NIGHTMARE: The Mourning Routine By Mike Cecconi

Word Count 500
The Mourning Routine
By Mike Cecconi

Frank Yetti woke up late in the morning most days, there weren’t enough tourists walking down Hollywood Boulevard at ten to make the effort worth it, especially on a weekday, so he afforded himself leisurely mornings, excluding holidays or dedicated events. If there was a line outside of Mann’s for a premiere, if someone was putting down footprints or collecting their purchased star, it’d be worth an early rise. If he had a particularly jarring nightmare about his long-lost home, it might not be worth going back to sleep anyway.

Frank would wake with coffee and fruit, maybe granola, sasquatches are mostly vegetarian and lactose-intolerant, though eggs or fish were not out of order as a little treat. He’d eat and shower, taking a long while to shampoo up and down near-to seven feet of thick brown fur. He’d agreed with his roommate long ago that he’d pay the water bill because of those showers, they got along quite well for their shared outsider honesty. His roommate was an actor who had steady bit-parts as footballers, boxers and bouncers on the strength of his corn-fed Nebraska stocky musculature, despite being a gay man mostly comfortable in his own flamboyance. I suppose if you hop a bus in from Omaha, hoping to blossom into your true self but end up typecast as a straight farm-boy anyway, you’re not going to judge your roommate much for being a sasquatch who pretends to be a human in a particularly good sasquatch costume.

After ten minutes of blow-drying his entire body, Frank would take a dab of spirit-gum and glue an obvious metal zipper to his back, from skull to coccyx, completing a minimal illusion that he was just a man in a costume and then strap on a fanny pack to hold his back-up instant camera, his busking license and his loose change for the tourists with large bills.

Frank then walked to work, up Fountain to Sunset, stopping at the Seven-Eleven along La Brea for another coffee, some more fruit, perhaps a lottery ticket. The middle-aged Armenian owner would always joke with him “Good morning, Mister Bigfoot!” not knowing Frank was an actual bigfoot, of course. Sometimes the owner’s wife would be there, sometimes his mistress in from Glendale, but Frank did not comment and tried not to judge.

Eventually he’d arrive at his spot in front of Mann’s, greet his dearest busking friends, an elderly Long Islander dressed up as Elvis and a middle-aged African-American who did a great Michael Jackson and then he’d get to work. Ten bucks a pop the tourists paid for a picture with the guy in the sasquatch costume, except when there was a new Star Wars or around Halloween, when he’d add a bandolier and say he was Chewbacca.

That’s how Frank would make the money to pay his bills before returning to his apartment just north of Fountain to dream his fitful dreams of when he was not the last sasquatch left on Earth.