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Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 151 [+/-]
The always trembling, ever decisive hand of fate placed the body carrying the mind of moi into a small pickup truck. My boss, one of those to whom I have leased my body for their working pleasure in exchange for meager pay at various times throughout the week, asked me to take the vehicle and deliver some supplies to a sister store across town. The change of scenery made the proposition agreeable.

It was one of those days where the sun was lost behind a crowd of rolling gray clouds and the air was heavy with a cold dampness. The kind of day found uplifting for those suffering from too much sun or mania. Alas, it was a change of some sort, and not long on demands, useful for one being in a funk well described by the dark and foreboding clouds.

Having traveled most of the way to my destination, taking shortcuts through areas of town where the small, white commercial vehicle stood out for its newness — it was 5 years old — and cleanliness, I came upon a scene that called for me to take a role more active than spectator. A young man appearing near adult age was riding his bike along the side of the road, soaked from head to toe as if he made it his duty to sponge the wet from the air around him. Approaching the corner, the young man paused next to a sketchy van then continued to the corner where I sat behind the stop sign.

Out of what seemed to be the decent thing to do in a most humblingly indecent day, I rolled down the window to speak to Junior and offer him a ride to his destination in dry comfort (Yes, this is an offense for which I could be terminated, but should that impede a man from being decent?)

“Toss your bike in back and hop in.”

The young man immediately accepted the offer. He grunted upon entering the vehicle, avoiding eye contact. His shoes stuck out because they were flashy, new and expensive, a far different descriptors than what would be used for his clothes.

“Where can I take you?”

He pointed to an apartment complex across the street, then continued to rub his hands together to warm. How fortunate, the good deed did not require much of a detour.

“Where?” I asked upon entering the complex.

“Just drive around it a few times,” he requested.

I drove, not sure what Junior wished to avoid, hoping the refuge of the vehicle would give him a few minutes of comfort.

After a couple laps with him nervously looking behind us too frequently, he said, “You’ve been around, you know how this works. Cash up-front.”

It was worse than imagined. The fidgety kid was selling drugs.

“No thank you,” I rebuffed with politeness.

“Huh? What the fuh...”

There was a short pause in the conversation that felt long and awkward as I continued to drive around the complex. As the one trying to do a good deed, it was upon me to put him at ease. “Don’t worry about it, I have had people close to me in my life who were heavily involved in drugs, so I’m not going to say anything. You are safe. Though I would suggest another path, but you will need to make that choice.”

That was as far as my confession would go with the impressionable young lad. It was time to get him to his destination.

“Drugs? What you talkin’ ‘bout?” he asked sharply.

It now appeared the kid was backtracking, trying to disavow his request for a cash transaction. He had to be scared. I had to be moving along.

“Where would you like me to drop you off, so you don’t have to catch some nasty illness and need a chicken soup drip to recover?” I said with polite intent.

“You for reals? This ain’t what you wantin’? For reals?”

No need for a hurtful rejection of the peddler. Offering a generous smile, an affirmative nod was given.

“Jus’ drop me off where you pick me up. This is embarassin’. People gonna be laughin’ when they listen to this.”

Offering a wet young man a ride home and declining his offer to engage in a drug transaction, this is what people find funny? Perhaps he should not share the story. I seem to have lost my ability to be decent as me, let alone he of thee.

Returning to where the good-samaritan excursion began, the young man opened the door and gave a strange look, face askew.

“You for reals?”

Not having a clue as to what he was asking, I answered as politely as the ending scenario would allow. “I think we were having two different conversations. I’m not sure either knew what the other was talking about.”

“You got that right, pops. They gonna be laughin’ at me for this one,” he answered, removing his cap, shaking his head and chuckling as he exited the vehicle.

He closed the door and pulled his bike from the back. I began to slowly drive away, watching him go to the side of the van and begin an animated conversation...looking older, somehow.


The measure of a man should not consider how his acts are received but what acts he takes, and when a man takes steps to be decent, can that be anything but...decent?

Still, what was so funny...?
Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 168 [+/-]



*...and it's gone.

Some things are meant to last for only that special moment. (If you ask nicely, there may be one left...perhaps a gift exchange.)
Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 205 [+/-]
“What did you do today?”

The question caused shivers. Why does she care? The truth is she does not, she just wants us to share our lives. I should be polite. “Breathed.”

“Okay. Well, a woman came by asking for you. She was really pretty.”

“That’s nice.”

“Don’t you want to know what she said?”

How to state my indifference... I shrug the giant gentle shoulders helping to carry the good of the world.

“Well, aren’t you in a mood.”

Shoulders shrug.

“You aren’t going to get a little somethin’-somethin’ treating me like that.”

Shrug.

“Everything okay?”

“Fine. I am going to carry a boulder up that hill on the trail behind your house.”

“Uhm...okay, but why?”

“The vessel of the mind must be prepared to protect the mind.”

“You’re weird.”

Why am I living here?! Candy is meant to be eaten, savored in moderation, not retained.

Without further word, the small abode was left and the shrugging shoulders of indifference did not return until exhaustion had spent the body hours later.

Read.

Sleep.

Early rise and the pressing of the coffee bean behind the cloak of an apron. The day was boring, ordinary, as any on a slow suffering path of suicide.

“Having a good day?” Heshe asked.

Shrug.

“Well that beeeeauuuutiful woman over there at that table wants to talk with you when you get your next break, sour puss.”

At a small table sat an unusually attractive woman — unusual because there was nothing fake or forced about her beauty, she was simply one of nature’s perfections, an amends for the grotesque, ugly offerings nature seems to spew so freely. It was time for a break.

