It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, Part CXII

It was Saturday, January 7, 1989.

You might recall a couple of weeks ago – Wyatt, my omni-addicted roommate, decided to start selling cocaine from our hovel on the East Side of Saint Paul, to “pay up what he owed me” among other things.

I hadn’t had the highest hopes on that.

Like most things in life, the situation lived down to, and below, my least stringent expectations.

He hadn’t started paying the bills. He had, however, been dipping into the stock – so in addition to selling coke out of the house and from the bar during his evening “job” (as a a bouncer at a sleazy bar on University), he was starting to behave less rationally.

On the other hand, there was the never-ending entertainment of watching the parade of bimbos trooping through the house even faster. He’d occasionally bring home a floozy from a bar during the day, bring one home after his “shift”, and then have the girlfriend over after he shooed floozy #2 on her way.

But the bills? They went begging.

It was about 5PM. I’d just made a frozen pizza, and was watching some Kung Fu movie in the living room, on a ratty recliner that one of us had dragged home.

Wyatt slouched through from the kitchen. “I’m headin’ out to Fargo with Michelle”, he said, referring in his fake arklahoma accent to one of the semi-regular floozies “to the casino”. He was addicted, need I add, to gambling.

It’d be a mistake to say I “snapped”. But I had had about enough.

“You got money for blackjack?” I looked up from the TV. “Could you spare a buck or two for the rent or the NSP?”

Shane, sitting on the couch, looked at us.

“F**k you” Wyatt muttered, continuing toward the stairs.

“I’ll take that as a no?”

He turned around, and stomped back into the room, shoulders squared back, teeth gritted, standing right in front of the chair.

“F*WK YOU!” he bellowed.

“Uh huh”, I nodded my head. “I pretty well am, these days”.

“YOU ARE F**KING PATHETIC!” he bellowed. “YOU WANNA F*CK WITH ME?”, he said, grabbing the arms of the chair on either side of me, leaning over until his face was three inches from mine. “I WILL EAT YOU! THE STRONG EAT THE WEAK! AND YOU ARE THE WEAK!”

It smelled like booze.  His eyes looked coked-up.
Kick him in the nuts, I thought to myself. Buy yourself enough time to get out of the chair. Pull the knife, I thought, the lockblade that I kept in my back pocket and cut him up. Kill him.

Wyatt stood up and stomped to the stairs.

“Yeah, “strong”, Mister Addicted-To-Everything”, I muttered, standing up, reaching my hand into my back pocket for the knife just in case.

“FA*K YOU”, he bellowed. “THE STRONG EAT THE WEAK!”

Come back here and do something, you f****ng scumbag, I thought. Give me an excuse. I don’t care anymore.

“Wow”, Shane said, grinning grimly. Wyatt was into him for bill money, too.

“You need to move the f*ck out of here!”, I yelled.

“F*CK YOU!”, he yelled from upstairs.

“Pay the bills, or move out!”


“Pay the bills or move out”, I yelled, stepping into my room. I slipped on my tweed jacket I wore to work.

The one with the little .22 pistol stuck deep in the pocket.

Wyatt had to go.

18 thoughts on “It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, Part CXII

  1. Mitch wrote:

    “I slipped on my tweed jacket I wore to work.

    The one with the little .22 pistol stuck deep in the pocket.

    Wyatt had to go.”

    Aw, don’t leave us hanging, Mitch! Did you shoot Wyatt?

  2. I know what somebody’s gotta go means in “Sopranos” speak. I wonder if Mitch was speaking the same dialect.


    Are you sure you weren’t living with Dwight Schrute?

  4. How could you not effing laugh when a guy like Wyatt says shit like that?!?!?!

    Holy effing shit… was he saying that for your benefit, Mitch, or his? (I suspect we know the answer.)

  5. Your stories suggest that at times, you are a far more patient man than I, Mitch. Methinks that I’d have had the cops “visit” Wyatt when it became clear he was indeed dealing coke.

    Then again, thankfully I’ve never been there, so I guess I don’t know exactly how I would respond. I hope I never learn.

  6. I was just thinking, it this were a dvd, I would’ve skipped to the end to see what happens to the druggie.

    (And then I would’ve run for a psychology textbook to try and figure out why someone like that had no trouble bagging scores of women while I couldn’t get the one gal I fell for in college to respond in kind.)

  7. I know in several cases, I get the ‘what is said in the garage stays in the garage’ addendum to some of these stories, so I can’t wait for the next fire in the back yard *grin*

  8. God I hope Wyatt is AngryClown and that you or Shane kicked his ass.

    It sounds like him.

    …and you did say you knew him.

    …and God knows he’s still snorting something.

  9. There was a semi-lunatic guy who picked a fight with me at Christiansen’s (now Hot Rocks or something else) on University near Snelling about this time when I was living in a nearby apartment. Being docile I demurred. He was a drunk, high, Jackson Browne type guy.
    I had lived in the neighborhood since 1976 but the University bar people were from somewhere else I think – maybe some of them worked at the industrial area near the Cromwell bar further west on University.

  10. “Christiansen’s (now Hot Rocks or something else)”

    Christiansen’s (as in Big Vs Chirstiansens I believe) and Hot Rods are two different places, on the same block, and both are still there and open. I haven’t been in either one in years, but did sell pull tabs in Chistiansens about 10 years ago. Scary place.

  11. Christiansens’s is still there, all right.

    Hot Rod’s used to be Mr. B’s. My band played a few gigs there back in the day.

  12. I’m guessing that some of Wyatt’s business acquaintances were also inquiring politely into when they might see some remuneration, and that their jackets weren’t tweed and their little pocket pals were about double the caliber of your .22.

  13. Snelling and Uni? What a wonderful area to grow up in in the 1980s (slight sarcasm); I had to explain to my friends at my private school just *why* I referred to sirens as a “Midway lullaby”.

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