Posted on July 14th, 2014
They call me Little Bighorn because I’m little but my horn is big. Go figure. They call Apache Chief Apache Chief because Little Bighorn sounds like an Indian name and since we’re always together people figured he ought to have an Indian sounding name too. I tried to tell them that Apache Chief wasn’t the chief of nothing but by making such a fuss about it I probably just helped the name stick since nobody has called either one of us anything else for a long time now. We were out past the park again near the place we call Shouter’s Spot because it’s the place where we see the guy who shouts about the prisons to anyone who happens to be nearby. We were going down to the part of town where Ray lives to ask him if he wanted to come with us to get some ice-creams. Dotty had given us a couple of dollars and she said that we could spend them on anything we wanted to except to use them for gambling, so we decided that we would go to get some ice-cream and we figured we had enough dollars for Ray to come too. It was hot outside and we thought ice-creams sounded nice. The way to get to where Ray lives is you go out the door and down the steps and down the street and past the park and past Shouter’s Spot and then you get to the river, and when you get to the river you turn left and you go past three stopsigns and then Ray lives in the blue house with the Braves towel hanging in the window next to the front door. We were near Shouter’s Spot, and from Shouter’s Spot you can start to see the river pretty well and also the concrete slopes that run along either side of the river and the street that’s on the other side of the river. The Shouter wasn’t there today. Apache Chief said one time that he saw the Shouter talking with Umbrella Man up past our house going the other way a bit and he wasn’t shouting or talking about the prisons or nothing, and it seemed like maybe he and Umbrella Man might know each other. I don’t know if that story is true since I don’t know when Apache Chief would have been up past our house going the other way a bit at the same time that I wasn’t up past our house going the other way a bit, since Dotty really only likes when we leave the house if we’re together, but he says it and I gotta at least trust Apache Chief because if I can’t trust him then I can’t trust nobody. I think that the day that the Shouter was talking with Umbrella Man must have been a confusing day for him, but I like to think that he maybe felt good at the end of it for having done a new thing. He has big eyes and his face looks like a baseball glove and his hands are always dirty. Anyway from where we were standing near Shouter’s Spot we could see the banks of the river pretty well and on the banks of the river we could see an old woman who had a bunch of clothes with her and she was dunking all the clothes right into the river. Dotty told us that we shouldn’t ever swim in the river or eat anything that came out of the river because it was a city river and city rivers are dirty, so in light of that I thought it was strange that the old woman would be dunking her clothes in the river and I told Apache Chief that I thought it was strange and he agreed that it was strange. Umbrella Man is called Umbrella Man because he always has an umbrella with him no matter if it’s raining or if it’s been sunny all day and all yesterday too. He’s very nice to us and he calls us “ladykillers” (like he’ll say “ah, here come my two favorite ladykillers, dressed for success as always!” or “alright now, you two ladykillers be careful out there”), which Dotty rolls her eyes at but says that he means it in a nice way, and sometimes he gives us dollars and so I think he must be rich if he has dollars all the time to be just giving away for nothing, and Apache Chief thinks that might be true as well. Anyway we stood for a little while at the railing looking down at the concrete slope along the river where the old lady was dunking her clothes, and when she had finished dunking all the clothes she pulled up her baggy old skirt and pulled her underwear down to her knees and peed right into the river. I thought that Dotty probably knew that people did that and that’s why she told us to never swim in the river or eat anything out of it. I felt bad about what I had seen and like I should tell the old lady and say sorry, although she didn’t give us warning or nothing so I had no way to know to look away and give her some privacy. I told Apache Chief that I felt bad about it and he said that he felt bad about it too, but that he thought that maybe she knew that we were there and she had wanted us to see her do that. I thought about it and the idea that someone would want strangers to see them pee seemed like it might be a true idea but I didn’t think I would want that. Apache Chief said he agreed with me. We took the left turn I was talking about before that is the next part of the way to get to where Ray lives. There were some people that were walking with a basketball but as far as I know there aren’t any basketball hoops near there. One time the Shouter shouted to us that at any given time one percent of American adults were in prison, and Apache Chief and I talked about it for a long time that night and we agreed that that was probably a lot of people. We wondered if one percent of the people we knew had been to prison or if statistics maybe did not work that way. To get to Ray’s house you don’t just have to walk past three stopsigns, you also have to cross the street three times. Apache Chief and I like to work together when we cross the street so I look to the left and he looks to the right and we say “all clear” if there are not any cars coming, and so far that system has worked very well for us. After we had done that three times we could see Ray’s house, which was still blue and still had the Braves towel in the window next to the front door. We walked up to the door and knocked on it, and then we waited for a few minutes and then we knocked again. Ray didn’t answer the door so we figured that he must not be home, or else he did not want to come and get ice-creams with us. Apache Chief suggested that maybe we use the dollars that would have gone towards Ray’s ice-cream and instead use it to get a bar of chocolate for Dotty, and I considered it and then I agreed with him that that was a good idea. The store where you can buy ice-creams and also chocolate bars is near Ray’s house, which is why we had the idea in the first place to ask him if he wanted to come with us, and to get there from his house you don’t even need to cross the street again because it is on the opposite side of the same block. We walked around the corner and then around the other corner. I wonder sometimes