November 12th, 2012
“No, No, No, NO! Pull up to your fucking door, man! Right now! I’m not fucking asking, man! Do as I say!” I had initially intended to stop a few houses short of my own before making a break for it. Somehow, he already knew where I lived. So, I parked on the curb, as usual, and pulled my seat forward so my guest could exit, but my back-seat appeared as empty as it was when I left.
“Hurry up, it’s fucking cold!”
I heard the voice from behind me, moving towards my front door. I had a thought to get back into my car and drive off, but as I was busy contemplating, he shouted out something nonsensical and not worth writing, but it essentially meant that he would shoot me if I didn’t lead him inside, so I did, all the while searching for the body that belonged to this terrified, threatening voice. Finally, as we crossed the threshold of my door, he appeared with his back towards me, completely naked, with his revolver in his still shaking right hand. He let out an unsettling, vibrating sigh of relief before running through my house.
“Alright, look, you’re naked. That’s great. But, can I get some clothes or something?” I shouted, trying to calm him down.
“You stay away! I’m fine! I’m warm! I like it just like this, man! You stay the fuck away, cocksucker! You’re not in charge of me!”
As he blathered off pages of ill-formed curses, I made my way back outside to get my alcohol and finish my cigarettes.
In the frozen night, I sipped Rumple Minze and blew smoke while the mad man ran around my house.
“God, I hope he doesn’t shit on something.” I said, watching my speech freeze and blow away in a cool smoke.
After I finished my cigarette I made my way back inside to ensure that he hadn’t ruined my pristine home. I found him sitting on one of my two white couches playing with his revolver. His cartridges were on the table. It was at that moment that I thought a little weapon-talk might coax some cooperation out of him.
“Don’t call me buddy!”
“Alright, dude. Chill.”
“Don’t tell me to—“
“Listen! What do you say I go get my shotgun and we can compare weaponry, and maybe you can tell me a little about yourself.”
“I don’t want to see it. You have a Remington 870. It’s dumb. I want to see a comic or something, man. Just…just…just…”
“Show you a comic. Got it.”
I deflected the obvious blow to my privacy and walked into my garage to grab a few comics for my nude guest.
“God I hope he didn’t shit on anything.” I repeated, hoping, I thought, against hope. I flipped the switch in my garage and sifted through some of my comics, picking out what I thought were the funniest ones.
He gave an apathetic, dead eyed glance, flipping through the four pages, which I’m not even sure he could read.
“What is this, some kind of joke?” he asked, unimpressed with my drawings.
“Yeah.” I said. “It’s comedy. It’s about a highschool kid with—“
“I don’t fucking care, man! You do better, or else!”
I walked back into my garage and took a large swig of Rumple Minze before pulling out a filing cabinet drawer full of comics, hoping that the quantity of comics would fulfill what supposed quality could not.
“Yes, yes, yes! You stupid genius! You’re perfect!” he said as I presented the drawer to him. “So, are you going to ask me stupid questions now?”
I assumed he wanted me to try to get to know him, so I took the bait.
“Sure. What’s your name?”
“Rumple Minze, man.” He responded.
“Do you want Rumple Minze?”
“Call me Rumple Minze, or just…”
“Please, don’t do that again.”
“Call me Rumple Minze, man.”
“Alright, Rumple Minze, tell me about yourself.”
He began a 35 minute self-review that was equal parts cryptic and terrifying. Cryptic, because, his conversation, often, was riddled with holophrases and telegraphic speech; I learned little-to-nothing about him. Terrifying, because, he had a predilection for loading and unloading his gun while he spoke; he would often gesture towards me, or scratch his head with it loaded and cocked!
Rumple, who finally agreed to a shortening of his name, knew very little about himself, except that he didn’t like clothing. When I asked him why he refused to wear them he said,
“I don’t have to tell you, man! If I wear a bunch of clothes I can’t be a secret. You wouldn’t know, you’re a loser, man! I already know that you can’t do anything!”
“Well, you don’t have to be a fucking dick about it, alright! Why don’t you just tell me something? Anything!”
“Why would I wear clothes when I don’t have to?” he asked, right as he disappeared before my eyes. “I told you, man. I’m a good fucking secret. Now, you do what I say, alright? I’m not fucking around. I have a gun! I’ll fucking murder you if you don’t listen!”
