Litkicks Message Board Archive

Nick the Stick

Posted to Poetry




we didn't know what the fuck to think when the coke vial fell out of nick the stick's vest pocket and rolled, rolled almost off the boardroom table and then SNATCH! his long thin bony hand curled around the vial, scooped it up

- and it was gone

half of us sat there stunned

the other half not just quite sure
of what it was we thought we saw

some of us though,
we knew

but the meeting, it went on
ten men
and just two women
it was 1991
seated around the boardroom table
nick kept up with his preso
never breaking stride
not once
a brilliant, bravo
performance

and when the meeting ended
the clients, they went home
while the rest of us
we scratched our domes
and later retired to the nearest bar
drinking away the day
talking about the client

meanwhile, secretly, just an hour later
after the meeting, skillful
nick was called up
by him the man
the man
in the executive suite
in the corner
office
big chuck, seated there behind his
sparkling desk
river scenes and clouds
floating behind chuck's head
mirrored in smoke glass window colors
blue, and ochre lemon yellow reds

now, nick
nick
what was that?

chuck?

come on nick, that looked like, like -

wait, chuck, this suit
it's not mine
swear to god,
chuck

what? it's not yours?

it's, it's
borrowed from my friend

your friend?

see
you just hired me, right
and, and my
suits are all back in new york

he's your size?

oh yes, yes chuck
see that's why
i asked him if i
could borrow it

um, nick

yes chuck

nick, sounds like, like...

yes?

your friend has a problem

he does, he really, really does

well, *breaking into a grin* now that presentation of yours

yes?

it wasn't too bad, now
the strategy was right
but the execution
it was everything else

right, chuck

now, nick, don't let this happen again

it wasn't too long, one day after that, that nick right in the middle of an internal meeting of account executives, staggered shaking nervous up to full height, waved his arms, stopped and then he spoke

hey dudes, i gotta blow

so then nick left, he left the meeting right there in the bubble bowl where everyone could see, craning necks and all and Nick walked down the hall, touched the elevator button

and he was gone

man, we never ever did see him again. but

about two weeks after that, the mailroom boy got pulled over

son

yes sir

son, you know you're missing a back plate

back plate?

yep, yer license tag, now step out of the car and come back here

so the two of them proceed to the rear of the vehicle. the mailroom boy shrugs his shoulders while the cop notices now

hey son, your trunk is open

the cop lifts it to give the trunk a good shutting when he halts in midair and his face

his face

it freezes

there in the back of the company car, driven by the mailroom boy on the way to the post office, was an awesome
remnant dispay of twigs and marijuana seeds that could line a two ton truck

obviously, this was contraband

the cuffs slapped on

when big chuck arrived at the police station, the lead detective sperling, he was hot

so mr. curtis, can you please explain this?

chuck did his best, and bailed the hugging mailroom boy out

it was six months later, when a minnesota trooper called chuck up

sir, we have found a license plate that is yours, except it apparently came from a banana yellow caddy convertable at a gas station here in mankato

the clerk said the man was tall and lanky and in some type of distress

officer

yes, mr. curtis

which way was he going?

west, on county 224

officer

yes sir

do us both a favor
let him keep on going

somewhere
i sometimes
imagine in
my freeze dried
birds-eye
semi-normal mind i see him
out beyond the outside edge
of the last western highway
drives there a man
a lanky man
a nervous man
a stick of man
driving a banana yella caddy
straight into the sun
and totally fried