Authors: Nadene Seiters
My Kind of Crazy
story about overcoming internal and external evils.
Text copyright © 2013
Nadene N Seiters
Photography Copyright © 2013 by Aleshyn_Andrei
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either
the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely
For My Cousin
The air is crisp. It’s like sniffing at a fresh salad that
was picked from the garden just a few minutes before eating it. Dew has
gathered on the grass and created a blanket that looks like frost in the middle
of summer. My feet scrape across the top of the grass as I take a step. I
almost call out to my father, and then I realize that he’s no longer around.
I’m lost here, but I don’t think I’m as lost as the man who is lying passed out
on my front lawn.
“Uh, hello?” He’s nothing but lean muscle and bedhead hair
with a boyish face. His face is the only thing that reminds me of a boy. The
rest of him, which is currently on display, screams man. Thankfully he’s lying
on his front, so I only have a visible of his backside.
My father’s old farm is around two hundred acres, so it’s a
little weird to find someone in my front yard. It’s especially weird to find
someone completely nude in my front yard; however, that would be weird
anywhere. I kneel down in the wet grass slowly. When I reach a hand out to
touch the five o’clock shadow on his face, a gentle breeze rolls over me.
He’s breathing as if he’s sleeping peacefully, and for a
moment I just want to leave him out here. I have never seen this man in my
life, and I’m pretty sure that he has to be on something to end up like this.
What if he’s dangerous? I should go inside and call the police, but something
keeps me from doing that. Instead, I take a steadying breath and put my fingers
on the flesh of his shoulder.
It takes three strong shakes to get him even to move.
Instead of waking up, he just turns his face to the other side so that it’s out
of the sun. He’s mumbling something, but I don’t catch it. I finally try
talking to him, maybe that will jolt him out of his slumber.
“Listen, if you don’t get up and come inside to get decent
I’m going to be forced to call the police.” I try to sound stern, but it comes
out pretty weak.
a few more of the townsfolk and
neighbors will be over to pay their respects. If I don’t have this man off my
lawn by then, rumors will fly at the speed of light. I cringe at the thought.
It’s distressing enough most of them know about my sketchy past. I don’t want
to fuel their gossip, so I grab the man’s opposite shoulder in a sudden surge
I manage to get him rolled over onto his back, and keep my
eyes studiously on his face. It’s not that I haven’t seen a naked man before,
but I don’t know this one. Besides, if he wakes up and finds me staring at his
junk, this might get even more awkward than it already is. I glance to my left
at the large German Shepherd sniffing around the grass and grit my teeth.
“You’re really not helping the situation by trying to find
deer shit May!” The dog glances at me, and then she proceeds to rub her back
all over a particular spot on the grass. I ignore the fact that she’s rolling
in a pile of feces, and grit my teeth as I attempt to drag the man across the
At the incessant jerking on his right arm, he finally
grumbles a little louder. He pulls himself up onto his knees, and I continue to
tug. I manage to lead him across the manicured front lawn of my father’s old
farmhouse, and then we get to the steps.
“I can’t carry you up the steps, you’re either going to have
to get up or crawl up them yourself.” His eyes are still closed, and his face
looks pinched. He looks as if he might be in pain. I glance up from his face
and see May rolling in the pile again. I’m going to have to bathe that dog
before anyone comes over this morning. I still have about an hour before people
start showing up if everything goes like yesterday.
He’s still on his hand and knees at the bottom of the stairs
when May finally gets up. She starts trotting for the house, and I point at her
with one finger and a stern look. The large dog stops in her tracks and puts
her tail between her legs. I draw in a deep breath, and kneel down to help the
man up the steps. If I had the energy, I would have drug him out back to the
shed. But the house is closer.
As I’m trying to get his arm around my shoulders, he barks
out a loud ‘no!’. Then he proceeds to vomit all over my front porch steps. I
put a hand over my nose and mouth to keep the smell from permeating my
nostrils, but it happens anyway. With renewed energy, I grab his arm and start
making him crawl past the vomit.
