I was a little taken aback by his words. What did he mean by them? Had I committed some terrible crime and couldn’t remember doing it because of my jacked memory? All of these things seemed to flood through my mind at the speed of light. The one thing that moved through like a pregnant cow was that fact that I was hungry, more than hungry, insanely ravenous might be closer to par.
“I heard voices so I made a couple of plates and headed down straight away. I figured you would be hungry.” The voice belonged to that of Tony. Tony was a man in his forties, had black hair pulled from front to back over his head tied in a pony tail. He wore a chefs what used to pass for white smock over a white t-shirt and black comfy pants. They were loose-fitting allowing for maximum maneuverability as well as comfort. He also wore a pair of black leather shoes with thick rubber soles. He was about 5’10” and somewhere between 210 lbs. and a bulldozer. Some of younger mans energy and athleticism drifted into a middle-aged thickness. His face was ruddy and carried a smile from ear to ear. His dark brown eyes did not carry the smile however and only showed concern.
My traitorous stomach lurched forward as if it had complete control over my body. I found myself barely containing myself until Tony was able to place the plate of food on a tray and place it in front of me.
“Eat up son. Just what the doctor ordered, a little TLC.” I practically snatched the silverware away from his hands causing him to almost lose the other plate of food he was now setting in front of C.C. “Easy now, all in good time. Have some manners about you.” He said this last bit a little wide-eyed like I had embarrassed him. “You know C.C., Tony is the one who came up with TLC, the very first time he came in to my restaurant he sat down in a booth and immediately ordered some TLC like he was a regular and that was what everyone called it that.” The smile reached Tony’s eyes this time as he enjoyed telling how now everyone ordered it the same way.
“Well, it seems you two have met. Good good. I hope I wasn’t interrupting something important but everyone has to eat right?” After handing C.C. his plate he went over and retrieved another tray for him and then sat down on the end of the couch in a whumph of air as he plopped down like a little kid. We both, C.C. and I just stared at him in amazement and then broke out laughing at the same time.
The look on Tony’s face went from shocked to embarrassed to sheepish in about 2 heart beats. Then he slowly joined in the laughing with us. When Tony laughed he was the rare person that laughed with their whole body. When he did something he did it full-tilt.
“As I was saying, there are some things we need to talk about.” He had taken a bite of his TLC and was now waiting for a response from me, if there were to be any before he continued on. A smile creeped over his face as he tasted the food. He closed his eyes in ecstasy and savored the wonderful flavors of lemon juice, garlic and other spices mixed with the flavor of the dark chicken meat. The smell of garlic, pepper and thyme was almost overwhelming to my nose. It was just SO good.
“I am listening, but you have got to stop stopping midway through your sentences for dramatic effect, it is kinda freaking me out…man” I was tired as if sleeping for 18 hours had done me little good. I was famished, out of sorts, was having strange dreams, may have been drugged and woke up in a field…for GOD sakes!”
He swallowed his food, set down his plate and straightened up and looked me dead in the eyes as if this were an official visit. “Very well. Let me by answering some of your earlier questions. You asked why you weren’t taken to a hospital. A couple of reasons; the first being your weren’t bleeding or suffering from any trauma we could tell. True you were delirious but we thought those were the after-effects of too much alcohol and your symptoms corroborated that. You also don’t have health insurance and as I am an old friend of Tony’s I came over as a favor to him. I am glad I did too for if I had not the very thing I think we need to discuss may not have been discovered in time.”
“In time? In time for what” I was taking all of this in with a very blase expression upon my face until this last part. That got my attention. A cold sweat came over me. I started to feel like I was about to get “that” talk. Something terrible was going to happen to me, I had contracted some incurable terrible debilitating disease. My mind kept racing and racing. It probably would have gone off the cliff had C.C. not brought me up short with a hand on mine.
“I think you may have misunderstood me. I can see plainly in your face you have thought the worst possible conclusion to my words. Perhaps I should have chosen ones less dramatic. Please forgive me.” His words were sincere and soothing and I did trust him. He had a tranquil presence about him. Not like my father but that of a Father, minister or priest. There was something definitely compelling about this man. You wanted to believe what he said and took comfort in his demeanor being calm.
