THE BLACK BOOT DIARIES – Shorts I

“You take the biscuit”

—–

He is walking toward the Apple Store with boss and co-worker in December. A man, late 50s, overweight, dressed in traditional Texas or Oklahoma tourist garb is panhandling.

“You wanna feel good? Put it right here!”

Texas is holding a pudgy gloved hand out. He tries not to think too deeply about the double-meaning. The man epitomizes tea bagger, but not in either original meaning.

As the trio walk away having given Texas neither thing he was asking for they hear him shout, “F***ing liberals!”

For once, he doesn’t think the event was aimed mainly at him. It appears the stealth wing of the GOP is running PsyOps as well, on Manhattan itself and just in time for the holidays and—one imagines—a few mere blocks down the street from propaganda HQ: FOX News.

——

It is February, probably late in the month. He is chatting with a couple of inebriated dudes from Connectitcut outside a bar. He isn’t sure why he’s there. He’s been wandering mostly.

A fascist-hippie approaches and says he’s from Alaska. He brings up hunting and mentions he or someone he knew had a hat with tails on it.

“It was a fox and a… a… what’s it called?”

“Wasn’t a coyote, by any f***ing chance?”

“Yea…”

Whatever else he was going to say trails off as eye contact is made. He moves almost immediately inside the bar.

“That’s really f***ing funny, pal…”

Fascist-Hippie is inside by the time the sentence ends.

—–

It is March at a truck stop in New Jersey on the road back after the trial. The diner sits where the waitress suggests, which turns out to be directly next to one of only two other diners in the whole place at this hour.

The six-foot-five truck driver is not sitting there at the time, so Diner’s only clue that the seat next to his is taken is when the waitress sets down a side salad that he did not order.

Diner starts to move (there are twenty or so seats available at this long counter) but is feeling mischievous for some reason so he stays.

Trucker arrives and he manages to suppress a guffaw when he sees just how big and intimidating the guy is.

Apparently Truck Driver is unwilling to show any fear (though Diner can see it in his every move). Truck Driver engages Jock (the third customer) way down the counter but purposely ignores Diner.

He launches into discussions about serial killers, hitmen, and, eventually Vlad Tsepes. He tells Jock about the stakes.

Everyone knows about the goddam stakes.

Diner jumps in describing both the nailing of turbans to heads and the clean removal of all corrupt nobles in a great fire disguised as a party.

Trucker is getting agitated. He’s now going off the rails. He stammers and speaks louder. He is sweating. His hands are shaking.

Do I really look like Ted Bundy?

Trucker finishes and leaves saying goodbye to Jock. He ignores Diner when he says goodnight.

As Diner makes his way to his car, he bumps into Jock in the gift shop.

“What was that about?”

“Man. No idea.”

It was a welcome diversion and a keen reminder that size doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of fear. In fact, maybe the more some a**hole has to lose, the more frightened he is.

Or they are…

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