A Night In Denver:



He started screaming himself, to demonstrate the futility of it; "AAAAAHHH, GO AHEAD, AAAAUGH!! NOBODY'S GOING TO SAVE YOU! THIS ISN'T THE MOVIES ASSHOLE!! YOU'RE GOING TO DI-EEEEEE!

He slapped my face, pushed the point of the blade upward, just a millimeter or two - I felt the blood trickling down my throat. He pulled the blade away, showed it to me, jabbed it at my eyes.

"With this, fucker! I'll kill you with this! I'll fucking skin you! He slapped me again, pushed my head backward, grasping my chin, knife at my throat. Hand on my face, my eyelid caught in his fingers, he yanked viciously.


My mind was racing - my brain has never churned out so many thoughts.

"This guy's insane. This guy's crazy. What'll I do? Humor the insane. Humor the insane."

Psycho screamed himself breathless and in that moment's pause I heard these words pop out of my mouth:

"That's quite a point you've got there."

My brain screamed at me, "Not that kind of humor, you idiot! We're dead."

But the most amazing thing happened. His knife dropped away from my throat. A puzzled look crossed his face. The rage drained away from him, second by second. He was silent.

Without a word he backed away. His hands trembled. He shook his head. Silence. He was limp, weak. He walked back to the sheath and put the knife in it. He snapped the buckle over it. First time since he took the knife out that he snapped it back in. Relief washed through me, starting at my head, sweeping downward. My heart started beating again, my lungs started breathing. My hand to my throat, I wiped the driplet of blood away. Saw it on my fingertips. Sudden grieving for those drops of blood. They were a part of me. Now they were not. Poor, brave, little drops of blood. Gone. I licked my fingers. Salty. Wiped my fingers on my pants.

The time was now 11:00a. The sun was shining through the windowlet.

I had an edge now and followed it up.

"You know, a lot of what you've been saying, well. It makes sense. I feel that way a lot of times myself." (Careful, Doc. Not too fast now. Keep your moves very slow.)

He replied to me. I don't recall the exact words, but I do recall the sense of relief I felt. He swallowed it. He was talking. He was talking rationally. I let him speak. Carefully, and over the course of the next five hours, I let him talk and encouraged him. "Yeh, that pisses me off, too. I really hate it when they..."

I made no effort to leave. Just let him talk. Noon came and went, 1:00p, 2:00p. This long, agonizing conversation was hell. I lied to him. Told him I wanted to live in Denver. He offered to let me move in with him. This would be my `home away from home'. I told him that would be great. I wanted to stay there. I liked his apartment. He was my kind of guy. We could be good friends. He had a great sense of humor.

"Do you like meatloaf?" he asked.

"I love meatloaf," I lied. (I despise meatloaf.)

"I'll make you meatloaf tonight. It's my specialty. So, it's all fixed up. You're going to live here and I'll make you meatloaf. I'll be your mother and your father. Consider me your family."

"Great! I really appreciate this. I can't tell you how sick I am of rambling."

"No problem. I'm really looking forward to it. We're a family."

Throughout the afternoon I laid the groundwork for a major rationalization. Of course, I couldn't leave on the excuse that I was looking for a job. No jobs to be had that late in the day. But I had to pick up my sleeping bag, some toothpaste, run a few errands.

He asked me my name again, saying he had forgotten it. I am not an accomplished liar and had forgotten the name I had given him before. I stumbled and came out with the name, `Rob'.

"That's not what you said. You said your name was Roy.

I looked at him. (Shit. Caught in a lie. Smooth your way out of it.)

"So what's your name, really?"

"Steve. Steve Holzauer."

"I didn't think you were telling me the truth before. Is that really your name?"

I shrugged my shoulders, trying to give the impression of defeat. "Yeh. Holzauer."

"How do you spell that?"

(Fuck it. Think fast, Doc.)

"H-O-L-Z-A-E-R," (dropping the U).

"Yeah, O.K., I believe you. If you'da said Z-O-U-R, 'da known you were lying again."

Two more hours came and went. He was relaxing. He knew I wasn't going to leave now. I was going to come back that night. He was going to make me meatloaf. We were a family.

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A Night In Denver ęGreg Bryant 1998 All Rights Reserved.  Any reproduction of this material is prohibited.  Unless authorization is given via Knighmayor Productions.