Why I Don’t Answer Calls from Wayne Anymore
By Jeremy Dunn
“Someone better be dead if you are waking me up at 2AM,” I mumbled, not quite alert yet agitated at this intrusion into my sleep.
“Funny you should mention it…maybe you should come outside?”
There was a tension in Wayne’s voice, somewhere between panic and frustration that brought instant clarity.
“Outside, wait are you outside my house? Right now? What’s going on Wayne?”
I fumbled with my glasses, pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and stumbled down the stairs.
“Just hurry, I’ll explain once you are out here.”
I opened the door and there was Wayne…dressed like a Roman soldier or a Spartan or some kind of warrior.
“Wayne, what are you supposed to be? Why are you here? Am I awake?”
“It’s a costume, thanks for coming down, come on,” he said as he grabbed my arm and pulled me toward his car.
“I wasn’t aware that the Spartans issued neon green Vans to their soldiers. It’s a very progressive look.”
“Seriously, I’m in complete meltdown mode and you are worried about my shoes?”
When we got to his car, he wrestled the sliding door open and stepped back.
“Wayne, why is there a man dressed like Jack Sparrow in your van?”
“I didn’t know what else to do, I couldn’t just leave him. We have to do something.”
“What’s wrong with him? Did he pass out?”
“No, he’s dead.”
My head snapped toward Wayne and then I grabbed the door to the van and slammed it shut.
“You brought a dead man to my house!”
“I told you, I didn’t know what else to do! You’re my best friend so I came here.”
“What do want me to do? I don’t know what to do with a body. Get him out of here!”
“Please Kevin, you have to help me. I don’t know where else to go. I swear it was an accident. I didn’t mean to kill him.”
I don’t know if it was the look of desperation or the years of history we had, but the next thing I knew I was sitting in the passenger seat of a beat up gold minivan being driven by a terrified legionnaire with an expired pirate buckled into the backseat.
“Wayne, why did you put a seat belt on him? I’m not sure that was necessary.”
“Does it look to you like I’m thinking clearly? I’m barely holding it together man!”
“We have to take him to the hospital, Wayne. You know that right?”
“We can’t take him to the hospital. I’ll get arrested as soon as we drop him off.”
“How exactly did he die Wayne?”
He pulled the van over to the side of the road and looked down at his lap.
“I hit him with the car…..twice.”
“Are you joking? How do you run over someone twice?
“I was leaving the costume party and I wasn’t looking behind me. He was standing behind the van I guess. I heard a thump…so I stopped. He was laying on the ground.”
I narrowed my eyes and glanced over at him.
“That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, but it was an accident. Why didn’t you just call an ambulance? You said you hit him twice?”
“I’m getting there. So I panicked and loaded him in the van. I was on my way to the hospital when I blew a tire. I pulled over to change the tire and I guess he woke up and stumbled off. I was in such a hurry I didn’t notice until I drove off. I looked behind me to see where he had gone…and that’s when I ran over him the second time. He was standing by the side of the road.”
“So what are we going to do with him?”
“Kevin, I know this is crazy, but hear me out. We're gonna to take him to Wal-Mart.”
“Okay, you’re crazy. In fact, I would ask to get out but you would probably run over me. What on earth are you going to do with him at Wal-Mart?”
“Just help me move him once we get there okay?”
We pulled into the mostly deserted Wal-Mart parking lot and Wayne stopped the van.”
“I’ll be right back.”
He jumped out of the van and ran toward the entrance. Not long after going inside I see the vague silhouette of a Roman soldier riding toward the van on one of those motorized scooters, like a slow motion Spartacus.
“Wayne, what are you doing?”
“Help me get him on the scooter.”
We managed to get the body on the scooter and Wayne used bungee cords to somehow make him stay upright. We wrapped his hand around the throttle and Wayne tied a plastic bag around it to keep it tight. We pointed him toward the entrance and let him go. We watched as he rolled up to the doors. They automatically opened creating a surreal sort of heaven experience as he disappeared into the light.
“Hurry, let’s go!” Wayne screamed as he jumped back into the van.
According to the paper the next day, he rolled right past the elderly greeter and down the aisle toward the back of the store. Two kids, thinking he was role playing engaged him with Nerf swords and accidentally redirected him toward the ladies dressing room. He drove through the dressing room coming out the other side wearing a leopard print bra like an eye patch. Eyewitnesses say he rolled down the frozen food aisle before cutting off an obese woman who proceeded to chase him on her own motorized scooter. The chase ended when she pulled a handgun from her purse and shot him three times and he toppled off his scooter knocking over a liquor display.
I leave my phone on silent these days.