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Cody Rochon.wps

Cody Rochon.wps



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Published by Devon Pitlor

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Published by: Devon Pitlor on Jun 17, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Cody Rochon
by Devon Pitlor
I. Visitation dayOn a shadowy late afternoon in the July of his fourteenth year, Cody Rochon, atall, straight and angular boy with a pleasing face framed by a thick tussle of barely manageable sandy hair, navigated his already outgrown BMX down thecentral business district of Aristock past cafés and sundry shops filled withtownsfolk who knew and often pitied the handsome boy. He was the only childof Miranda Rochon, a local radio talk show hostess known for her conservativeviews and the ability to extract often bizarre stories from the least likelypeople, and Miranda was on the radio in some of the businesses her son passedthat day---on the radio and droning about some anomaly seen by some of thelocal farmers in the surrounding region, a subject that did not interest Codysimply because his stern and often aloof mother was addressing it, and Codyhad learned long before to avoid most subjects his mother tackled.Cody was pitied in some quarters and admired in others, pitied due to the localcelebrity of his smoky-voiced mother and admired because, as everyone knew,he was one of the core members of the ubiquitous and seemingly all-powerfulPlus Sized Club which had toppled politicians and police chiefs alike andwhose membership was reputed to be in the thousands nationwide. But onthat day, Cody was not on a mission for the club but rather on a rather routinetrip, stipulated through a court order, to visit his father and remain with him,
if Cody could manage it, until Monday morning.Visitation privileges were not taken lightly by Miranda Rochon, who insistedthat Cody spend all the time legally allotted by the court with his father, afallen native of Aristock who lived in a shabby one-room apartment overGebargan's Hardware and spent most of his time in a midtown alehouse calledquite appropriately The Bat Cave. The Bat Cave was a sweaty, dark little half-lit shot house hidden away on a rarely traveled backstreet behind thecrumbling Astoria Hotel, which the city of Aristock had promised several yearsbefore to demolish, as it was an eyesore to all but the little knot of semi-homeless men who often slept in its abandoned rooms under piles of molderingnewsprint and drank potions that were not intended for the swift andphysically abusive intoxication they produced. Though he had what passed asan "apartment" of his own, Matt Rochon, Cody's father, was, in effect, alreadyone of these men, and homelessness loomed daily as his next stop on adownward spiral that had begun years before around the time that Cody wasseven and had simply continued without abatement into what ever Matt'sconsciousness could reckon as the present. Before that time, the Rochonhousehold had been a caustic battleground, an armed camp, manned on eachside by an unyielding parent who lobbed incendiary words at their counterpartover the head of a little boy who had learned to pull into a shell and put on theimpassive face of childhood ignorance.Now the visitation roles of divorced father and adolescent son had somehowbecome reversed as Cody grew able to leave his house and find with great easehis downtrodden, alcoholic father in whatever dive Matt was haunting at themoment, which usually depended on how large a tab he could run or who
could supply him with enough powder cocaine to find his way into the nextday. Thus, instead of Matt Rochon finding his son, his son found him onvisitation days, and today was no different.Outside of the cracked brick structure which housed the Bat Cave, a smudged,handwritten sign hung sideways on the ripped screen door. YOU MUST BE 21TO ENTER. Cody was far from twenty-one, but his entrance was taken as amatter of custom. He was Matt's kid, and Matt was well, Matt. Sometimes jovial and funloving and possessed of a few spare bucks and often times not,but still Matt, a still attractive early middle aged man with a disarming smileand a line of bullshit that stretched from his own Aristock boyhood through hisyears as a respected businessman to the nadir of his downfall. Matt had onceworn a fresh shirt to work everyday along with an unstained tie. He had a listof prominent clients and had been successful for a time as a certified financialplanner. But that was now long ago. Today Matt wore the same yellowing teeshirt from day to day and usually forgot to make any attempt at shaving. Hisdrinking began in early morning with the nine o'clock opening of the Bat Caveand lasted until he collapsed on a gutted mattress in his room above thehardware.When Cody visited, the boy invited no friends, and the Plus Sized Club ceasedto exist. Cody slept near the edge of his father's grimy mattress and listened tothe man's endless blathering about people and issues that had once apparentlyaffected both his former life and the city of Aristock as a whole, and these wereonly more things that Cody had learned to obdurate himself to and ignore ashe would the buzzing of the swarms of summer flies trapped in Matt'scluttered room attempting to exit through sullen panes of soot streaked glass

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