Frankie, the good luck charm
I met Frankie because I’d run over her dog, Barkley, with my Dodge Dart. Killed him on impact. Awkward as the situation was, she accepted that it wasn’t exactly my fault. I offered to pay for Barkely’s burial at a local pet cemetery and she was charmed enough to meet me for coffee later in the week.
Frankie and I found that we shared a lot in common. Our first date lasted 36 hours and I felt that I’d found The One. She did too. Sad as it may have been, we felt that Barkley’s death was a kind of sacrifice, a last-ditch loyal effort to propel her toward love and away from a life wherein she had more cats than friends.
However, this was only the beginning. About a month later Frankie asked me to move in with her. After a week her two goldfish died and her cat, Barf, ran away. Her car was stolen. It turned up somewhere in Pasadena, smelling like a sewer, with a cow stomach locked in the trunk. It’s still a mystery.
As if this wasn’t enough, she found out she had chlamydia. I had it too. We weren’t sure who gave it to whom or even how long either of us had had it. It’s benign as far as STDs go, but it was still fairly unnerving.
Then, she took me to meet her family. They all hated my guts, except for her little brother, Carlos, who was 15. I walked in on him taking gravity bong hits in the bathroom sink and Frankie’s dad was right behind me.
“You’re a goddamn pusher, Dupree,” he yelled at me. “Get the hell out of my house before I call the cops!”
After a long, drawn out fiasco I was able to make amends with her father, though not until after he’d put me in a headlock and we scuffled about the living room, destroying a priceless family heirloom and his mother’s urn. Frankie and her mother were crying hysterically as a glassy-eyed Carlos cackled like a maniac in the corner.
“Pull his hair, dad!” he yelled. “HAHAHAHA!”
Just to prove that there were no hard feelings, I offered to cook everyone dinner. I don’t know how to cook too many things, but I make a mean Thai dish or two, so I whipped something up. For a moment, everyone seemed pleased. Little did I know that everyone but Carlos was allergic to peanuts. Running from room to room to get puke buckets and water, I heard Frankie’s father yelling, “Damnit, Dupree—everything you touch turns to shit!”
I couldn’t rightly argue with him. And I could see it in Frankie’s eyes, too: Goodbye, Knox, they said.
Leaving their home, I heard retching and the stoned laughter of little Carlos.
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