• mrs. daschenko •
Mrs. Daschenko answered the door, and looked down at me. “Oh, it’s you,” she said, and instead of inviting me in, just left the door open, and walked away. Puffing on her cigarette, she lumbered past the upstairs, shouting, “ROBBIE!! It’s for YOU!! Get your ass down here! It’s that little DIPSHIT from DOWN THE STREET!!”
She had scabies, or something, all up and down her fat ugly legs, the fat ugly bitch. All she ever wore around the house was a greasy house robe on her skanky body, and the crushed remnants of dilapidated house shoes on her fat, ugly feet.
‘I resemble that remark,’ I thought to myself.
God, I hated her. I didn’t wanna, particularly, I just couldn’t help it. It was, I thought, a weakness, in me. He wouldn’t have wanted that. I mean, the Beatitudes, love thy neighbor, and shit like that. Get with the program.
That scabies had got to her brain, I was pretty sure. She hated me so much. I couldn’t figure it out. “I’m a nice guy,” I thought, “I mean, what the hell?”
I was a nice guy, wasn’t I? I mean, you know, a kid and all, but still. How bad could I be?
(He remembered her, the back of her fat head, as she had sat, driving. Looking at Christmas lights for nearly two hours. Those cups of hot cocoa, had finally got to him.
“I have to use the bathroom,” he had said, embarrassed, the others had had to hear.
He had always had a little, wee, wee-bag. That’s why he had always been ‘pee-bag’ to his brother and sisters, but these, here, didn’t know it. He hoped.
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” she had said.)
Or maybe it was the rat poison her old man kept on the other side of the door from the living room, out there, in the garage. I mean, Jesus. When they opened the door to the garage, one whiff of the air, it smelled like a toxic nuclear waste dump, out there.
He himself, Mr. Daschenko, was the local exterminator, and rat-catcher, and kept some heavy shit out in the garage: some in pill form, some in smelly noxious powders, some as smelly gaseous liquids you wouldn’t want near you under any circumstances, without wearing one of those white suits, with the visors and gas masks, like you saw on government ‘contamination’ crews, on TV.
He had this weird ‘tremble’ thing going, already. Like a bug sprayed with Raid. What could I say? It was unsettling.
Maybe, it wasn’t entirely her fault, then, maybe. Maybe it was partly environmental. I’d been hearing a lot about that lately…maybe there was something to all that stuff. Maybe.
Nah, she’s an…hateful bitch, but still…maybe.
No, no, no: He, I mean, Jesus, he wouldn’t want that, would he.
Nice guy, and all, and like that: get with the program.
Me in Him, and Him, in me…?
Me in Him, and Him in me.
But, that was the past. This is now. Now, it’s just…just me.
I was sure it had got to her brain, the fumes, either that, or the scabies.
In any case, needless to say, there’s no two ways about it, and no getting around it: I did not like Mrs. Daschenko, and she, sure as shit, did not like me.
~ Tim Burchfield
• mrs. daschenko •