! 

But there, Max, listen up; we do know you’re there—but ‘t ‘verynienneday’s end comes the shutdown; the park; the cut of the juice; the throw of the switch and the twist of the lock, so wise making it so that everybody’s gone until tomorrow. And then, so falls ‘ver rollery-dicelike sentences, thus; the lucky flume log out in the open, when the ride cut down, may enjoy some few additional moments of light until the sun falls to the hay, but, tin the unluckies m’mediately plugged in the dark when the power plug pulled back leaving them—there. No sunlight no starlight no moon light, no chance. Tin. 

Maybe the same, ‘cause the switch’s the thing, Frankie; not the tin man, the ghost’s servant, or the mere presence of beasts—and, to wit; the juice’s all useless when continuity’s broken not to mention if the man just  happens to be of bronze and the only ‘vail-labled up weapon’s the now useless juice, itself—spesh’ when they drop the bagged apples in the steamy can—underseat under, but—nope much too sombre, sombrero, ‘brer’, Sir Hip Hot Hooone the man said abruptly, archy-stretching with the aid of a palm’s out swift slappyback soooooo, that, These damned stones, I could swear, you know, each of these stones is a hairybout heeviar than it's very last one’s last self’s before, which, in the Einstinian sense, can and seems to have, happened here—although, it really happened over there.  At least that’s what I see. Are you also noticing this, eh?

I don’t think about the stones, or whatever else may be, when doing a job like this.
Oh, yah, since the war was lost, yes—but—for me, anyway, after the first few stone courses ‘re laid down in this push to a wall, the motions are the same. So? Here’s so—given there are no subtly shifting interconnected changes la’ stone over stone over ad infinitum as the wall grows higher, I can just shut the gas down the autoplitineelio and cruise my way upt’a duh last course way high so high which, in most thirty-thousand foot cruise of most walls being of this particular nature, having a definite top-ceiling to flow smoothly into, might need this chip, that cut, these adjustments, or those thereabouts, by my very last Jiminy Cricket of a ragged bone wipering bladeset, see—ten stones got set by my hands alone, while I was just pontificating your way, out just now—so. You see it?

I do see, but keep at the job will you please. Thanks.
Oh, y’; it does get somewhat shady by the ends of the days lately. Do you feel, after all? No, wait—eh, Frankie! You tired up of your yearn, Frankie, hip-hoppo Frankieutanian—you tire yet of ur constantantial yearn? Hey I’m talking to you ba’ there ‘y! No happy, no happy—tin, more tin, please, Frankie! Good God please, more tin, and more tin, and; do you ever tire off from overhearing yourself this tedious too loud everlasting yearn? Ah ah! Rice briars! 1234567 The stones though bup bop so heavy eck cune—7654321 hey in there, Frankie; you feeling it too?

Stone atop stone atop courses run higher an’—heavier too. Do you think we can make it? Do think boy-b uhhh, this one day’s grown unearthly long.   
Frankie, are you? 
From his back; come tin. Tin in the basement. Need tin. It’s in the basement.
Still? God, go; an’ see, ess—there’s just an empty plane wall, of bone that way—and this way—and all the possible six ways’ sidenesses up down’n gone. Terrible. So terrible, we mean, Dennie O’Day said it best; There you see it? Then, there’s the uh, oh. Hey. Know what?

No, what? But after this no more, pausing for jokery. This job needs doing. Know, what?
Watch any treetop hard enough, and you’ll see the forever breeze.
But get goan’, pop! Get get, eh, warts, but—now look at this crap! Why I do why I do, said the other, letting his trowel hang loose at his side—why, when the end is; this?
What? This?
Look around. See? We can never build this wall high enough.

Look down there. See?
Uh—wow. I, uh—why—why the Hell didn’t we see this sooner?
Uh. Stupid I guess.
Aw, shucks. Silly me.
Snap fingers.
Snap fingers.
Snap fingers.
Stop. Go.
Head home.
Makes no difference to Frankie.

Jim Meirose’s work has appeared in numerous venues. His novels include “Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer”(Optional Books), “Understanding Franklin Thompson”(JEF), “Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection”(Mannequin Haus), and “No and Maybe – Maybe and No”(Pski’s Porch). Info: @jwmeirose

One thought on “Short story from Jim Meirose

  1. Challenging. Is it possible to create work like this in an unaltered state, or does it require chemical assistance?

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