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!”
“YOU MOVE OUT. THIS PLACE IS MINE!”
“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.