Tuesday, June 16, 2009



Long long ago Miss Bliss lived in an apartment with four guys. Hers was off being a total jerk and the others were off being nice guys. Miss Bliss was left alone to fume. She sat on her porch, hugging her knees.

Mike, a guy who looked like a god, came out to sit on his porch too. He looked at Bliss, patted his step and she hopped across the grass to sit by his side. Its unwise to deny a god after all.

They were joined by Mike’s roommate, Ron, the organic grocer. Ron brought fortified wine and Mike pulled out a fatty.

As they giggled, Steve… the guy who lived in a tree behind the apartments walked past. (Yes, he lived in a tree.)

Steve had once been a normal person, but abuse of drugs fried his brain to a cinder. He was declared by the state to be unable to earn a living due to mental inability. So the state gave him a check to use on more drugs every month. He lived in a tree to be sure that all his money went to drugs and not to frivolities like food or shelter.

Trees lack certain things. Steve clearly believed that the people as well as the state should support him. Creatively, he let himself into all the apartments and ate and relieved himself in a variety of ways… yes, oooh, ick..

If one unwisely left their door unlocked while watching TV, Steve would barge in, head for the fridge and begin to stuff food into his mouth until you could drag him out. This included whole cubes of butter.

Steve was a very large pest.

Mike and Ron had experience with rescuing Miss Bliss from this fridge crashing a time or two and tossed him out of their own abode a number of times. They were all sick of Steve’s behavior. The fortified wine and fatty set a plan moving toward fruition.

They waited for night to fall. Creeping through the shadows on their stomachs like soldiers on TV… in their hands they clutched Chinese firework strings. These would be lit and tossed under his tree. Giggling madly, all would run quickly away. (The crawling on the way there was just for fun.) They could hide behind the hedge and laugh at his terrified reaction. Sweet!

They rounded the hedge end and found Steve, not in his tree where he belonged, but right there on the ground beneath it. Ron stopped short. Mike ran into Ron. Miss Bliss ran into Mike. Hisses and sssshh sounds. More giggles and a few snorts.

Ron rolled onto his back, pantomimed lighting and throwing the string of crackers like a grenade. Heads bobbed in agreement. The zippo was produced by Mike and the strings were lit and flung in the direction of Steve and his sleeping bag.

Oops. All three strings landed not near the bag, but ON the bag. For each crack, a puff of down exploded in a mini plume! They watched in absolute horror as the puffs increased and down filled the air. Holy crap! One lit up a tiny flame that was blown out by the next explosion.

No pretense of sneaking remained. All three fled as fast as their feet would go to the apartment. The door was slammed shut and locked. The lights were put out. Hearts hammered in the darkness as Mike peeked out the window toward the tree.

“It’s over…” Mike announced.

Bliss and Ron crowded the window to check it out. There in the bright moon light lay Steve… the tip of his head visible at the end of the tattered bag. Down like snow flakes scattered around him.

“Ah… guys… shouldn’t he be wake?” Ron asked. Ten minutes later there was no movement still. Crap.

“One of you guys need to go see if he’s all right.” Bliss informed the other two. The stare she got back was unsettling.

Three greatly sobered individuals crept through the shadows to the hedge. Three pair of eyes regarded the still form of Steve. He lay like a rock.

Physical pushing and verbal obscenities propelled Mike forward. He crouched next to Steve and poked him in the shoulder. He looked up at the two who waited and shrugged. Nada. Mike shook Steve, who lay still.

“I think we killed him.” Ron said back in the safety of the apartment.

“What do we do? Should we call the police?” Bliss asked.

“No!” Mike shouted. “Maybe he just passed out.”

“You can’t kill someone with fire crackers.” Ron agreed.

They sat on the sofa not saying a word until the jerk got home. Bliss said good-byes and hurried off.

The next morning Mike and Ron were at her door early.

“There’s still no movement.” Mike hissed as they stepped inside.

Ron went to the corner phone booth and called the police to report that there was a vagrant in the lot behind the apartments. The three waited nervously for the police to arrive. When they had not shown up before time for class, they had no choice but to leave, still not knowing.

Many nervous hours passed. Once home again, it was discovered that Steve and his bag were gone. He was either dead or arrested. No one said much of anything. All hoped he was just in jail. That was a comfortable solution to believe. Yet nervously they had also begun to call him “Dead Steve”.

The following weekend the court had a BBQ. All the tenants showed up. Talk focused on how lucky it was that Steve had moved on at long last. Doors and windows were left open to the breeze.

To their combined horror… through all the happiness and celebration… wandered Dead Steve. The tattered sleeping bag drooped under one arm and he held a bean burrito in his other hand. Down feathers drifted to the ground to mark his path. All the tenants groaned. Crap. Dead Steve was back.



  1. Hell of a story. What happened to Dead Steve after that? Any more tales?

  2. The gift of coming back from the dead, is perhaps wasted on the likes of him.

  3. people like dead steve survive about as well as cockroaches

  4. i lost track of the timeline.

    did steve rise after 3 days?

  5. Suldog-- Dead Steve continued to live in the tree. Miss Bliss and the jerk broke up within a few days of this and she, with one of the good guy roommates moved into a Quonset hut a few streets away. There is only one more Dead Steve story.

    The tales of the court are plentiful and absurd.
    There are other tales as well. Some are "Mr. Natural" tales and "button" tales. One involves a policeman who won't stop changing ethnicity. Another in which Miss Bliss finds the Well of Souls.

