This was in a bar in a pointless place, like Pocatello, Idaho.
I'd been in town a few weeks.
As I was drifting through I answered an ad
and got a job washing windows on the businesses downtown.
I was paid half of minimum wage, but I had job security.
It was the dustiest fucking town the Earth ever shit out.
I went to the same bar every night and drank until closing time.
It was a dirty, ugly place,
but the beer was cheap and popcorn was free,
and the other working class jerks got used to me being there.
After I'd been coming there every night for about a week,
with my feathers a mess from dirty, soapy water,
and me just wanting to kill the night
with beer and noise and juke box music
and whatever stupid shit was on the TV,
a guy decided I was the guy he would tell his story to.
He slid on over to the empty stool next to me,
and seeing that my beer was almost empty,
he gestured to the bartender for two more.
Great game, huh? he said, looking up the baseball game on TV.
They got a great team this year.
Sure, I said, as the fresh bottle appeared in front of me.
I don't know anything about baseball.
Most human sports seem beyond stupid to me.
What line of work you in? he asked.
Sanitation, I said.
Well, there's always demand for that, he said.
Next he started telling me about his line of work: insurance.
He tells me how he travels three or four days a week.
It's hard. He doesn't like to travel.
He used to be married.
His wife couldn't stand him being away all the time.
She thought he was cheating on her,
so she started cheating on him.
He had been cheating on her.
It was for the best, he told me. I nodded.
He ordered another round.
What about you? he asked.
Not married, I told him, and that was enough.
He didn't want to listen. He wanted to talk.
He was getting drunk.
He was getting drunk enough to tell me what he wanted to tell me.
He had a new girlfriend, a real looker, a real beauty.
Great ass, he said. I'm an ass man. You an ass man?
Not specifically, I told him.
I want to do her in the ass, he says, but she keeps saying no.
Too bad, I say.
I want him to go away, but he's enthusiastic about telling me all this.
She told me there's no what she's letting me do that to her
unless I'm willing to do it to myself, he tells me.
Um, I say.
At first I think no way, but then one day I was walking on the beach.
I was walking along and I see this rock. It's about this long,
and he holds up his index finger.
It's this long, about this thick, and smooth.
I figure I could take this, and then she would have to let me do it to her.
Uh, I say. He orders another round.
So I take it home to try it. I get in the shower, cover it in Vaseline,
and I shove it up there. It doesn't hurt much, goes right in.
Then you know what happens?
No, I tell him.
I can't get it back out! It's up there. I'm poking in with my fingers
trying to grab it and it just goes further in. It goes in forever.
Too bad, I say.
Yeah. I don't want to go to the doctor.
How do you explain a rock up the ass?
I don't want to wait and poop it out,
because then I would have to get it out of the toilet.
Wouldn't it just flush? I ask.
Not sure, he says. He didn't want to take the chance.
So I was in the shower for half an hour pushing, fingering my ass,
trying to get the thing out. It was awful.
Oh, I say.
It finally came out, he says.
That's good, I say.
Now I don't mind taking it up the ass, he says.
Oh. Um. Uh.
He puts ten dollars down on the bar and gets up.
Have a good night pal, he says.
Good talking to you.
You too, I tell him.
I've just got that kind of face, I guess.
You can tell things to a bird that you can't tell another man.
But now I have to find another bar to drink in after work.
Why the hell can't he talk to the robins in the park?
But in the end it was just one of those things that happened.
I thought about putting it in a book one day,
but it has no place in any story.
It was just one of those things.