about what the Shouter and Umbrella Man might have been talking about that time that Apache Chief saw them talking when the Shouter was not shouting. At first I thought it must have been very important, but then I thought about how it seems like the Shouter thinks prisons are important and he always shouts about those so maybe it was actually not important at all. When we were around both corners we walked up to the store that sells ice-creams and also candy bars and then we walked inside. The man who works there has dark skin and white hair and often he wears orange shirts with short sleeves and collars and usually he has some white hairs coming out of his nose but sometimes he does not. Today he did. Dotty says that he is from Pakistan. We walked into the store and we said “hello” to him and we both smiled. He did not say hello to us and he did not smile but he did nod at us. We put our dollars on the counter and we told him that we would like two ice-creams, please, and also one chocolate bar for our friend Dotty. The man who works at the store got the chocolate bar from the stack of them behind him and then he asked us what kind of ice-creams we wanted. I told him that I wanted the kind that tasted like oranges and you got to push up from the bottom through a plastic tube and he got one of those for me. Then Apache Chief told him that he would like one of the ones that looks like a taco but instead of beef and lettuce it has ice-cream and chocolate inside. The man who works at the store went back to the refrigerator that has the ice-creams in it (which is laying down on the floor instead of standing up like the one in our house is, and also it has clear doors so you can see what’s inside without opening that doors, which seems like a good thing to have) and then he turned around and he said to Apache Chief that they were all out of that kind. When Apache Chief heard him say that he stood really still for a minute except for his eyes got really big and his face started to turn red. Sometimes that happens to Apache Chief, and when the Umbrella Man comes to our house to talk to Dotty about us Dotty calls it an “episode”. After he was quiet and still and his eyes got real big and his face got real red he started to yell. He yelled really loud while looking right at the man who works at the store, who looked really surprised, and the more Apache Chief yelled the redder his face got and also he started to shake. He made his hands into fists and he was shaking and yelling. He wasn’t yelling any words, he was just going “AHHHHH”. The man that works at the store started yelling too, and he was yelling words and pointing at the door but I could not hear the words he was yelling because he was not yelling louder than Apache Chief. I do not know why the Shouter feels like he has to shout just so that he can tell people about the prisons, Shouter’s Spot is not so far from the road that people would not be able to hear him if he just talked normal. I do not know why Apache Chief felt like he had to yell at the man who works at the store either, but Dotty says that Apache Chief’s “episodes” aren’t things that are meant to make sense to me or to her. It seems to me that the idea that some things are not supposed to make sense to me is probably a true idea. I think the man who works at the store felt like he needed to yell because Apache Chief was being very loud and was probably scaring him a little. Apache Chief yelled and yelled and he turned very red, like the color red that is also the color of the apples that Umbrella Man brings us sometimes in the fall that come in a plastic bag with little plastic handles and a picture of some apples on one side, which I think is a little bit silly since you can see the apples right in the bag and you don’t really need any clues that it is a bag of apples, but Dotty says that it is just a little decoration and I think that is probably nice and not silly. When Apache Chief got as red as he could get and yelled as much as he could yell he fell down on the ground and he started breathing really hard and sweating. I always think it is a little scary when this happens to Apache Chief and I think Dotty does too even though she tells me it is okay. The man who works at the store was still yelling and pointing at the door but the more upset he got the harder it was to understand him because of his accent. I think after a little while he figured out that I couldn’t understand him because he stopped yelling and pointing at the door and looking at us and instead he got out his cell phone and made a phone call. He said an address into the phone while Apache Chief was still breathing really hard and except for the breathing and his eyes being open it was a little like he was sleeping right there on the floor of the store that sells ice-creams and also chocolate bars. I bent down next to him and I took of my one of my shoes and then I took off one of my socks and I used my sock to wipe some of the sweat from his forehead and also some of the blood from where he had bumped his head on the floor. After a while a two policemen came into the store and the man who works at the store yelled at them and was very upset, and Dotty told us once that you shouldn’t ever yell at a policeman but that you should tell them the truth and you should say “yes sir” and “no sir” and do what they tell you to do. One of the policemen started telling the man that works at the store that he that he needed to calm down while the other one came over to where I was wiping the sweat and blood off Apache Chief and asked me what was wrong with him. I told him that Apache Chief had had an “episode” like he has sometimes and that I knew it was a little bit scary but Dotty said we didn’t need to be scared about it. He looked at me after I said that and he looked like he was confused, but then he didn’t ask me to explain it better and instead he made a phone call with his cell phone and he said an address into the phone and then he told me to sit tight. The other policeman was still telling the man who works at the store that he needed to calm down a few minutes later when an ambulance came, and the man who was in the ambulance and the police officer who had been talking to me put Apache Chief in it, and then the police officer put me in his police car and drove me here. And then he told me to talk to you, sir, which is what I am doing now, and also I am waiting for Dotty to come and get me to bring me home, sir, since I do not know how to get home from here and I do not know where Apache Chief is, and when I see her, sir, I will have to apologize because I do not have any chocolate bars or ice creams but I also do not have her dollars, and that is a no good position to be in, sir.