Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dumb Clarence

by Walter Golden

Killing Clarence was no bad deal. It was his fault anyway. He was a critic. He was supposed to read books. But he wouldn’t read mine, so old fat boy is making Hell a brighter place tonight.
Sure it’s self-published, but that don’t make no never mind. It costs a lot to self-publish. Do you know how many liquor stores I had to hold up to get the cash? Of course I never could stay off the crystal long enough to hire one of them snooty book doctors.
Not that I need one. I learned to read in jail. I know words--even big ones.
All Clarence had to do was tell people to buy my book. No big deal. I even promised him new hubcaps for his fancy car.
Do you think he’d help? No, not mister big shot. He kept squawking about honesty, his reputation, and all that crap. It gave me a headache.
So I slipped a knife into him.
Us artistic types have needs. I hear old Papa-whoever-the-hell-he-was, used to drink rum like he owned Cuba. Me, I need meth. I use it a lot. People call me Old Meth Mouth. But the junk brings me together, makes me sharp. Clarence wasn’t sharp. He should have taken one look at me and known I was desperate.
Because I gotta to get stores to sell my book.
Because I gotta to get people to buy my book.
Because I gotta get money for a really good dentist.

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