Saturday, April 17, 2010


“And Jar wants to ask,” Jar says with his finger pointed straight into the sky, “If there have been any meat products eaten today by any of you, you food not bombs family people. And Jar…”
“Jar, that’s a personal question for some people,” says Kim in a textbook social service tone of voice, a tone of voice perfected through hours of welfare case meetings and mental health adjudications.
A sound that is Jar’s approximation of “Ah” creeps from his whiskered lips. His worn hemp turban tilts slightly to his left as he processes this hitch in his inquiry. In fact, Oggy thinks Jar is going to have a meltdown judging by the way his mouth is moving without any words coming out and the increasingly violent rocking motion that Jar has developed.
“Now, Jar, it’s a personal question but we understand why you are asking it.”
“Jar thinks of the baby chickens and goats,” spits out Jar.
“We know. Most of us are vegetarians.”
“What about milk?”
“I drink milk. Milk’s good,” says a shaggy man nearby. “They got milk at the shelter. Chocolate milk on Thursdays, from the dairy in Boulder Creek. Why? You got any?”
Jar backs away like a cannibal ghost has materialized near the broccoli florets pile. Kim attempts to intervene with her calming words but Jar is stumbling backwards toward the safety of the corn stalks. Kim reaches out to his shoulder but he has renounced all contact with women and this only makes him recoil further into a shocked shell.
“Milk!” he cries.
Jar turns and plows through a group of gutterpunks sniffing crank powder off a notebook cover.
“Hey! Puta!” one of the punks yells and watches Jar disappear into the sunflower garden. His tweaker friends sag with indifference, their tongues drooping over lip rings and tattoos.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.