I was quickly on Tim's trail and eventually tracked him down at a shelter for battered spouses. What I next discovered was far more tragic than even I had imagined, and I can imagine a lot, as you can … you know … imagine.
To say that Tim’s condition had worsened would be a monumental understatement. He had developed several rapid tics (see above photo) as well the inability to control sudden outbursts of speech. He told me that in the past month he had contracted full-blown Tourette’s Syndrome as well as a mild case of the syphilis from using a public restroom in Barstow. He went on to clarify that it wasn't Barstow-proper per se, rather the outlying Barstow area. Come to think of it, he said, it wasn't in Barstow at all, but at a Denny's in Porterville.
I said it wasn't important, and that’s not how you get Tourette's anyway. He became visibly agitated, so much so that I feared for my safety. I explained that I advocated a non-violent approach to life and outlined my philosophy of "Neither Drugs nor Hugs, but rather Mugs". That's right, I now sell coffee mugs, and each mug comes with a grammatically correct statement of affirmation such as, "You are the Man", "It is all good", and "If you come one step closer I'll cut you". The latter being, obviously, cutting of a figurative nature - the way one cuts to the heart of a problem such as racism, ageism or dwarfism. Each mug comes directly from Kinko's for only $14.95 plus Shipping & Handling while supplies last.
Something I said must have upset him because he then launched into a series of violent tics and hand gestures that reminded me of gang signs circa 1984. After he calmed down I asked him how he ended up here and he related to me the following tale: He said it all started yesterday around two o' clock...
It was a hot afternoon, and I can still remember the smell of honeysuckle all along that street. How could I have known that murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle? Maybe you would have known, Keyes, the minute she mentioned accident insurance, but I didn't. I felt like a million.
I told him that didn't really explain anything and furthermore, that was a piece of narrative from the 1944 film Double Indemnity starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. It was at that point he began weeping like a baby. I was getting a little choked up myself, but that was the result of my acid reflux and a lunchtime tuna salad sandwich that would've made lesser men run for cover.