Lafcadio - Part 1

Part 1: The Call

The first call comes at 4:07am.  That’s the way of things, isn’t it? It couldn’t come at a civilized hour. No, of course not. And it couldn’t come when I was still expecting it. Nope.
At the start of things, I was ready. I was so ready. I jumped every time the phone rang, heart pounding with this weird mix of terror and anticipation. But I decided somewhere along the way that my heart couldn’t take the extreme adrenalin rush every time a robo call came in.  As the years passed, my reactions slowed from almost shitting myself to damn near ho-hum. 
The incessant buzzing takes a while to get through to me.  I'd spent the better part of the previous night at MacKenzie’s Pub, drowning my sorrows after being dumped by the latest in a succession of women fed up with my apparent inability to commit. By last call, I was soused. Since MacKenzie’s is just down the street and Mac is my buddy, I was frequently over-served. If I was unable to navigate the half block to my place, Mac figured someone could prop me up on a keg dolly and wheel me home.
I'm deep into a dream about drinking tequila on a Cancun beach with a muy linda señorita, when suddenly the dream turns nasty. Finally realizing that I’m not being attacked by a swarm of angry Mexican bees, I drag myself into semi-consciousness. I manage to extricate myself from the serape, uh, blanket, knocking my cell phone to the floor in the process. When I bend to retrieve the phone, I notice that, with every buzz, the screen flashes green. What the fuck?
"Who the hell is this? It’s oh-dark-fucking-hundred!”
I hear a voice I don’t recognize.


The day has come. Bad timing on all counts. I’m walking a perilous tightrope between drunk and hungover. Shaking off the cobwebs filling my head, I try to formulate a plan. Early on, I’d had my actions after the call all mapped out. By this point, though, I’ve doubted the call would come at all. I've gotten complacent. Bad move, because here it is.
When I swing my legs over the side of the bed and sit up, I fall off the tightrope and land with a thud on the side of hungover. My head is pounding as I make my way to the kitchen.
Coffee, I need coffee, strong and black. As I wait for the Keurig to do its thing, it’s normally subtle bubbling noise sounding like a percussion band, I remember that I’m not alone. I know my call is part of a larger broadcast to others like me, the intention being to set the operation dubbed "Lafcadio" into motion. Hopefully, they are in better shape than I am. My intention is to find a way to put one foot safely in front of the other. I throw a couple of aspirins in my mouth and gulp down half the coffee too quickly, burning my mouth. Then I head back to the bedroom to dress.
How does one dress for insurrection? I pull on my jeans and REM t-shirt, topped by my favorite and slightly worse-for-wear flannel shirt. Boots tied, I finish the coffee. I drop the cup in the sink and reach for the sponge.
Words from the past float through my head. “Remember to leave everything as you would normally.” No dishes washed, no bed-making. Not that I would anyway. That’s the point, right?
OK, ready to go. Well, ready, except for my go-bag. I haven’t looked at that bag in ages, but I know it’s waiting at the back of my closet.
I rummage past the clutter of years, and there’s the bag, stuffed in the corner behind a box of old kids’ books, right where I put it nine years ago. I grab the battered leather backpack and hook it over my shoulder. Snagging my jacket off the rack by the front door, I’m about to step out of my apartment when my cell buzzes again, with a text this time.
“What part of ‘go’ don’t you understand, Cameron? Go NOW!”

To be continued in Part 2: A Light in the Attic.

(Credit, and thanks, to author Shel Silverstein.) 


Posted for River of Mnemosyne Challenge No. 8, Muse 1: "Covering the Ground with Big Intentions"


  1. Oooooooh, I'm intrigued. I missed reading everyone's writing, and I like your style.
    I feel like the muse is a little 'light,' but I have to look over the others' again for that too - I guess we don't want them too literal, anyway, hey?

  2. I sensing action and thrills and maybe a little gunfire in the future? Dinosaur Hand is going to be happy :)

  3. You don't seem out of practice at all. :)


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.