More of Paulie’s Past Plights

Diary entry: I was just coming to, my head hurt, I didn’t know where I was, I heard distant bells, like ship bells, was I lying under the docks at Shing Dong harbor again or was I imagining the whole thing, no, this time it was real, real like an ex wife’s alimony payment, I wasn’t gonna wake up out of this one, put my slippers on and go to the bathroom, no, I was really here this time, I knew I would have to move and move fast, I couldn’t move, my legs felt like lead, I knew I wouldn’t be moving fast, not for a while anyway, Shing Dong was a dirty harbor town, far to the north, up where decent people never go, where the dregs of society all meet to plan whatever it is they plan, where dirty drunken men sing sea songs and stumble down darkened alleyways, yes, this town was dirty, dirty with street peddlers, wayward men, and some kind of animal instinct for blood, yes, and murder, murder of an extraordinary kind, a murder unlike any I’ve ever seen, the first of it’s kind I have ever written about, and this murder would, in all probability, remain unsolved… Diary entry: C’mon man, why would anyone have a baby and call their son “Dick”, I mean what’s the conversation anyway, the lady says”Aw, he looks like a dick to me”, and the guy says, “Well then, dick it is”, I just don’t get it, anyway, Dick isn’t such a bad name, there was some guy in the neighborhood whose name was Penis and we hated his guts… Diary entry: We were two hundred miles off the coast, due west of Santa Carmelita, the sea was boiling, boiling like a cauldron with the lid on, we were taking on water, the engine was out, this was looking like the last pickle, the big one, the big pickle, the one that bites you when you don’t expect it, flyin’ high, then splat, right smack into a boiling ocean, this is not how I wanted it to be, no, I didn’t want to go out like this, no, I had plans, big plans, why did I ever listen to Mr. Kim anyway, Mr. Kim’s Bird Nest Diner and Opium Den was the finest establishment in all Shing Dong, out on the edge of town, away from the rotten core of putrifying humanity that the town was known for, Kim had a deal for me, a business proposition, I had made my last deal with Kim and Kim knew it but Kim was persuasive, shrewd, savvy, he knew every angle, he used every advantage, when Kim got drunk he would continually say “My lever is long and stout”, “My lever is long and stout”, over and over, in that high pitched squeaky Oriental voice, the whole prefecture knew Kim, Kim was a barrel of gasoline and no one was about to cause a spark, Mr. Kim had killed a man and everyone knew it but nothing was ever said, people don’t even whisper about it, that’s how powerful and persuasive Kim is, I wish I’d never met him, never worked for him, never taken his money, but here I was, sinking into the ocean along with Kim’s boat, I could spit on Kim’s ancestor’s graves, I despised Kim, his power. his money, his black onyx eyes that glared through torn eyelids, eyes that could penetrate steel…


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