Chapter 6 – Dead Men Don’t Wink

Seven months…

For seven months I anxiously awaited the day I would hear “Eso Beso” blaring from the speakers of The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon. The days would pass as they would dance their little Beatnik dances to such luminous tracks as “It’s Time To Cry” and “Summer’s Gone.” After two months had passed we had reached track 15 – “Love Me Warm And Tender” and I was confident “Eso Beso” would be just around the corner. This thought helped me get through the nights where I was the bearskin rug. Such dreams enabled me to block out the pain of being an ashtray. And most importantly, it helped to ease my tears when The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon had found the dead body of Mr. Beard under the couch and casually put him out with the trash. I was a surreal version of Andy Dufresne, acting out my own personal “Shawshank Redemption.” Except I didn’t have a Red to get me a poster of Rita Hayworth. Instead I had Dusty, the dust ball in the corner of the room, and the only thing he ever gave me was a mild form of asthma.

Three lousy tracks away from freedom and as the calendar flipped upon another month, wouldn’t you know The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon, wouldn’t go pass track 16 – “Steel Guitar And A Glass of Wine.” To my horror, they would act out the title of the song, Gloria with the steel guitar sitting in her hands like a dirty vulture’s genitalia and Solomon prancing around the apartment pretending to spill his glass of wine all over his furniture – meaning me. Do you know how annoying it is to have a man walk up to you and pantomime dropping an imaginary glass over your head over and over? Doesn’t sound that bad until you imagine yourself as a soon to be six year old boy with severe identity problems and a predilection towards inanimate objects.

After seven months my dream was dead. I no longer believed I had a chance to ever escape. “Steel Guitar And A Glass of Wine” was still being played over and over and The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon acted out their by now scripted scenes everyday. At this point I was the grandfather clock and my job was to scream out a number of BONGS, depending on what hour it was. This required me to wake up every fifty nine minutes under threat of adjusting my chains to set the proper time. One random Tuesday morning in July I woke up at 9:58AM in preparation to scream out ten BONGS when I saw Solomon streak across the living room towards the stereo. As he went to hit play he also accidentally hit SHUFFLE and wouldn’t you know it – track 18 finally came on – to those of you who really haven’t been minding the details, I of course am referring to “Eso Beso.”

Now remember, after seven months I had given up hope, so the song didn’t quite register at first in my brittle little mind.

Mmm, eso beso, ooh that kiss
Aah, eso beso, ooh your kiss
It’s got something, don’t know what
But whatever it’s got, it’s got a lot

Suddenly this unbelievable feeling came over me and my mind exploded in thought. Of course since my vocabulary had only reached fifteen words it was limited to


Thinking back to that strange and wonderful conversation with Mr. Beard I remembered what Mr. Beard had said,

“When the song, “Eso Beso” comes on, slowly move towards the door. He says the word “mucho” three times to end the song. On the second one, and it HAS to be on the second one, walk out the front door.  If you walk out on the wrong “mucho”, you will be cursed to live here another nine years.”

At that very moment I realized two somewhat major problems:

1)    I had no idea how long time-wise “Eso Beso” was
2)    How does a grandfather clock make his way across the living room without being noticed?

The way the living room was laid out, the grandfather clock (me) was in the southwest corner of the room, which happened to be the furthest point away from the front door. A white leather couch was directly in the middle of the room, and directly right in my path. I decided after every fourth line I would try to roll along the wall until I reached the front door. Hoping the song was at least four minutes long, I figured that would give me enough time to hit that door knob on the second “mucho.”

When we samba (the bossanova)
Close like this (the bossanova)
Ay, ay caramba (the bossanova)
Who unleashed that kiss ? (the bossanova)
Hold me closer and we’ll soar
For the samba’s the quickest way to make amor

As I tried to quietly and gracefully glide a couple of feet towards my right I realized I only spoke English and this song was both English and Spanish! How would I know when the song was over if I didn’t understand the words?

*Of course some of you may be wondering how is it a boy with only fifteen words at his disposal would know the difference between English and Spanish? My answer: I was very intuitive*

As we dip and sway and caress this way
Samba seems to say “Love is here to stay”
Like the samba sound, my heart begins to pound
I go off the ground to where I’m poco-loco

At this very moment I was only a quarter of the way across the room and stopped in front of the stereo. As my eyes looked to see where Solomon was, (staring at a painting he had made of a cow and a pig playing kick the can) I happened to notice the display on the stereo. To my horror I saw the time passed/time remaining on the current song:

1:13 – 1:13


It was time to step up my game and hope that Solomon would continue to live in his own nonobservant world.

Eso beso (the bossanova) ooh that kiss (the bossanova)
Eso beso (the bossanova) ooh your kiss (the bossanova)
Kiss me mucho and we’ll soar
And we’ll dance the dance of love forevermore

Come on Starita Come on Starita!

As we dip and sway we caress this way
Samba seems to say “Love is here to stay”
Like that samba sound, my heart begins to pound
And I go off the ground to where I’m poco-loco

Solomon was trying to sing along with the words and getting nowhere fast, except closer towards me as he danced haphazardly across the living room.

Eso beso (the bossanova) ooh your kiss (the bossanova)
Kiss me mucho (the bossanova) I love your kiss (the bossanova)
Kiss me mucho and we’ll soar
And we’ll dance the dance of love forevermore

I had now passed the couch, the door was only twenty feet away. It was actually going to happen, I would gain my freedom!

Ah this dance (the bossanova)
Ooh, romance (the bossanova)
I love that kiss (the bossanova)
Kiss me mucho (the bossanova)

As I wondered what exactly a “bossanova” was, my worst nightmare came true. Solomon jerked his head towards the corner where I should have been. After a second I realized what he was doing; it was 10AM – he was waiting for the BONGS! Deciding it was now or never I said “f it” (five year olds don’t drop f-bombs, even in life or death situations), raced towards the door and waited for the word that would grant me my freedom – the second “mucho.”

A little more mucho (the bossanova)

Everything converged at once. Solomon, seeing me make a mad dash for the door gave out a screech not alike the noise made in “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” As he screamed and pointed at me I stood waiting for the second mucho.

Then we’ll dance


Ah that kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss

Gloria had heard Solomon and had come running out of the kitchen. I had both hands on the doorknob. This was it – my own personal D-Day. Here it comes!



The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon leaped, their arms outstretched and their faces contorted into a mixture of pain and horror thinking what would happen if I escaped their clutches.


And the song faded out.


They both came barreling down on top of my five year old body. All the wind was knocked out of me and I laid there on the floor with my face towards the wall. Tears began to pour out of my face. The opportunity had come and gone. I was Andy Dufresne, except in my version of the Shawshank Redemption Andy gets stuck in the sewer pipe and dies in the pile of shit.

I could feel their fists reign down on my back and I went to squeeze my eyes shut and wait for the beating to be over when I noticed a crayon drawing on the wall – a policeman pointing his gun at two people who looked like Beatniks. Before I could wonder what that meant the front door was kicked in.


As The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon were read their rights and being informed they were under arrest due to child endangerment I felt myself being picked up into the arms of a friendly policewoman. As she carried me out the door I happened to look over towards the garbage, where Mr. Beard had laid for months due to the garbage men refusing to take him. (apparently The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon, in addition to endangering children were also lousy tippers) Even though I was five I had a firm understanding of life and death and the one thing I knew for certain was dead men don’t wink. Especially ones with long flowing beards.

But this one did.

One thought on “Chapter 6 – Dead Men Don’t Wink”

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