Chapter 28: Fateful Relationships
That's right: Peter Sinsley, Son of the Bad Guy, he had to show up
in this story again, you knew that. Actually he'd been in the
background all along, in school, in the streets of Monroe. Being
a couple of years older than Adam, he'd also been 3 years ahead in
school, so they didn't have too much to do with each other.
Being a teacher at Monroe High School, I ran into him now and then
while he was a student there, but he regarded me as his father's
enemy and had been careful not to have any class I taught so that
I would never have any power over him. To tell the truth, I never
had any trouble with him, nor he with me, mostly because we could
easily avoid each other at school.
Peter was reasonably intelligent, but a troublemaker, a poor student
because he'd always rather have been somewhere else. Since he was
a star player on the football and baseball teams he could usually
get away with misdemeanors and weak academics. He was offered a
sports scholarship to the UW, but was not interested in studying
anymore, so that fell to the wayside.
He did excel in another study discipline, however, as a black belt
karate champion, and even instructed martial arts in a dojo in
Everett. When he did decide to study something he was very good
at it, winning several competitions around the state, even the
West Coast Karate Championship. I have found no incident of him
having ever misused his skill, he did not get into fights on the
street--but then again, there was no one interested in fighting
Although a lackluster academic, Peter was a diligent worker. By
the time Melly came back to high school Peter had graduated and
gone off to work as a logger. It was hard physical work, slightly
dangerous, a real man's job. But the money was good enough that
he could just afford the payments on that red Corvette, as long as
he still lived at home with his parents, where he had his own
apartment in the basement.
It's no wonder Melly was attracted to Peter, most girls were.
Peter Sinsley was classically handsome, with an athletic body
toned by hard physical work and was 6'4" tall. Another real
Marlboro Man, just like his father. His main hobbies were his
car and collecting girls, although he only kept the car. He was
self confident to the point of arrogance, but also charmingly
crude and amusingly direct--seems that girls fall for that
combination, so he was a success at scoring women. That he
had a talent for it was evidenced by the high number of young
(and not so young) girls around Monroe he had already used up.
When Melly became reacquainted with Peter Sinsley he was 22 years
old, he had matured rather well and was ready for the greatest
score of his life: the daughter of Hollywood Star Sally Rathers.
Oddly enough, I had an unusual encounter with Felix Sinsley about
that time. I was in town late after school and had done some
shopping. On a rare impulse I decided to have a beer. There are
about 5 taverns in Monroe, and I've been in all of them perhaps
once each. This time I went into the Silver Dollar. I bought a
schooner of beer and settled back to look over a magazine I had
bought. Okay, it was a Playboy, if you must know.
In walks Felix Sinsley. He too orders a schooner. I don't even
see him, but he sees me. He hesitates, next thing I know there he
is sitting down at my table. I felt my heart constrict, but
whether with hate of fear I couldn't say, probably both.
"How'r you doin' these days?" he says. A civil enough beginning.
"Oh, okay," I respond politely.
We both sip beer.
"We've been enemies a long time now," he said.
"Uh, yeah, right. Almost seventeen years by now."
"Yeah, not bad. Not bad at all."
After a short silence I said "Sometimes people patch up their
differences, you know, and even become friends."
"Yeah, but not us."
"Nope. Not us," I agreed.
"We're true, that's what we are."
"Archetypes of Good and Evil," I added, to tease him a little.
"Hah! I suppose you're Good and I'm Evil?"
"Everything is relative, points of view are subjective."
"If you're gonna get Einsteinian to my Euclidean, we're gonna need
more beer." He waved at the bartender, "Charlie, how about a
So we got drunk. It was not friendly, we were definitely enemies,
but it was a temporary truce. A reconnaissance into the enemy
territory, checking the other guy out. We discussed a variety of
subjects: politics, religion, sex, life, true values, friendship,
wives, children. It was amazing: never in either of our lives had
we ever met anyone who so disagreed about every possible topic as
we two did. There was no basis for any sort of amiable
relationship between us.
"God, y'know, we're just perfect enemies," Sinsley announced over
the third pitcher.
"It is impressive," I had to admit, "fate must have brought us
"A fuckin' miracle. You know what, though? You know what?"
"I don't even know why I was there, it wasn't a hunting area, it
was private property, but there I was with a loaded rifle and saw
that Bigfoot bitch and something just made me shoot her. I didn't
even think about it, never decided to do it, it just happened.
"Then again, I couldn't NOT shoot. That's what I was there for,
like it was my fucking Destiny, or something: my chance to bag a
Our eyes joined. I didn't have to say anything.
He went on, "It's pretty easy to shoot someone once you've been
trained to. I've shot...other... people too--'04, Afghanistan,
I was with the Marines. I really did think she was just an animal.
Until you made me look at her face.
"Man, I hated you for that. And for accusing me of MURDER. I
didn't need to be reminded, day in day out, for years. And I sure
didn't want that Bigfoot kid to be so human. For my own sake."
"Yeah, well, he is though."
