Googy Round the World

“Hey Googy, how’s it goin?”

“Hey man, good, good.  You gotta a cigarette?”

“No Goog.  Whad’ya been doin?”

“Not much.  Thinking about goin to electronics school.”

“Right, I remember that.”

Nothing changes with Googy, always bumming a smoke, skinny in his baggy coat. So skinny, he got run over by a truck that time, and nuthin happened. We were all drunk and high.  Googy slipped off the snowbank. It was dark, the road narrow. Rear tires ran right over Googy, pushed him down into the bank. Truck kept goin, driver never knew. We pulled Goog up out of the hole he made. He was fine.

Been goin to electronics school, whatever that is, a long time. Been goin, goin, never gone. Hangin out at Smuts one night, came up with the idea of gettin Goog out of town.  Montreal’s do-able. Two-hour drive, not expensive if we skip the strip clubs. Smoked meat sandwiches, see a tall masted ship at the port, take him to the Imax. He’s only been to the little theater in our town and that closed years ago. See the Rolling Stones concert film. “Cool,” Googy says. Funniest thing is strapping him into that zip line, sending him across the water. He doesn’t want to go, looks like a cat hangin from a curtain, but then he’s proud, like he did something.

Yeah, so we talk to Jimmy after that. He’s got a big job now. Makes a lot of money.  Travels everywhere. Get him to bring Googy to Paris. Crazy, right? Convince Jimmy he’s doin the right thing. Get Goog outta the rut. First time in a plane. One too many drinks but they make it.  Fancy hotel. There’s a photo of him at the Eiffel Tower. Jimmy’s exhausted, between work an keepin track of the Goog. They take the train to London. First time he’s on a train too. Sees Buckingham Palace, eats fish ‘n’ chips, watches Birmingham play Huddersfield. Another first, no soccer in our town. They fly from London. Googy never mentions electronics school.

What meds couldn’t do, a trip round the world fixes. I imagine Googy ridin that horse for the first time, and in the desert, Googy at the base of the great pyramid, and not Googy drunk again, then missing, and found again, but this time in the neighbor’s back yard, frozen in the snow. Souls need shelter, small delicate things, souls.


Video of reading:


Published in Beyond Words Literary Magazine

Number Issue 6, September 2020

Beyond Words Literary Magazone - publisher of short fiction by Dan Reilly