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Matt Tompkins

EULOGY

 

A’ right so this’s a story ‘bout my unc’ Mikey on ‘ccount o’ whose mem’ry we’re ‘ere t’day a’ this App’bee’s ‘ch y’ know was ‘is fav’rite place it must ‘a’ been like three four years ‘go now me ‘n’ Mikey walk in ‘ere an’ Cal th’ bartender wave t’ ev’body Cal Cal says ‘ey Big Mikey ‘cause Mikey was in ‘ere all th’ time an’ ‘im ‘n’ Cal was p’ty tight far ‘s it goes ‘n fac’ Cal ev’n loan’ Mikey some money once an’ they come t’ blows over ‘t but no bad blood ’t’s water un’ th’ bridge an’ so now Cal says Th’ usu’l? an’ Mikey nods an’ heaves ‘i’self big-belly-first up on th’ stool an’ Cal slaps down a pape’ coast’r an’ thunks down a twen’y-two-ounc’r o’ Bud Heavy ‘ch y’ know ‘s Mikey’s drink an’ Mikey says Bott’ms up ‘r Five ’clock somewheres ‘r Nect’r o’ th’ gods ‘r no was early this case ten thirty ‘leven th’ mornin’ ‘cause we’d b’n stan’in’ out wait’n’ f’ someb’dy t’ unlock th’ f’nt door an’ Mikey ‘s feelin’ ‘barrass’d ‘cause what’s it say ‘bout ‘im waitin’ t’ get in f’ th’ firs’ beer o’ th’ day ‘fore noon nursin’ a hangover ‘r le’s face it a drunkover so Mikey says Brea’fas’ a’ champi’ns t’ sort o’ make it seem okay sort o’ poke fun like ‘f y’ c’n joke ‘bout it then ’s not a prob’m right an’ ‘e forces a laugh but th’ laugh turn int’ a nasty cough ‘cause y’ know Mikey was a heavy smoker ‘e lov’d ‘im ‘is Mar’b’s an’ prob’ly should ‘a’ quit ’r leas’ got check’d out by a doct’r but ‘e ‘i’n’t ‘ave ‘nsurance an’ doc’s ‘poin’m’ts i’n’t cheap ‘sides ‘s oth’ things come firs’ out ‘is paych’ck like ‘is beers ‘n’ smokes f’ ‘xample so anyways Mikey’s hackin’ som’thin’ fierce but ‘e jus’ picks up a co’tail na’kin off th’ bar ’n wipes th’ black phlegm out ‘is m’stache stuffs th’ na’kin in ’s jeans pocket an’ tha’s that no drama ‘cause Mikey was no-nonsense y’ know wore ‘is troubles on th’ inside kep’ it close t’ ‘is ches’ an’ so Cal turn t’ me an’ says What’ll it be young‘un so I’m like Y’ guys got Dew? ‘cause ‘course I wa’n’t old ‘nough t’ drink then an’ Cal’s like Nah Coke prod’cts so I’m like A’ right jus’ gi’ me a raspb’ry lem’nade an’ Cal nods t’ me an’ ‘en ‘e turns an’ starts chattin’ up ‘ese two waitr’sses who’re a’-right look’n’ but looks like ‘re ‘n high school ‘r maybe nineteen ‘r twenty a’ th’ mos’ so y’ got t’ fig’re somewhere in ’at barely-legal-if-’r’-legal-at-all range an’ Cal’s what forty forty-five an’ baldin’ an’ ‘s got sweat stains up ‘n th’ pitsa ’s polo ‘ch’s tight but not where ’e’d like meanin’ ‘s y’ c’n see ‘e’s maybe five-nine two-fi’ty an’ not muscly no ’ffense Cal jus’ sayin’ an’ so ’m thinkin’ c’mon Cal they c’d be y’r daught’rs f’ chris’akes an’ jus’ ‘s I’m think’n’ ‘bout sayin’ som’thin’ t’ that ‘fect Cal turns back ‘roun’ t’ us an’ ‘e’s like Yo Mikey h’ ‘bout I get y’ some boneless wings ’r some loaded skins y’ ought t’ eat som’thin’ ‘cause ‘e knows Mikey don’t get some food ‘n ‘im ‘e’ll be hurtin’ aft’ ’s secon’ beer an’ Cal’s got t’ d’cide now ’s ’e stop servin’ Mikey an’ get on th’ r’ceivin’ end o’ some misplaced temper ‘r keep on serv’n’ ’im an’ hope t’ Jesus Mikey don’t make a scene ‘cause y’ know Mikey’d make a scene ‘f ’e got riled an’ o’ course Mikey’s too full f’m all ‘at beer won’ ev’n touch th’ free pean’ts f’ Chris’ sakes so I fig’re ‘e ain’t eatin’ I will so I say t’ Cal I’ll ‘ave a chick’n ques’dilla wh’ch ‘ey do good ‘ere by th’ way w’ ‘at colby-jack blen’ good ‘mount o’ chick’n ‘em things o’ hot salsa ‘n’ sou’ cream f’ dippin’ an’ so now th’ two waitr’sses ’re standin’ by th’ hostess’ stan’ poppin’ th’r gum an’ th’ lunch crowd i’n’t in yet so what else they got t’ do ‘sides shoot th’ shit an’ one ‘em’s lookin’ our way she’s lookin’ a’ Mikey sp’cif’cly ‘n I c’n hear ’er sayin’ Oh god Madisyn look at this guy that’s so sad I hope I’m never like that or worse yet my boyfriend please just kill me you know I think maybe Tamryn might be an alcoholic did you see how drunk she got at Devin’s party last weekend but then again maybe she just likes to party right like it’s just a thing to do right but then I start wondering am I partying too much am I headed down a slippery slope should I be getting an internship or something an’ th’ other one jus’ shrugs an’ glances at ‘er phone an’ I’m thinkin’ shit I hope Mikey’s not list’nin’ to ‘em but I c’n tell ‘e’s not an’ ‘sides ‘e’s all flushed i’ th’ face now an’ y’ c’n see ’e’s feelin’ right w’ th’ world an’ ev’n ‘f ‘e heard ‘em ‘e prob’ly wouldn’ be bothered ‘e’d prob’ly jus’ laugh ‘t off an’ so now Mikey says Yo Cal gi’ me ‘nother an’ Cal’s like Maybe y’ need t’ cool it Mikey an’ Mikey’s like Th’ on’y thin’ needs t’ be cool’s th’ beer ‘n th’ f’ckin’ mug Cal-vin ‘e kinda shouts an’ slurs an’ stan’s up an’ starts wob’lin’ ‘roun’ man-tits sway’n’ an’ I’m thinkin’ shit what-all’s g’ hap’n now an’ Mikey’s turn’n’ green like ‘e might puke hold’n’ th’ bar rail t’ keep ’m steady an’ aft’ maybe ten sec’n’s Mikey stops sway’n’ an’ looks real serious an’ says real low-’n’-slow I said ‘nother beer Cal don’ make me bitchslap y’ an’ Cal’s eyes go real wide an’ I’m thinkin’ ah shit ‘ere goes but ‘en Cal cracks right up an’ nex’ Mikey’s laugh’n’ too god res’ ‘is soul an’ ‘en ‘e’s wet-hackin’ more o’ th’ tar int’ ’is phlegm-na’kin an’ ‘em two waitr’sses’re look’n’ like th’r eyes’re ‘bout t’ bug out th’r heads but y’ c’n tell th’re try’n’ t’ keep f’m laughin’ too an’ th’ tension jus’ goes right out th’ room an’ Cal thunks down ‘nother beer ‘n’ ‘nother raspb’ry lem’nade an’ ’s like Y’re a real s’n’bitch Mikey y’ know an’ I s’pose tha’s m’ poin’ Mikey a’ways knew ‘ow t’ ligh’n th’ mood ev’n up t’ th’ en’ when ‘s lungs ‘n’ liv’r ‘n’ pancr’s w‘s all giv’n out ‘e nev’ did c’plain leas’ not ‘t I heard jus’ liv’n’ ‘s life an’ y’d nev’ ‘a’ known ‘e w‘s dyin’ ‘at’s f’ sure leas’ not f’m ‘is d’mean’r tho’ m’be f’m ‘is cough’n’ blood ‘n’ phlegm an’ f’m ‘s faint’n’ spells an’ f’m ‘s green-gray c’plexion an’ th’ way ‘e di’n’ hardly know who ‘r where ‘e was ‘roun’ th’ en’ ‘ere but ‘e a’ways tried hard t’ lif’ th’ spir’ts o’ ev’body ‘roun’ ‘im an’ ‘at’s som’th’n’ t’ be said f’ ‘m ‘t y’ can’t say f’ jus’ ev’body so are-eye-god-dam’-pee Mikey y’ liv’d ‘til y’ died an’ it is what ‘t is an’ we’ ‘s all better f’ know’n’ y’ oh an’ don’t f’get th’ firs’ roun’ o’ Bud Heavies ‘s on th’ fam’ly an’ he’p y’se’f t’ a c’mem’tive pack o’ Mikey’s Marb’s on y’ way out ‘e’d jus’ stock’d up on a coupl’ o’ cart’ns ‘fore ‘e pass’d but i’n’t ‘at jus’ th’ way ‘t goes an’ y’ can’t take it wi’ y’ so le’s don’t let ‘em go t’ was’e.

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