He looked at me with bleary eyes, "Y'know, I don't really hate
that Bigfoot of yours...but I sure am scared shitless of him."
"Scared of Adam? What for?"
"Hell, because of his mother, y'know? I shot her. I didn't know
any better, just a Bigfoot, shoot it, ka-powkapow! Six shots, she
wouldn't go down, tough bitch. Couldn't find her heart. But then,
Sinsley looked away from me, as if there was someone at the door,
although there wasn't. "And that kid is gonna grow up to be even
bigger and tougher than she was. And when he's as big as he can
get-- he's gonna come after me, I just know it."
"Naw. Adam won't go after revenge. He's not like that."
"Oh yeah? Bullshit, it's what I would do. Wouldn't you? What if
someone shot YOUR mother? You wouldn't go after the bastard? You
wouldn't fix him for what he did?"
"Seventeen-eighteen years later?"
"Twenty, thirty, whatever it takes to get big enough to do the
job. And he's already big enough; God Damn is he big enough!"
We drank in silence again until the last pitcher was poured into
two half glassfuls in that dark tavern. Sinsley and I lifted our
glasses to one another in a silent last toast.
He wasn't quite finished being philosophical: "What's so special
about being human anyway? War, Poverty, Disease...shit!"
"You left out Strife," I added.
"Those are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."
"Fuckin' bullshit academic asshole showoff," he accused, putting
everything back to normal between us, staggered out the door and
I couldn't drive, I was too drunk. I managed to call home and
Adam came into town and fetched me in The Squatchmobile.
Adam, meanwhile, was clearly gloomy about his relationship with
Melly. Elaine was better at talking about such things with him
than I was. She told me about a conversation they had had.
"We don't see much of Melly these days," she had mentioned.
"No, we're...taking a break."
"Are you two still having problems?"
"Yeah, but I don't want to talk about it, okay?"
"If it would, I'd talk about it, believe me. But it won't, so I'd
best just accept it."
"You're still friends?"
"Oh, sure. Brother and sister."
"Is she seeing other guys?"
"Yeah. We agreed that it's for the best."
"Then maybe you should see other girls."
Adam gave her the are you crazy? look. "Look, Mom, I'm a squatch.
Melly and I grew up together so she was used to me, but no other
girl is going to be interested. I'm too big, too hairy, too weird,
most girls are afraid of me."
"They wouldn't be if they got to know you."
"Yeah well, how do they get to know me? I can't really take girls
out on dates to restaurants or movies or dancing, I really stand
out in a crowd, you know. Even Melly wants to see other guys
because of that. And I don't think many other girls are willing
to suffer the embarrassment of being seen with a giant freak."
"Melly didn't mind, I'm sure there are others like her."
"There's no one like her, just as there's no one like me."
"Sure, Melly's special, and it's too bad you can't be with her--
I'd also love for her to be your girl friend, you know--but life
goes on. Isn't there any other girl who appeals to you?"
"Lots of girls appeal to me! Their smell drives me crazy
sometimes. It's easier just staying away from them."
"Anyone in particular? What about that girl back in school--
Lissandra Cunnings? You used to have a crush on her."
"Jeez, why is everyone suddenly pushing Lissandra at me? Sure, I
lusted for her-- every guy did, she's one of the prettiest girls
around. But she's always been especially not nice to me, so fat
Elaine put her hand on Adam's double-sized hand, "Adam, you're more
attractive to women than you think. Remember that day we took my
cousin Wilma out horseback riding? She told me that you turned her
on, but you were too busy being faithful to Melly back then."
"Oh yeah, her. Actually, I could smell that she was kinda interested."
"So there ARE some."
"Okay, yeah, there have been some others too...some biker women at
Pelosa's, when I was playing with Smokey and the boys...but they
don't really count."
"Oh come on, Addy, tell Mommy!" almost laughing, "were you
propositioned by groupies?"
"I guess. Only because they were DRUNK enough to like that I was
so weird, that's all. But they were too weird even for me, so I
told them NO."
"Well, so then? You can afford to be fussy."
"Guess I am."
"Better be. In a few years you'll be fighting the girls off. You're
not ugly, Addy, you're a very beautiful physical being--and very male."
"That's what Melly always says when she's trying to cheer me up. I
suppose what I need is a squatch girl friend."
"You haven't given up on finding them someday?"
"Oh, I know that I will. I have faith about that. I keep getting
these recurring dreams..."
"About them? Squatches?"
"Yeah. I'm floating in another place, not on earth, sort of an
astral plane scene: floating alone in white misty space. Then a
group of people--squatch people--are also there, but just beyond
the mist so that I can't quite see them, just shadowy figures. And
they talk to me in a language I can't quite understand, although
it sounds familiar. I think that they're watching my...progress
or something, but I'm not ready to go to them yet."
"You get these dreams often?"
"About every full moon."
"Every full moon? Wow, really?"
"I had one four nights ago, which was the full moon. And a month
ago, every month."
"No wonder you have faith."
"That's what I figure too. Something's going on, I just don't know
what...but maybe they do."