TITLE: Accomplished Dreams- Broken Reality
CHAPTER ONE: A Drink Called 'Loneliness'
DISCLAIMER: The following work is a piece of fiction produced for recreational purposes. Neither Bonkers nor its characters belong to the author. Chocolate pudding. Any resemblance to people or events, living or dead, is merely coincidental. So leave me alone, all right? Sheesh. If you like, leave a comment. If you hate, leave a comment. If anybody knows where I can find some fanfics with Bonkers teamed up with Lucky…PLEASE leave a link.
"Do you gaze at your doorstep
And picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain,
Shall I come back again?
Tell me, dear, are you lonesome tonight?"
~Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Elvis Presley
It was nine o'clock; Saturday. The warm summer's night drizzled on, as music drowned out the tavern's misery. The Come Back Inn wasn't my ideal place to spend a weekend, but heck, it would have to do. I took my eyes off the Jack Daniels in my hand, and lazily let them travel to the bar's musician. Piano Man…again. I couldn't help but wish he was a toon. And that the song would end with a gag of sorts.
Or him gagged. Either one would do.
"How's that drink coming along, Pickle?'
Phil was a good man with a pleasant smile. Just the kind of man you'd hope to run a place. I swear, he had a tale for everything. Just lost your job? Well, he'd have a friend just like you. Caught your wife with another man? Yeah, he had one of those too. Car get squashed by a toon juggling three bombs and a VHS of Dirty Dancing? …Actually, I don't really know if he has one of those. I should ask him sometime. Point was, that no matter how low YOU were…His friend was off worse. And by the end of the story, you couldn't help but feel better and laugh. As well as feel like a bit of a sadist to happily know you weren't "Ave Joe".
"It's comin' along fine, I guess."
"You're doing it again."
A pause. I took my eyes away from the piano to look at him and glare.
"Oh? And pray tell, what EXACTLY am I doing?"
"You know, that thing you do. You kind of get this far away look. Dreaming of any place but here. It's that look that tells me, by the end of the night, you're going to be depressed and I'm going to worry about you getting liver failure."
"I'm not a drunk."
"No, a drunk is fun. A drunk sings show tunes and 'Merry-Go-Round Broke Down'. You, my friend, will never be a drunk."
"Actually, I think I've been talked into doing that while sober a few times…" I stop mumbling to myself, as I corrected my unknown mistake. "Fine, have it your way. I'm not an alcoholic."
The words came out leaving a bitter taste that I knew didn't come from my beer.
Phil looked away as he cleaned the glass in his hand. I suspected it was the end of the conversation and went to take a sip from my drink. I didn't even set my glass down, before he spoke again. That time his tone a lot softer.
"You're right, you're not an alcoholic. You're just a man that hasn't seen the sunshine for some time. A man drowning in his own thoughts, that's what you are. I almost wish you were a drunk. Give you the break you need. I worry about ya."
He was right. It had been awhile since something good went my way. It almost felt like everything went south the moment I got the job as a FBI agent, and moved to Washington DC. I had spent ten years in Hollywood's Police Force. Ten years wasn't enough for this job, really. Don't get me wrong, the pay is great. Making three times as much as I did.
But money wasn't everything.
I deal with murders and hostages every day. Every. Sing. Day. Sure, I've been in some pretty bad scrapes in the past. But sheesh, nothing was like this. DC doesn't even have toons about. They were a minority. No talking carpet bags cracking jokes and stealing tea cups. No cartoon weather icons framing people for kidnapping or missing persons. Here we have bigger monsters. Just yesterday I had to see the work of a serial killer raping little girls.
It's unsettling when you realize it could have easily been my lil' Marilyn…
"OH! Er…sorry. Just a case getting a little too close to home, ya know?"
He frowned, sympathizing as he nodded his head.
"You're a good man…It's the hardest on you serving folk. Couldn't do it, myself."
I didn't think I could anymore, either.
"Look, Phil…here's my tab. I think I really need to go home. "
"Sure. Yeah. You take care. Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
Wouldn't dream on it. Although, saying that, I wouldn't do most things he would do, for that matter.
The drive home had been pretty uneventful. Except for the fact it seemed that damn Billy Joel was following me. I ended up having to shut that garbage off. I didn't need anybody telling me about other guys being in the dumps. I had enough of that for myself, thank you very much.
Speaking of dumps…
I reached the door to my home with a sigh; one hand holding my umbrella, while the other jumbled with the keys. I could feel warm droplets hit the back of my neck, as my umbrella leaned to the side- exposing my uncovered skin. It didn't bother me much. I was just trying to remember which key opened the door.
"I really need to start marking these things."
Finally I found a winner, as I kicked open the door and shuffled my way in.
"Honey, Marilyn, I'm home!"
I still wasn't used to it. Used to the…the emptiness. The silence. No one coming home to greet me with a loving hug or a tender kiss. It had been three months since Dyl left me, taking our daughter with her.
Couldn't say I blamed her, really.
Again, I felt myself lose myself to my thoughts. I could still remember that day clearly. I came home late to find her waiting for me on our bed. So soft, so beautiful, and so undeniably sad. I sat next to her lifting up her chin to get a better look at her. My thumb found their way to stroking her cheek.
"Honey, sweetie…What's wrong?"
"Lucky…we need to talk."
The conversation had started the same way as many times before.
"I'm worried about you."
"I know you are."
"You haven't smiled in ages! You work constantly; we barely get to see you. And you go days where you don't even sleep at night."
"I swear, it's like you're not even alive anymore. And it's killing me to see you this way!"
"I kno- Wait, what?"
