Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 1:54 PM
Subject: story from Guy Smiley
The long tragic winter conceives a face of mangled hate, where there is life there is blood; and with all that remains, the contentious gather in place. At the bar, folding the newspaper in half, sitting alone with my thoughts, I'm interrupted, "One of the cousins?" His smile is sharp as stitch. The last time I said any kind words to this jackass was day I left for college, it has been ten years since.
"Thirty-Three confirm deaths.", he recites. "You were saying something about the end of the world?"
"No, this wasn't what I was talking about.", I say with a short breath.
"Fish..Right.something about.." He nods, "You never make any sense with your talk."
"You never listened with what I had to say.you did all the talking!", I turn away.
"Well..you never told me to shut the hell up. When are you going to get some balls?!", he laughs. It was that stupid laugh. I'm bigger than him now. All it takes is one shot to his kidneys, and all that satirical strife will have been vanquished. I'm a humanitarian, I say to myself. I forgive and I let things mend.
"Look, I'm going to need you to do a couple of favors.", He sits comfortably and puts his hand on my shoulder. I shrug and turn to look at him with a cold stare. "Remember that story I told?", he says. "The soap story.I remember telling that story to your girlfriend in high school", he extends his hand. "Come on. We were little kids bathing together.I would drop a piece of soap off into the water. It was a game; who would find the soap first?", he says smiling. "The look on your girlfriend's face, hilarious!" Opening his mouth wide, "We all had a good time.She thought it was cute!"
This made me uncomfortable. I was not having a good time. "Yeah.I bet you told that story in prison!", I snap. I wanted to cut him down, but I was cutting into a cadaver that bled dry.
He stands up. Folding his arms across his chest. "Whatever.I was just asking for a favor." He picks up the bag he had set on the floor, "I'm going out."
Girard was a neighborhood of rust and roaches. Across the vacant lot you can diet on a bucket of chicken. Within a few yards, St. Helens Clinic. Steps away, the Vincetti Funeral home. A casket assembly line; dine, illness, and death. We are both standing at the corner of 3rd and Fairmont. It was 3.30 a gallon of gas at the Citgo station. I wonder what the price was in Virginia. A patrol car pulls forward and stops. He hangs from the car window. The radio blares, "Two males. Sunoco Robbery. Identified leaving premises on bikes. Five minute dispatch from scene." The officer holds the radio, his eyes were staring down a barrel of a gun. Looking straight at me, I could feel the cool spring air evaporating the sweat from my palms.