  6. What a great story. Was dead Steve a zombie when he came back then?

  7. Lime-- Like a bad Timex watch... he did not run right, but he kept ticking!

  8. billy-- Gosh... What if Jesus came back and lived in a tree? (But I think it was more like a week.)

  9. Churlita-- Thanks. I was a bit nervous telling it. I'm hoping it does not upset anyone.

    I think that Dead Steve was very much a zombie for most of the time I knew him. Sadly, I had an arch nemesis who dated him when he still had a functioning brain! Oh wait a minute... I like that part... that Ms. I'm-Too-Perfect dated Dead Steve. It makes me smile.

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  11. I don't know what to say... I'm too upset by the Dead Steve story!

    Just kidding.

    Drugs are bad. I suppose I should stop shooting up heroin ;-)

  12. I remember the officer who would not stop changing ethnicities. He was in your parents living room and there were some drugs involved. But drugs are bad, mmmm-kay? So he made a visit to the courts, too?

    I remember the courts. Don't remember Dead Steve, but I think I know who you mean by Miss Perfect. She married a Looo-Ser and you can be sure she is miserable and take some comfort in that - but hey - I was going to be kinder and gentler - and here I am not being either. Yikes!

    After the courts were torn down they were a parking lot, in which I once got way too close to another car and left a lovely red stripe down the length of the long white car. Oh yeah, good memories! (As always, it's all about me - and again I am sorry)

    Great post, by the way!

  13. Cube-- That's what I like about you! (the sarcasm not the heroin). lol

  14. Crazy4coens-- That is the officer who kept changing ethnicity story! I need to get your permission to tell it.

    (BTW... I'll change your name to protect your innocence if you like, though I think you already gave it away!)

    You were at "little u" when Dead Steve moved into the tree. I have no doubt that my memories of the court were more numerous than yours. Mine were more fun. I would not have liked it as a parking lot.

    It's all your fault, BTW... you introduced me to the jerk and his friends. I love you for that. Big cheesy smile.

  15. His friend would not stop. He kept bugging me, and he really was a fun guy. Really.

    Too bad about the jerk, though.

    Sure - any story you want is fine. Your memory is so much more detailed than mine. As for giving away my identity - I have already cooked my goose and this is only my 2nd week. Sheesh!

  16. BTW - Were you a hippie or wannabe?

  17. crazy4coens-- I think we were just us as we were. I don't think any of us Anandaites were trying to be anything. What do you think we were?

    Anandaites were non-conformists, malcontents, outcasts and loners who found their like. We were family for a time until the wind blew us away like dandelion seeds into the sun. :)

  18. Great story. I don't think you needed to put the precautionary statements at the end... Let people interpret as they may!

  19. Pamela-- Thank you. I was nervous about this one. I agree with you. People have been very nice and so... because you are right... I'm going to edit that out. (Though I doubt I'll get many readers this time of day.) Thanks for the encouragement.

    Welcome to oodles of funch, BTW! Ah... do we know each other? I have a prickling at the nape of my neck that tells me we do. Am I wrong? Am I right?

  20. I could imagine someone with a name like Dead Steve sleeping in a tree by hanging from a noose.

  21. dmarks-- Yes, I can see that in my head! lol

    Wasn't there a funny name for hanged people... a something or other "bird". Gosh, I can't remember darn it. :)

  22. Ananda - I thought of us as just being - but I wondered what you thought. I wasn't dedicated enough to be a hippie. I like my bed and my shower!

    And really, just to heavy up the mood - people hanging in trees isn't all that funny. We have a horrible history of hanging folks in trees.

  23. crazy4coens-- Me too. I like showers and beds are a favorite spot for me, though I don't sleep in them. I am only what I am and will always only be that. I have never fit a stereotype or category. But I did love the Anandaites dearly and always will... whatever the fuck they were!

    Oh what a Debby downer! Okay, you're politically correct on this. I have an inappropriate sense of humor and admit it. I found that quite funny. I try very hard not to take anything too seriously. Sheesh!

    There is a history of hanging folk who don't need it here in the USA. That is tragic. You know they just sent a couple of idiots from Oregon to prison for burning a cross on some nice mixed race couple's lawn! In 2009! Krykies! In my state, no less. (Hanging head in shame... no pun intended, but the pun is inappropriately funny don't you think?)

  24. you'd think the people in your state would be so blissed out from the green that they wouldn't see any other color.

  25. I am hung up on the hanging people image now....strange fruit is the best name.

    That is quite a little tale you have to tell there. If Dead Steve came around here, there is this one tenant who'd probably leave little bowls of food and water out, even though the rest of us would beg him to stop.

  26. OK, now I've grown curious about the term "Ananda" and how you use it. If you don't want to explain, I'll understand. I'll just twist crazy4coen's arm & she'll tell me everything ;-)

  27. laura b.-- LMAO! I have to tell you that when I first moved into the court and found out about Dead Steve, I felt so sorry for him that I did feed him... gave him a plate of food and my boyfriend came unglued!

    It was as if I had fed the stray cat and it would never leave. He was correct of course. Dead Steve did not want to leave. I came to dislike him quickly. He demanded food for a time. It was like having a pet monster!

  28. Cube-- Here it is, the truth about me being Ananda and Crazy4coens will verify it. Or what parts she can. Hold on to your hat.

    You know what... I'm making this into tomorrow's post. Okay? See you and everyone else there.