That part was not a usual part of the conversation. And it was with this line that I felt something was off. For the first time in a long time, I really looked at my wife. Dyl looked paler; there were dark bags under her eyes. I could see that her once perfect and long nails were bitten to the nubs on almost every finger. Her usual neat hair was running wild.
To sum it up, she looked like she was in the same state as I was.
"Dyl. I…I didn't realize this was affecting you this much."
She looked away. It was as if the very sight of me caused her pain.
"It hurts to see you like this. I had to watch the man I love, so youthful and spirited, shatter in front of me. And no matter how hard I try to fix this, try to help you, I fail. It doesn't work. I feel so hopeless! What kind of wife can't even cheer up their husband?"
I grabbed her hand and gave it a light squeeze. Trying to reassure her everything would be okay. To apologize for the plight I had unwillingly and unknowing unleashed onto her.
"I'm sorry. Really, I am."
"I know ya are, sugar. But this isn't your fault. I'm just too weak. I have to quit before there is none left of me."
My blood froze. My mouth went dry. My heart stopped and clenched in pain.
"What are you saying?"
"I'm so sorry." Silent tears rolled down her cheeks, " I have to leave. "
I had wanted to throw our vows at her. I had wanted to ask her "what happened to 'through thick and thin? Through sickness and in health?'"
But I couldn't.
Just knowing I was causing her to be like this was enough to know I had to set her free. I still loved her. She still loved me.
The problem was that we both loved too much. And her love for another being was causing her to wear away to nothing. When you love someone, you should set them free.
We opened up the cage, together, and set the precious bird free. Maybe now it would learn to sing again.
Maybe I'd someday sing again, too.
Back in the present, I had finished with my shower. My thoughts somehow got me through my mundane tasks as if it was a dream. It wasn't long before I was sitting on my bed.
I was tired. I haven't stopped being tired in a longer time than I cared to realize. But I couldn't go to sleep. Can't sleep, my thoughts would eat me. And there was nothing that could distract me. It was just so silent.
I drift to Marilyn.
It had been about two weeks since I saw her. Dyl took her and went to live with her cousin in the area. I didn't fight for custody. I love my daughter. But I would not be blinded by pride and greed in this sense. She needed to be with someone who would be there for her twenty-four seven. Not some agent who got home late on a daily basis. Not some chump who had trouble taking care of himself. So while I was not happy with the situation as a whole, I was more than content to see her every other weekend.
In all actuality, I think she was two. During those times she'd have all the daddy time she'd want. Go out for ice cream, spend a marathon on the couch playing the video game console that the kids seem to be into these days, watch that (no good) Skunky Skunk. Anything her heart desired.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm affecting her too. I do my best to keep a smile and joke around with her. But the spirit just isn't there.
I was not liking where those thoughts were going. Shaking my head, tried to think of what I could do. TV. I'll drown myself with noise. Surely that would help me get to sleep.
At least, that was the plan before my eyes caught sight of the phone. I froze, blocking the impulse to bite my knuckle.
"Oh no…not again."
The phone, it was tempting me. Mocking me. So, it looked like it was going to be another one of those nights, huh?
That was another can of worms opened. Sometimes, I found myself just staring at the thing until the sun rose. I wanted to use it. I wanted to call….
It seemed that on a daily basis I was thinking about the bobcat. Thinking of when he and I used to work together. About how those times were frustrating and just as pleasurable. About how it was nice to walk into work and know at least there was one person there happy to see you, and glad that you were alive.
Once in a while, I run into Fall-Apart Rabbit. It's refreshing to see him. The lack of toons in the city was still a shock to me. It was like much of the warmth was zapped out of the place. So seeing the crazy critter was enough to lighten the day at least a little. We would get together over coffee, and talk about old times. He usually would get so emotional, that he'd have to pull himself together.
While it was nice talking to him, I really liked getting info out of him. Pride prevented me from calling Bonkers…but that didn't mean I couldn't just casually ask how he was doing, right?
"Oh, nnnuhnn, he's fine. "
"That's it? Only fine?"
"Well, I find it a bit rude to ogle him. But if ya must know, I do think he looks good in uniform."
"Fall-Apart…That's NOT what I meant."
It would take some time before I really got a straight answer out of him. I would get to hear of the bobcat's latest exploits. Usually something trivial like the toon finding the perfect combination of sandwiches, or the occasional mention of his work with Officer Wright.
A part of me couldn't help but feel sadden that Bonkers wasn't an emotional wreck without me.
"Don't be silly, toons can't help it. Ooo, nnnuhnn! We toons, ya see, kind of have to keep on going. We get sad, ya know. But toon time keeps us from staying that way if we aren't usually like that. Most of us live off of the gag. Only outwardly sad if it's funny!'
"Gee, wouldn't that be nice to be able to easily move on."
"It is! Very very very very nice! ….What's nice, again?"
I shook my head, getting myself out of the memory. No. This was not going to be another sleepless night. If Bonkers could move on and not think about me, than I can do the same. Pfft. As if he could do something better than me. I would not be wasting my night, when I could easily go to sleep, on him.
I turned on the tv, and searched through the channels trying to find something to bore me to sleep. I flipped through channel after channel after channel. Finally, I went past something that made my heart skip a beat from surprise. I go back a couple of channels to find what I missed.
"Of course they'd be showing re-runs of his stupid cartoons. Oye…"
It looked like I couldn't escape him. He was following me. I couldn't win!
The frustration quickly died, as I watched my old partner. No, I didn't think I'd be getting sleep that night. And for once, I didn't care.
Aaand end of chapter one. Sheesh, this story really depresses me. The idea, writing it, and so on! It shouldn't be so easy to but my favorite character through misery. But, I'm sure he won't mind for long. I do plan on making it up to him.