The Pool Guy

Pulp Literature - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - Adam Golub

Adam Golub is an Amer­i­can Stud­ies pro­fes­sor who teaches cour­ses on lit­er­a­ture, child­hood, pop­u­lar cul­ture, and mon­sters at Cal­i­for­nia State Univer­sity, Fuller­ton. His stories have ap­peared in The Book­ends Re­view, 101 Fic­tion, The Sirens Call, and Wi­namop. He is co-edi­tor of Mon­sters in the Class­room: Es­says on Teach­ing What Scares Us, (Mcfarland, 2017 ). ‘The Pool Guy’ was Brenda Carre’s choice as first run­ner up in our 2016 Raven Short Story Con­test and earned honourable men­tion in the 38 th New Mil­len­nium Writ­ings Award for Fic­tion. Adam lives in Fuller­ton, CA.

The Pool Guy

Ty took a break from sex­ting Mad­die to ask the pool guy about the leaf blower guy. “I heard some­one at­tacked him with a golf club,” said Ty. “That’s right,” said the pool guy. “Some­one just walked up and cracked him, Good­fel­las style. Jesús tried to fight back with the leaf blower, and sup­pos­edly there was a duel for a few se­conds, all King Arthur and shit, but po­lice say this ma­niac was on a mission, he was hulk­ing, all Rage-virused out. Jesús never stood a chance. He’s got a skull frac­ture, man. Lac­er­a­tions on his arms. Teeth are all busted up.” “That’s ter­ri­ble,” Ty said as his phone chimed. And then I climb on top of you like a jockey on his favourite horse. Mad­die was a sim­ile sex­ter. “Lon­nie in eigh­teen has a get well card clipped to his door that we’re all sign­ing,” said the pool guy as he skimmed his net along the sur­face by the deep end. “He’ll bring it to the hospi­tal to­mor­row.” “Cool,” said Ty. Nice, he texted Mad­die.

“Hey, I’ve no­ticed some ducks have been hang­ing out in the pool lately. You find­ing any duck shit in there?” asked Ty.

“Ducks? What, they take a wrong turn on the way to the So­pra­nos? I haven’t no­ticed any duck waste, but don’t worry, the chem­i­cals will kill off any­thing in there. I mean dis­solve it com­pletely, Alien acid style. Duck crap don’t stand a chance in this pool.” “I know where I’ll be tak­ing all my shits from now on,” said Ty. “How Cad­dyshack of you, Mr K,” said the pool guy. “Cin­derella story. Outta nowhere,” Ty said, look­ing down at his phone. I grind on you like cof­fee beans mak­ing sweet hot cof­fee. Mad­die worked in a Star­bucks. “Speak­ing of Cin­derella story, how’s the screen­play com­ing along?” asked the pool guy. “Se­quels are hard.” That’s it, texted Ty. Make mine a grande. “I’ve got a mil­lion-dol­lar idea for a movie,” said the pool guy. “You wanna hear it? I can tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” “I’ll take my chances.” “It’s about a guy who cleans pools.” “Shocker.” “One day he shows up at one of his reg­u­lar jobs and finds a body float­ing in the pool. Flips him over, pulls him out. It’s no one he rec­og­nizes. Turns out no­body knows who this floater is. No ID, no one files a miss­ing per­sons report. It’s a com­plete mys­tery. Cops don’t re­ally care be­cause they have enough on their plate, so they don’t launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Death is ruled a John Doe sui­cide. So the pool guy makes a point to try to dis­cover this man’s iden­tity. The deeper he digs, the more ques­tions he

asks, the more ob­sessed he gets. But it’s dead ends all around. No one knows who this guy is.

“The pool guy’s got a blurry photo of the floater that he took with his phone the day he found him, and he keeps a print copy of the photo on his bath­room mir­ror. Grad­u­ally the face in the photo starts com­ing into fo­cus. Like, each day he wakes up and looks at the pic­ture on the mir­ror and the face is a lit­tle more de­fined, more rec­og­niz­able. Un­til the pool guy re­al­izes that the body float­ing in the pool is him. He’s the dead guy. He found his own body. But he also dis­cov­ers that it wasn’t sui­cide, it was mur­der. And then it be­comes a race against time to fig­ure out who killed him, be­cause each day that the photo on the mir­ror be­comes clearer, the pool guy starts to fade. Like in real life, his body starts kinda dis­ap­pear­ing. And just when he’s on the verge of solv­ing the mys­tery, just as he’s on the track of the killer, he gets hit by a bus, be­cause he’s al­most in­vis­i­ble at that point and the bus driver can’t see him cross­ing the street.”

“But where are the ducks?” asked Ty. “What this screen­play needs is more ducks.” “You dig it? It’s like The Sixth Sense meets DOA.” “Meets Do­rian Grey.” “What?” asked the pool guy. “Who?” I want you to ex­plode like a bak­ing soda vol­cano. Mad­die was work­ing on her mul­ti­ple sub­ject teach­ing cre­den­tial at Cal State Northridge.

“If you don’t like that one, I’ve got one more,” said the pool guy. “A mil­lion-dol­lar idea for a doc­u­men­tary. Wanna hear it?” “Fire away,” said Ty. “You track down as many guys as you can who are named El­liott who were kids when E.T. the Ex­trater­res­trial was in the movie

the­atres, and you ask them what it was like to grow up as Ellee-ot. Like, how badly were they teased? How an­noy­ing was it? How did it shape who they were? Did they change their names? Go by a nick­name in­stead? Or did they em­brace it, in­tro­duce themselves to peo­ple in the E.T. voice, have girls say their name like that in bed? It’d be awe­some to see all these El­liotts in­ter­viewed in one movie.” “My brother’s name is El­liott,” said Ty. “Sweet. We can start with him.” “He lives in Ky­oto.” “Even bet­ter. We can ask him if the Chi­nese do the E.T. voice with him.” “Ja­pan. Ja­panese.” “Sweet. Lost in Trans­la­tion. Is your brother like Bill Mur­ray?” I want to be in­side you like E.T. wants to go home, Ty texted. ???? replied Mad­die. “My brother moved to Ja­pan eight years ago. He started off teach­ing English, but now he’s a male escort. He ac­com­pa­nies lonely Ja­panese women on dates. Some­times he has sex with them. Some­times he kisses them. Mostly he just holds their hand or dances with them.” The pool guy stopped skim­ming and looked at Ty. “For real?” “To­tally.” “I need to move to China.” “I tease him all the time.” “About be­ing an escort?” “No. I say his name in the E.T. voice. I also send him texts and emails that say, ‘phone home.’” “How does he feel about that?” “You should ask him. He’s com­ing to visit next week. Hasn’t

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.