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Friday, April 8, 2011

type 1 Homo sapiens: well-meaning, but crazy


type 123456, 7


I had this job welding in brackets down in a ship hold. Ten hours a day breathing in oxy-acetylene. Then one night I lost my temper. One night a foul-mouth Filipino gave me lip and I punched him in the face, knocked his teeth out. They fired me on the spot. 
Good riddance, right? Ten hours a day lying on your back with a welding torch. Not so, my friend. I spent the next six weeks wandering the dockyards in desolation. You can only sleep so many hours, Labas, you can only consume so much, and even porn, end of the day, gets boring... You follow? ...So what do you do? What does a man do?

In three months, I drank a sea of liquor in half-liter installments, and every hooker in a hundred mile radius knew me by name. I partook, Labas, as if womankind was on the brink of extinction. My pecker was in flames, my pockets empty, and my brain – God forgive me – a bundle of scar-tissue. 
Still now my eye twitches.

Christ, Rico!

Naaah. Not to worry, Labas. Don’t use it much – my brain – and my pecker’s still good.

You’re a desperate man, Rico.

You’re a keen observer, Labas… You see this?

Your hands.

There’s callus here a quarter inch thick. This is my legacy. A quarter inch of bone-hard skin. I can’t feel a goddamn thing with these claws, but it’s all written here. Twenty years worth.

No palm readings for you then, Rico.

Don’t need ‘em. The future's set for me.

Nothing’s set Rico.

I’m a welder, Labas. I weld. But you wouldn’t understand that, you probably never worked a day in your life.

Not true!! I must have worked five, six, at least.

Ha ha. I like you, Labas, I like you. Think of that, us meeting in a place like this.

I was hungry. You were here. Simple physics, Rico.

You’re pretty goddamn prosaic for a nomad, Labas.

And you're pretty goddamn literate for a dockworker, Rico. Prosaic! Christ. Pass the salt, will ye.