“Thank you.”

“Anytime, sweetie. You know I’m here for you,” Heshe offered, batting the mascaraed eyes.

“Thanks.”

Sitting at the small table, nothing was offered in speech. I had not sought her, so wanted nothing from her but to become drunk in her beauty. I had to make adjustments while sitting in my seat to make allowance for the firm, growing desire.

“Hi,” she offered, smiling, after a long silence.

No shrug, but a generous smile of desire.

“Well, we...a friend of mine, of yours, wants to talk with you, but he did not want to come in here. He thought it would be bad for you.”

“Who?”

“He told me to tell you to come, that he has your money.”

Friend? Money? Sounds like a trap. “Is he here?”

“Tell me when you want to go and I will take you to him. After work today? Tomorrow? Next week?”

“Now.”

“Right now? Are you off?”

“Taking a break. Is he nearby?”

“Down the street a little, then just around the corner.”

“Let’s go.”

The view with pleasant palpitations from behind was nearly as perfect as it was from the front.

After a few minute walk with a fetching view, she led me into a sandwich shop under construction.

“A lot of TI going on here.”

“TI?” she asked.

“Tenant improvement.”

“Oh, yeah. Should be done soon. The sooner the better.”

“Looks good.”

“Let me see if he’s in back.”

Before she could go to find the man who sought my presence, he stepped from in back. I recognized him immediately.

“Hey!” he shouted.

Shaking his hand and sharing a smile, I replied, “Looks good. This is what you did with your money?”

“This and 5 more. I’m all in. Either it works or it doesn’t.”

“Better be a pretty special sandwich.”

“Sandwich, salad, baked goods, we’ll have it all. Here, try this. We were testing these in back.”

It was an excellent and delightful consumptive experience. “Wow, surprisingly good.”

“I see you met my new friend.”

“Yes. Beautiful. Regardless, can’t be worse than the last.”

“I’m telling you, people do not understand. She is absolutely beautiful, but it is her warmth and charm that caught me. I’ve had beauty that was really hideous, and this one is more beautiful inside than out.”

“Hard to believe, that’s quite a high standard.”

He laughed. She blushed.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep you, but I wanted to give you the money I promised.”

“You don’t have to, I don’t need it. I didn’t do it for the money.”

“Nor did I do it for the money. I was happy I was able to get a crack at that asshole manager of yours. I never imagined your company would be so quick to pay up such a ridiculous amount of money to shut me up and get ownership of that video of him ‘beating’ me.”

We both chuckled.

“Fate was generous that day.”

“Yes, it was, but if it were not for you the day would have never happened. I figured we would split it, but I don’t want your name on anything showing I paid you, so I will pay all the taxes in my name, etcetera. So you can get half of your half as cash. I have it and can bring it to you. It’s in my safe at home. It’s way too much to keep around here.”

“Thank you,” I offered with mixed emotions.

“You don’t seem excited? Do you know how much this is? You can quit your job. I would have thought...”

“Sorry. I have been saving my checks, getting nowhere, telling myself I want my compound back, but now I am not sure. If you give me that money, I may buy a compound and anchor myself. I... Just now, in this instant, I know I don’t want that right now.”

“I understand. I can hold if for you until you’re ready?”

“That sandwich was excellent.”

“Thanks.”

“You’re opening 6 of these places?”

“To start.”

“Why not 10?”

“Can only leverage so much.”

“Taking investors?”

“Uh...”

“Well?”

“I, uh... I mean...”

“Will my share buy me a 20% interest?”

“Absolutely, but I could lose everything.”

“Well, then I wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with the money.”

“I’m going to make you a rich man.”

“I believe you, but I don’t know that I want that either.”

He laughed. She smiled. I shrugged.

The two of us drew up a contract, his luscious lipped lover and a construction worker were witnesses. I now owned 20% of a sandwich empire, and did not care it disappeared tomorrow.

“I have to get back to work.”

“Why don’t you quit? Come to work for me...for yourself...with the company you own with me?”

“I am a silent partner. I know enough about myself to know I conquer or I submit, vanish...vanish or vanquish...that should be my motto. I wish to submit, to be subservient to your dream. If I were to become involved, I would feel the need to conquer and own your dream, just because it is who I am. I trust you. I submit to you. And now I must submit to those who demand freshly crushed roasted coffee beans.”

“But... If you can do it there you can do it here?”

“No, I don’t own or manage or worry about the coffee house. I am there to crush beans and make a mediocre cup of coffee that satisfies the over-considering palettes of a bunch of group thinkers. These people don’t know a good cup of coffee until they all agree it is a good cup, even if it is swill...and it often is. I am just a bean crusher there, learning a bit about humility...”

“I see.”

“Yeah, but I expect I will be leaving there soon.”

“And...?”

“Don’t know, but I must go. Thank you and good luck.”

“Okay. Don’t forget your copy of the contract. And don’t worry, I’ll have a lawyer make this legal legit right away, in case I become involved with another black widow.”

“Good luck.”

“Thank you. I will do my best to make you rich.”

“There are many things I desire in life, and I must admit that being rich monetarily is not amongst them. It sounds, feels burdensome.”

That, I don’t understand, so I will try anyway. And who knows, by the time I do it, you may be ready.”



Oh, I’ll be ready, but for what I do not know.

Money. If it was the key to happiness, man would pursue it instead of sweet candiliciousness, and men pursue sweet, sticky, moist candy using every cent they acquire...always looking for one more taste of deliciousness.

Money.

How boring.

Yet I return to my menial job, obviously for something more than nothing?

There is no joy in absolute poverty.


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