“Look, you’re going to ruin everything for me here if
someone sees a naked man outside of my home. Hurry it up!” What gets him moving
is May sniffing his crotch. It still takes me another five minutes to get him
into the guest room on the first floor. Technically it’s my room, but I don’t
have time to get him up another flight of stairs.
With the stranger settled into bed, covered chin to toe with
a blanket, I make my way out to the kitchen. Before I head out to clean up the
mess on the steps and the dog, I grab a quick glass of water and down some
aspirin for my now pounding head. It’s distressing enough I’ve had to deal with
the death of my father. Now I have to deal with some lunatic who randomly
showed up on what is now my lawn.
When I’m finally done with my glass of water, I grab a
bottle of bleach from under the kitchen sink and head outside. Washing off the
steps is pretty simple, but the dog is another beast to be tackled all in
itself. She sees the hose in my hands before it’s too late and takes off into
the sun’s morning rays. I don’t bother shouting after her. She’ll be back in
about ten minutes.
It’s been seven days since my father’s death. May still
doesn’t understand that he is gone, and sometimes I think that he might walk
through the front door. He would be wearing his faded jeans with holes all over
and a flannel shirt, nothing underneath. When I was younger, there would be a
cigarette hanging from between his lips. He never lit them, at least, not in
the house. My mother would have killed him.
She died when I was eleven. Some people suspected it was not
an accident, but I know the truth. I should know because I witnessed it. My
father’s death, on the other hand, unmistakably was not an accident. I glance
up from my reverie on the steps and see May slinking home. I make sure that
she’s right by the hose before I grab it and start spraying her off.
By the time I’m done cleaning up the dog, I only have about
five minutes to change before the first car arrives. I make sure to put on my
respectable jeans and a long sleeved shirt, even though it’s going to be
sweltering in another hour. The first car to show up is Mrs. Evans.
I watch from the kitchen sink window as she gets out of her
vehicle, and groan when I see the casserole dish in her hands. She brings me a
different casserole each morning, and I graciously accept them. Then I feed
part of them to the dog, and the rest gets dumped outside for whatever wants to
come along and dine that evening. If I threw it in the trash, the raccoons
would tear it apart anyway. I might as well not make it too difficult for them.
Her hair is in a tight, neat French braid as it is every
day. Not a strand of her black, graying hair is out of place as she walks up
the freshly cleaned steps. She stops, and I see her nose rise into the air.
Mrs. Evans will be asking me about the smell of bleach, and then she’ll ask me
the same thing she does every morning.
Before she can knock on the door, I pull it open as I’m
wiping my hands on a towel. I want her to think I was busy doing something. At
least, busy doing something other than watching her out the window and hoping
that the man in my room remains silent. May stays behind me like the watch dog
she was bred to be.
“Ana, you’re always a breath of fresh air in the morning!”
Mrs. Evans says the same thing to me each morning. I almost want to recite it
as she begins her speech. “Why, when you were born with your locks of blonde
hair and those beautiful blue eyes, the entire town thought you’d be married by
the time you turned eighteen!” I smile at her politely, and motion for her to
come in. If I didn’t, she would be suspicious.
“Not yet, Mrs. Evans. Would you like a cup of coffee?” She
shoves the casserole dish into my hands and pats me on the arm. She’ll give the
same answer she does every morning.
“Heavens no, Ana. I have so much to be doing this morning,
and I just can’t bring myself to step into this house yet. I don’t understand
how you can live here alone, at night, when just in the other room you’re
Daddy-” she cuts off her sentence and on cue her eyes begin to fill. I juggle
the casserole that smells like potatoes and manage to get a hand free. I put a
hand on her forearm and pat once.
“It’s just a house, Mrs. Evans. I’ll be fine. I understand.”
I tell her the same thing each morning. It’s the truth. A house is just a house
no matter what happened in it. It doesn’t matter that both my parents died in
this house. I tell myself that lie every evening just before the sun’s rays
“Well, you take care now. Oh, and be careful at night. May will
tell you those mountain lions can get feisty at night!” I smile at her and
thank her for the casserole. She makes her way down the steps reluctantly, and
I’m thankful that she didn’t ask about the bleach. I still don’t have a viable
excuse made up.
