Squalor, in all its authentic glory. Why is there a bathrobe at the top of the window? Because it's white (mostly), and white reflects the evil rays of our enemy, the Sun.
Hi kids, Uncle Regis here.
You know, I hear bullshit stories every day from people trying to impress me with this or that marvelous goddam thing they did, supposedly. I doubt they ever exaggerate themselves too much where their screw-ups are involved, and I expect any lies they tell themselves are likely in their favor. But I got stories packed tight with truth, and I don't give a rat's scrawny ass if I impress anybody or not, on account dammit I know who I am: I'm the guy who impresses the shit out of people without even trying.
It all starts with my mysterious birth. The people who found me in the smoldering wreckage, a mere infant wrapped in clearly alien cloth, raised me as their own as best they could. This wasn't easy for them because in my spare time, growing up, I controlled packs of wolves and achieved ascendancy over an army of Bigfeet.
I had my reputation to consider, among the wolves and Bigfeet, anyway, who appreciated me for being remarkably robust. Sometimes they gave me thick sticks and such to break, just to show them that I could. Then I'd twist a limb to splinters, and the wolves and Bigfeet would howl their impressed joy. I think my strength comes from my non-human genetics. Also though, I seem to have benefited from a nurturing environment of limbs and vines readily available.
Branch-to-branch, tree-to-tree, this was how I lived my life. Traveling through the upper canopy over town was so easy for me and impossible for everyone else, it was inevitable that humanity and I would forever be at odds. Sometimes, perhaps having a tilted a wee dram, I've even been known to record instances of conflict on giant stone monuments for all time.
I was working at a factory, having Napoleon-like crowned myself Educated, assembling bike racks full-time temporary, knowing my girlfriend and I would be gone in six months and that the factory was heading for Mexico soon.
One guy had been there ten years. He was thirty-seven, always wore two t-shirts, never bathed, stank like a stockyard and didn't like the Beatles because they weren't American.
There were a lot of Lao workers. Most were nimble, quick, good at ping-pong and hot for break-time hacky sack. They spoke Lao among each other, laughing, the older women acting snotty.
When I got there at seven the smokers lightly stamped their feet outside, and the dark early cool mornings passed with coffee still buzzy from the night's smoke and drink, but clear and aware, energetic and enjoyed. I stood on a wood block to hit my calves with toe raises on the assembly line, thinking about the night's writing, talking shit with the boys, laughing, until it was first break, donuts and more coffee, no longer buzzy, actually enjoying the lowly old workday mostly alone.
I didn't like feeling sorry for the people I saw who let themselves die by the hour.
There was a fellow who talked a lot about how he'd be a cop, a prim little guy of forty sporting a tight white crew cut, accusatory eyes, and a sneering hateful whine who picked up the trash. There was a fat blob of crap who sat on his ass all day in crisp plaid and a clean Cat cap sporting a phony bark that sounded like bad Edward G. Robinson, see. How he got that job I don't think I want to know, see. He sure as hell didn't earn it by working.
There would come a time when I would say, "How about some of that bare knuckle boxing you've never done in your life right now, liar, I'll be your sparring partner, liar, let's go out in the parking lot and try some of that bare knuckle boxing right now, let's go." And he would not face me, but scurry to his car, scurry home to his mommy, in whose house he lived.
After lunch I was let go. Not fired, he said, sounding like a very meek Edward G. Robinson. I had been provoked by his abuse of office title. I enjoyed humiliating fat boy and his sycophants in a great big scene the doomed workers no doubt quietly relished, and I enjoyed those mornings, the coffee and the cold, the stories and the banter and the bullshit, the hefting and the musing, getting paid to gear up for the night's fun--for the song of a shade with a red wine thirst.
Once after I stopped my car in the street, walked back to the one behind, and without a word inserted my fist in the driver's puss I got back in, parked in the lot and walked across campus to the room where I sat waiting for students to drop in for writing help.
I remember thinking, Here's one for the cosmic camera. I thought it was easy for people to talk about restraint when they don't have a choice. Electric Celtic warriors on foot and horseback roared behind me overhead, flanked by two calm Druids. Sometimes your best friends, I thought, are the dead and the unborn.
I went berserk on a guy in the university library before class because I didn't like the way he looked at me when I was walking downstairs with a small blonde babe who would one day come to deny I had in fact channeled my Chi and coldcocked that sucker square on the jaw and sending his sorry ass sprawling though she could not have seen me do it because she was not yet down the stairs and I knew the only reason she denied it was because we were at a party of Graduate English students and this one butt-ugly jealous hog could not cope with my manhood, so the small blonde babe, having had a few, sided with her to irk me, but nothing can change the fact I had indeed kicked his ass, decisively, without bolster or bluster, all the more righteous since it was his face and his alone of which the library workers were alerted in the inner sanctum as he was known to harass young women to the point where campus cops had recently escorted one to her car at night to get away from the bully I bullied, and that by God is the unembellished truth no matter what anybody says now, and we all know damn good and well what makes my admitting this so distasteful is that the hero is not supposed to sing his own song, but I go ahead and do it anyway because in addition to being brave and noble I am also mean and nasty, too, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Next time on
TRUE FIGHTIN' TALES
The Battle of the Bagel Shop
The Colorado Football Team Incident
The Fuckup at the Factory
Besting Sandy's Boyfriend and His Buddy
and many more