White Smoke

There was a loud noise from down the hall; people laughing behind a wooden door; some sound, people talking on a radio or television.

It was Art Carnery. Art Carney talking to Jackie Gleason about drain pipes. Gleason questioned his expertise in this area, but, Carney seemed to know what he was talking about in a weird sort of way.

And as he walked further down the hall, he could see there was a crack, an opening of the door. Cigarette smoke and the smell of pot came wafting through it forming dark clouds just outside the rented room.

Art Carney and Jackie Gleason continued talking about pipes, but, it wasn’t Carney and Gleason, it was two cartoon mice discussing the subject. He could see this through the split in the doorway. Then a sexy mouse showed up with a loud voice sounding like Audrey Meadows. The three men inside laughed at this. They laughed hard, coughing and wheezing.

These were three old black guys laughing at the television and getting high at four in the morning; cans of Faygo lemon lime being mixed with booze. They were getting louder and louder with their laughter until one of them stopped and noticed the spy.

Can I help you, an old man asked the white dude at the door.

Yeah, he said, Could you hold it down a bit?

The old black man smiled. His wrinkles smoothed out on his face. He nodded his head yes and then shut the door.

Art Carney and Jackie Gleason’s voices were turned off and the sound of Coltrane playing sax was now soft and mellow as the door was opened again allowing white smoke to come down the hall. A new pope had been elected.

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