“I have noticed, while your were asleep, while I was examining you that there was a small mark on your left earlobe. Do you recal how you may have gotten it?” HUH…I was bewildered. I had no recollection of a birthmark or accident involving my ears let alone my earlobes. The look upon my face was enough for C.C. to carry on.
“You have a small mark on your earlobe that intrigues both Tony and I. For one thing, it is almost tatoo like in its precision of a perfectly formed hand-print. Secondly you were not completely restful in your dreamings while on the couch here. You were almost acting out scenes and saying the oddest things. You mentioned meeting Ella-ayla and appeared to be singing something not recognizable every now and again. There was even a time when you took off your clothing.” My jaw dropped open. That would have been the last thing I expected to good doctor to say to me. “I what?” The words were coming out of my wooden mouth. “You started talking softly and were giggling now and again and then you removed your clothing.”
“And you watched me do all of this and didn’t think to wake me?” My eyes were bulging, my cheeks felt hot, my voice getting louder by the syllable. I knew I was turning red, I was also getting upset, feeling my temper starting to get the better of me. “Haven’t you heard of not waking a sleep-walker?”
“Of course, but…was… I…walking?” I was almost off the couch shouting by this time.
“No you weren’t. You were engaged in something more, uh, how shall I put this delicately?” He said this last with just a hint of smile touching his mouth, almost imperceptibly. He shot Tony a quick glance. “You were engaged in something more intimate” He said this as he tilted his head forward and gave me a direct look.
I slowly sat back down as awareness broke over the mountain of ass I had become in the moments before. I was numb and embarrassed and uncomprehending as to why I would be doing that.
I sat back down and thought about what C.C. had been saying to me. I was re-enacting something. That was really odd, I can’t ever remember doing anything like that before. True I can’t say that I have woke up in a field before either. This sounded all so very unreal. Like something you heard about in some trashy newspaper you would read on your way through checkout at the grocery store.
After sitting and trying to let the embarrassment subside as hard as that was to do I needed to in order for me to get to the bottom of this. “So, once I had re-enacted my carnal pleasures for all the world to se, you what put me in some of your old clothes and let me sleep the rest of the day away?” I looked slightly at Tony and nodded downward at my own apparel.
C.C. was the first to break the silence. “Yes, that is exactly what we did. You are or were experiencing some very odd behavior and we are just trying to figure out what is going on with you. You have to admit, from what Tony has filled me in on your condition when you were brought here yesterday was less than stellar. I think you should calm down, lose the attitude and be grateful that you have friends that are willing to help a guy like you out.” He said this last with a slight edge to his voice like he knew a little of my past and was making a casual dig on me.
“Look, I don’t know you from Adam and I am grateful that you played night watchman over me but let me clue you in on something, I didn’t call you, I didn’t ask for you to jump into the middle of whatever the farg this is and I sure as hell didn’t ask for you to lecture me.” I was starting to lose my cool again and could tell that I once again spoke before I thought. I noticed both Tony and C.C. looking at each other, Tony with a tight-lipped look upon his face that said – yep, that’s my friend and yes he is an asshole – while on the other hand and opposite end of the spectrum, C.C. just took the abuse in stride the only indication he was letting anything penetrate was the slight raising of his left eyebrow.
Tony, at the edge of his seat and almost stumbling over his words while looking over at C.C. periodically spoke up one I had finished my tirade. “Look, lets all just calm down and relax for a second here. We are all on the same team and all we want to do is help you out.”
C.C. let Tony finish before continuing on where the other left off. “John, last night you did other things in your sleep too. The act we told you about, the one that ended you up in Tony clothing…” he paused to take a moment and figure how he wanted to continuing. “If the having sex in your sleep was the only thing to happen to you lat night I would not have stayed until you woke up, however since you were also apparently attacked and reenacted that out as well.”
Okay – so here is where I must draw a conclusion to this piece of original fiction. I think I am starting to go down the rabbit hole on this and am going to wait until I story board out something more long-term. I might use some other same characters as is or I might polish them up before bring in 2.0 versions of them. In any case I am going to take a break from this story and start something else. Maybe make a weekly serial out of it.
Again, if anyone reading this wants to write in and submit an original piece of fiction I would be happy to read it and post it if you wish and it is suitable material.
More to come…