I almost step on May as I take a step back and gently close
the door. Mrs. Evans raises her nose to the air again, and sniffs as she’s
going down the steps. She hesitates, and then she moves on and finally gets
into her vehicle. It takes her about two minutes to get the old station wagon
started finally, and then she’s off.
Even though the casserole smells like potatoes, I’m not sure
what the goop is in the dish. I wrinkle my nose in disgust as I put the tin
foil back over the top. Then I glance down at May’s expectant face.
“I don’t think even you would want to eat this, May. In
fact, I’m pretty sure it’s meant to kill dogs. Maybe it’s even meant to kill
mountain lions.” I would feel guilty feeding this to the outside critters, so I
double bag it in trash bags. Then I put it into the trash can outside and pray
that none of the raccoons will smell it.
For the next four hours, I check in on my unwanted guest.
Each time I check on him he’s in a different position, but he’s been snoring
steadily for the past hour. I’m relieved that he’s actually sleeping now and
not passed out instead. Perhaps when he wakes up he can tell me what happened.
The next vehicle pulls up at eleven in the morning. I
haven’t seen Mr. Taylor in three days, so when he gets out of the vehicle I
actually feel genuinely surprised. I thought I made it clear the last time he
was here that I am not selling my father’s old farm, and even if I were I would
not sell it to a man who would only tear down everything to build a
“Mr. Taylor,” I meet him cordially on the front porch with
him standing at the bottom of the steps. I don’t want his shiny, black shoes
touching those steps.
“Ana, I was hoping I could have a word with you this
morning?” I can smell his cologne from here, and it’s giving me a headache. I
pinch the bridge of my nose to get the pounding to subside enough to be able to
shake my head in the negative.
“No, Mr. Taylor, I’m pretty busy this morning. Besides, I
know what you’re here about. I’m not selling my father’s property, and this is
the last time that I will tell you that.” I’m about to turn on my heel and go
back into the house when the man is up the steps with two leaps. He grabs my
forearm and turns me around so that I’m close to him, too close to be
“Mr. Taylor!” I say rather loudly, giving the fact that he’s
startled me away.
“Ana, your father was going to sell out to me before he
died. I think that you should honor that agreement.” His breath is hot on my
face as he leans down towards me. It’s not that he’s not a decent looking man,
but his actions frighten me more than a person holding a knife to my throat.
There is something oily about him, slippery.
“It doesn’t matter what
was going to do.
The papers were never signed,
. Now, please get your hands off
me!” I try to wrench out of his grip, but it’s too strong. My breath catches in
my throat as he pulls me close to him, and my cheeks flush at his proximity.
It’s not the first time a man has tried to intimidate me with mere size and
“I think you had better let the girl go.” The deep timbre of
his voice has the hairs on my arm standing on end. I manage to twist my head
enough to get a glimpse of the man who was lying in my front yard naked now
wearing a bed sheet around his waist. He’s holding a large butcher knife in his
right hand, and he’s idly picking at a fingernail on his left hand.
Mr. Taylor tightens his grip enough that it becomes painful
before he snorts and lets me go. He backs down the steps with both his hands
up, but I can see the warning in his eyes. The next time he sees me, it won’t
be as cordial.
“You’ll sell to me, Ana, you’ll see!” The man slides back
into his Lexus, starts it with one press of his finger to a button, and peels
out of the dirt driveway of the farmhouse at a reckless speed. May is standing
behind the man in my doorway with her tail tucked between her legs. So much for
her being a guard dog, she’s more like a chicken.
I gently put a hand on the arm that Mr. Taylor grabbed, and
rub at it to get the pins and needles to go away. I was hoping by the time I
looked up, the man in my doorway would be gone, but he’s still standing there
with a hard look on his face. It’s not until a breeze blows that I realize
there’s moisture on my face. I’m crying.
“Could you please let me into my own home?” I angrily wipe away
the tears and don’t wait for an answer. I push past him, and make my way into
the kitchen to grab the bottle of brandy my father kept in the upper cabinet.
He’s kept a bottle of brandy there since I can remember.