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Baboons and Leopards
The Biker and the Bimbo by WellRead Ed

It was a typical nightshift in The Knife and Gun Club Hospital in North Dindustan; loud, chaotic, and bustling with activity. At some point during the night, she came in. The ‘she’ in question was a twenty-something woman that proclaimed that she was a ‘professional dancer’ to anyone within ear shot. I had encountered her type all too frequently; loud, abrasive, attractive, and used to getting her way by virtue of being good looking. If I had been nineteen, I might have found her alluring. At 34, I just found her annoying.

The reason she was there was because her diet of whiskey shots and various drugs had led to her experiencing severe abdominal pain. The ER docs had ordered her blood drawn, an ECG, and inserted a Nasogastric tube; a tube that went into her nose and down to her stomach for the purpose of suctioning the contents of her stomach out.

After several thousand dollars (none of which would ever be recovered since she, as was the rule in North Dindustan, had no medical insurance) had been invested in her care, it was determined that she had abdominal pain secondary to severe alcohol abuse.

Once it was verified that her ailment was not life-threatening, I was tasked with giving her her discharge instructions.

Lucky me.

I approached her gurney and pulled the curtain back to reveal that A. she was removing her NG Tube before she had been instructed to, and B. she had been joined by ‘Country’ a member of The Vigilantes, a local MC.

Upon seeing me, the dancer ceased removing her NG Tube and looked at me like she’d been caught shoplifting. I just did my best to remain expressionless and said, “Go ahead and finish; you’re being discharged.”

She tentatively tugged on the tube and then stopped and looked at me, “You do it.”

“I don’t want your goobs all over my hand. You started it, you pull it out.”

She did so and said, “Now what? When can I go?”

“I just have to give you your instructions and you’re done. It says here, ‘stop drinking alcohol, stop doing drugs-‘ “

At this, she snorted a laugh. I looked at her, “Yeah, I know you’re not going to quit, you know you’re not going to quit, but I have to say this so that our asses are covered.”

At that, she gave me a dirty look and said, “You know, I don’t think I like you very much.”

“Somehow, I’ll find the strength to carry on. Can I finish?”

She looked over at Country who, to this point, was more interested in leaving than she was, and in an outraged whine said, “Do you hear how he’s talking to me???”

Country looked at me. I just stood there. By that time of night, I was ready to fuck, fight, or take a nap; it made no difference to me. We locked eyes for a second and he said to her, “Will you just get dressed? I got shit to do!”

I drew the curtain so she could have some privacy and started to walk away. Country stopped me and said, “Hey! We’re havin’ a party at the clubhouse next Saturday. Here’s a couple of tickets, bring a friend.”

I took the tickets and said, “Thanks man! Appreciate it.”

One thing I learned at that job was this; EVERYONE wears a mask. Country and, by extension, his bros, gained strength from their numbers and their reputation. They all had club names like ‘Reaper’ and ‘Lurch’ and emitted an air of menace. Certainly there were those in his club that were comfortable with violence, but I lived with it every night. I had waded through puddles of blood, zipped so many bodies into bags that I lost count of how many, and subdued various drunks, crackheads, gangbangers, and Psych patients on a nightly basis. Violence had long ago lost its mystery for me. I was intimately familiar with it and pretty good at dealing it out.

Upon reflection, I am reminded of the relationship between Baboons and Leopards; in numbers, the Baboons have the advantage and the Leopard runs if it is able. Alone? The Baboon is food.

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