I couldn’t see him, but I knew his gun was on the table. I reached for it and he immediately materialized in his seat.
“Give it back, man. That’s not yours! Stop it!”
At this moment, I began to think of how wonderful it would be to have Ed, from The Drunken Redhead, as company instead of this puerile, gun-toting moron. For anyone to behave this way would, indeed, be a spectacle of the inappropriate, but imagine, if you will, a man in his mid to late forties, thin and wrinkled, wearing the face and eyes of a chronically worried person; his head is completely bald, suggesting that he shaved it regularly; his face is scruffy, but not bearded; he is, also, completely naked and he carries around a fucking loaded gun, which he waves around and points at people when he makes his childish, unintelligible demands. If your imagination is trite and insipid, you may need me to tell you that this is not an ideal situation.
The most regrettable part of this whole scenario is the soft spot that I felt towards him. Had a more sound man, fully clothed, entered my house and waved a gun in my face, I would not have hesitated to punch him directly in the jaw. But, tell me, what am I to do to a man, almost twice my age, who is the clearest picture of the disturbed that I have ever seen? Indeed, Rumple suffered from inner tumultuousness that he was not responsible for, if he ever had been. Whether his mental instability was self-inflicted or not was none of my business, but how he felt in my company was my responsibility, I thought.
(Reader, I must interrupt myself, yet again, to give you a pure and proper observation on Rumple Minze. Though I said it earlier, he is not, in fact, forty. I found out, thanks to information derived solely from Sandy’s ability to invade anyone’s mind at will, that he is 35 years old and suffers from a unique form of Schizophrenia. Although, Sandy never gave me any hints as to what made his case unique.
Rump was, as far as I know, a very hygienic person. He would regularly brush his teeth, wash his hands, use the toilette, take a shower, and do many other daily cleaning duties like any civilized, clothes-wearing adult. He would, just as regularly, wipe his gun-barrel on my white couch pillows or gnaw on the corner of my coffee table. So, it was, I once thought, impossible to take him out anywhere. But, I soon learned that Rumple Minze had the ability to become selectively invisible. That is, he could be seen, or not seen, by whoever he may choose. This is why he called himself a good secret so many times, because he truly was capable of complete and total anonymity, as I would find out. Rumple Minze was, in a way, the perfect secret.
Also, reader, hopefully you recognize the great pains I have gone to in attempting to transcribe my cryptic conversations with Rumple Minze. Perhaps, I would often joke with him, the great secret isn’t him, but what he means. He did not understand. Reader, you must realize that I was dealing with a crazed man who had a thousand different responses, but not a single answer. I am as intrigued by his thoughts as the thoughts of any of my other, more harmful guests.)
Rumple and I had a never-ending argument about the gun. In an instant he would go from yelling, to falling on his knees, clawing at my clothes, and begging me to “just…just…just…give him the gun.” He finally decided to cooperate in exchange for his pistol.
“Why were you in my car tonight?” I asked, handing him the gun.
“I was cold.”
“How did you know I live here?”
“How else, man? How fucking else?”
“What does that fucking mean, Rump?”
Rather than answer me, Rumple devoted his attention to his Taurus.
Frustrated and drunk, I stepped out onto my back porch again to smoke a cigarette and sip on my peppermint schnapps, breathing out frozen, pickled, smoky breaths. After I finished my bottle of Rumple Minze and three cigarettes, I headed back inside, ready to give up on the naked man on my couch.
“Did you like my friend?” The calm of his voice caught me off guard.
“What friend, Rump?” I asked.
“My quiet friend: you met him, remember?”
“Help me out, Rump. Who are you talking about?”
“I have a friend who came to visit you. I have a lot of friends, actually, but you haven’t met the rest of them.”
“How many friends do you have?”
“Did your quiet friend say anything, Rump?”
He continued to play with his gun.
“Rump!” I demanded. “Did your quiet friend say anything?”
“No! You don’t understand quiet do you?” he said, shaking his gun barrel side to side as he pointed it at me.
“What does he look like?”
“He’s got black hair. He’s pretty and scary. He’s pretty scary.” He said, giggling.
“Did he tell you to threaten me? Why are you at my house? How the fuck did you know I live here? Why did your friend try to kill me the other night? What the fuck is going on?” I shouted, my face inches from his.
“I don’t know why you’re freaking out.” Rump said, pushing me away from him. “He’s not even the one you should be worried about.”