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Robert Lopez


Pity Jimmy surprised me when he said my problem is I got too much protein. Up till then all Pity Jimmy did was rock back and forth like he was in a rocking chair standing up and snap his fingers without making any snapping sounds. He also would jerk his head around like there was a gnat flying in his face. The good thing about Pity Jimmy is all he would say about people is how and when they were born. Me I was born in the middle of monkey in the middle and Blind Betty was born an agent orange of evil. That's all Pity Jimmy had to say up until he said what he said about protein. My job here is to walk these blindsters around so they don't trip over anything and crack their heads open like Blind Betty did one time. They did up the floors so you could see yourself in them is the problem. I never see myself in the floors but they said I could if I looked. They say the floors shine like pool water like a mirror ball and that you can skate on them floors if you're not careful. They put us all on a bus so they could do this to the floors. Blind Betty said they bussed us away so that our lungs wouldn't bleed out our earballs. Blind Betty knows about these things because she's fingered all the Braille books on anatomy she says. They all of them gave me what for when Blind Betty cracked her head open. This is not what we pay you for they said. I think I shook my head yes but I don't remember ever getting paid by them even once. I think what it is I do here I do for free. I said this to Blind Betty one time and what she said back was curse words. Blind Betty wasn't there when Pity Jimmy said he got too much protein. I was walking Pity Jimmy back to his room so I could give him his medication. People around here say pity Jimmy was born the way he was and now I say it too. Out of all these blindsters he is the blindest one of all. That's why people say what they say about Pity Jimmy and that's why they told me to keep an eye out special for him. This is also why I'm the only one who heard Pity Jimmy say what he said about protein. I'm the one to give him his pills after he eats in the cafeteria breakfast lunch and dinner. We keep the pills in his room because the one time we brought them to the cafeteria I lost both bottles. There were two bottles and I didn't have enough pockets was the problem. Blind Betty is the one who taught me which pills to give Pity Jimmy and in what order. If you give Pity Jimmy the wrong pills in the wrong order he will fall down and have convulsions and swallow his tongue and die. I don't know this to be true but it's what Blind Betty tells me. Blind Betty has fingered all the books on health and anatomy so she knows about these things she says. Thing about Blind Betty is you don't know if you can believe her sometimes. Blind Betty is blind and blindsters lie more than regular people do I think. I'm not saying that all blindsters are born liars the way they were born blindsters but it's something close to that. So when I give Pity Jimmy his pills I don't know if I'm doing it the way I'm supposed to do it. Blind Betty told me to give him the green pills first and the blue pills second. She said the way I can remember it is green go fast and bluebonnet home. She doesn't say why I should remember it this way only that it is a mnemonic device and it is the only way he won't fall on the floor and convulse and swallow his tongue and die. This is why he has to take pills in the first place Blind Betty says. What she doesn't say is what a mnemonic device is but I assume it has something to do with Pity Jimmy's medicine so I don't bother asking. Every time I give Pity Jimmy his pills I wait for him to fall on the floor and do what Blind Betty says he'll do. I never tell this part to anyone though. I also don't bother telling anyone what Pity Jimmy said about protein. Even if his problem is too much protein you probably can't believe it because he's blind.



The narrator of a story I'd done a few years ago showed up in this place surrounded by these people. I don't know how that happened but I had Peter Markus' Brothers in my head so I wrote a bunch of these Blindster stories. Others have been in or will be in elimae, Small Spiral Notebook, Unsaid, and FRiGG. Stealing is a good thing to do. Thank you, Peter.