I Don’t Know Twelve – By: D.e.e.L
The following is a result of what happens when Michael Clements and I sit down and ponder a Story-line based off my Go-To End of Conversation/I don’t want to fathom a response- line “I don’t know twelve”.
He pushes the door to the poorly lit bar open, stumbling from a hard day’s work as he makes his way to the battered looking stool next to a man that looks as if drinking his only talent.
“I’ll take a shot of the black label and another shot mixed in water.”
The bartender pours the first shot and places it in front of the man.
“You got a name?” asks the Bartender.
“Yea, it’s Elevusne,” he responds.
“Peculiar name. You from around here?”
“No, I’m from over there.”
The bartender sighs and places the second request in front of the man.
“That will be twelve dollars for the two.”
“I said, you owe twelve dollars.”
“I don’t….I don’t know twelve.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well let me tell you. It was a long, long time ago, back when I was in kindergarten, the teacher was teaching, as she often did. The whole class was learning how to count to twenty, we were a smart class. She started counting ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11…I bent down to pick up my blue crayon that had fallen to the floor, by the time I came back up the class was on 13 already, 14, 15…I had missed something, something important. To this day, I don’t know twelve.”
“That’s ridiculous. What about on your 12th birthday? What then?”
“I didn’t know how old I was.”
“And in school? You never heard twelve again?”
“I don’t know what it is, so I never learned.”
“Just give me twelve dollars.”
“Yojdjf erd da moon, ee dosernt egen no vut terve egen murns,” stammered the drunk sitting next to him.
“Just take out eleven dollars, and add one to it.”
“I don’t know what that means.”
“Grt uff herse cis, heg dosernt no terve. He gust vats two draaaak hiz drik.”
“I’m not getting stiffed just because you’re an idiot!”
“I’ll tell you what, take my shoes for the drinks. I’ll go learn twelve, I’ll get your money, then you give me back my shoes.”
“You better come back, I don’t want these ugly shoes.”
The man takes his shot and drinks his scorching mind-numbing water before heading for the door.
“Ate four meeeeeer, wi ez boooodies ner. Meg nerm ez Largy, er ez ert Morgy?…Cer meh El Ooopoeoe.”
“Alright, El Ooopoeoe, you can come. Let’s go find out twelve.”
The two men step outside of the bar and their feet sizzle on the hot black tar of the outside flooring of the man-made earth.
“Ergaooo mer fert!”
“Why did you take your shoes off too?”
“Ergyoon ers doogin et.”
“We’re going to need to find some shoes if we want to complete this impossible task. Let’s ask those guys over there if we can borrow theirs.”
“Ut ex werg erskin fer? Gets est turk they’re shurs.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want to be impolite.”
“Nurnsurns, goo kan ber u gerntermin, a gerter gert meh soom shuuuurs ger ma geet!”
The drunken man walks lop-sided over to the two men leaning upon the brick wall of the laundry-mat existing just a little bit past the bar.
“ERRGADOOOOO!!! ER ES El Ooopoeoe!!!!!!”
“What this man just say?”
“Yo, this dude be drunk out his miiiiind.”
“Let’s beat him up and take his money.”
The two younger men push the drunk down and begin to kick him in his side.
“Hey! Stop that you two!”
He rushes over to aid his new drunken friend. He tackles one of the younger men to the ground and quickly reacts to sweep the legs of the other young man, sending him falling to the ground next to him. The drunk, who during this time climbed the light pole, comes falling down from the sky and lands on the tackled man. He knocks out the other man with his fists. They each take a pair from each of the younger men and run away.
“Yo, what just happened to us?”
“That was some stuff man, that wasn’t even fair. Man, if my Grandma was here them dudes never would have even come up to us all like that.”
The two men kept running as they both felt twelve rushing towards them. The drunk wanted to stop and take a breath, but knew they were getting close.
“El Ooopoeoe, are you okay?”
“Alright, good. Let’s keep going. Twelve has to be around here somewhere.”
“Agreed. How’s hamburgers sound?”
“Lerk gis ‘geeeeeeeeeeee’.”
They stop at a $2 Hamburger stand to get some quick dinner.
“My right foot feels itchy.”
He takes off his shoe.
“Merny git erks lek.”
“Yea, it’s money, but I don’t know how much it is. Let’s bring it to the bank to find out.”
“Ern da merning, a ez tird.”
“Alright, we should get some sleep. In the morning we will meet back here and figure this whole thing out.”
Hours pass as the two men rest their worried minds and fall to the world of the paralyzed dreamer.
“Did you get good sleep last night?”
“Es er doood, gen a pert isky en mer coofiii.”
“Whiskey in coffee is really good. Alright, let’s head to the bank.”
The two men walk about the city. He follows the drunk around twists and turns, hoping that he eventually leads them to the bank.
“Finally, we’re here.”
They walk in and stand in the long line, hoping that the end will be filled with answers.
“You again? You never came back to give me my money! You figure out twelve yet?”
“You work here too?”
“Yea, this is my morning job, it isn’t cheap living around here. Now what do you want?”
“Oh, yes, um, we found this money and were wondering how much it is.”
“What? You can’t count?”
“Well, I can. But for some reason I can’t count this money.”
“Let me see it.”
The man hands over the money.
“Ugh, it’s twelve dollars. Let’s just call this the money you owe me.”
“You just handed me twelve dollars. Here, I’ll teach you twelve. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11…”
Just as his lips are about to burst the number to proceed 11 the doors of the bank are pushed open by men wearing masks and holding guns.
“Alright, everybody on the ground!”
“Gut erz gooperning!”
“Just get down, El Ooopoeoe!”
“Now, I want everyone to throw all their cell phones, wallets, purses into the middle of the room. Go on! I said do it!”
All of the scared people in the bank respond and do what the man holding the wand of death says. The drunken man rolls a half-full can of beer into the middle of the room.
“What’s this? You think this is some kind of joke?”
“Gerp, er dernt.”
“Hey! Hey, You’re the two guys from yesterday!” says the barefooted man pointing his gun at the drunk.
“Oh, yea. How have you guys been?”
“Are feet are mad cold!”
“CERZY KERD FERT!!!”
“Yo, Grandma! Come teach these fools some manners!”
“I’ll be over there in a minute, Goergy Poo, I’m just finishing knitting this young lady a sweater, her doinkers are popping out of her shirt…just a minute…got to cover her doinkers…almost done…zzzzzzzzzz.”
“Aw, man, she be sleeping again.”
“She just took a nap like twelve minutes ago!”
“Oh, I know right!? She be tired all the time since she forgot what twelve is.”
“Wait…your Grandmother, knew twelve…but then forgot?”
“Yea, she be losing her memory, what’s it to you?”
“So, if she used to know twelve, and I don’t know twelve…then that means…I don’t need to learn twelve because I’ll just forget it anyway!”
“Here Mr. Bartenter Bank Teller, take this money, all of it, it’s not technically mine, it belongs to one of the guys holding the guns, but you can have it! I don’t need to know twelve!”
He waves goodbye to everyone in the bank and drags his drunken friend out the doors. They look up at the sky, they look up to see a world that doesn’t even need to know twelve. Gun shots are heard behind them.