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The Natural
The Tao of Tony Rooster

I had a job hauling cyanide to the mine. The pneumatic doubles we drove were rough riding sons of bitches, they'd bounce the fillings right out of your teeth on those dirt roads. DuPont gave us full body suits, but no respirators. Washing out the inside of the tanks, it was impossible not to breathe the fumes that were displaced by the water. It wasn't a job you wanted to retire from, but the money was good.

Everything nowdays is microscopic mining. They use cyanide to leach the gold particles out of the crushed ore. I knew a guy who would go out to the old abandoned ghost mines in his pick up and shovel up a load here and there. He'd haul it to the mill and get maybe $500 for a pick up load. The amount of fuel you have to burn to do this ends up making it not as profitable as one would imagine. But, Nevada is full of old mines, and full of old ghosts, at least for me.

I was working 14 hour shifts, six days a week. I'd only been married about a year, and our plan was to bank as much money as possible and get the hell out. Go buy a little piece of property somewhere and start a life together.

One day I come home dead tired, as usual, and see a motorcycle parked in front of our single wide trailer. I felt dread deep down in the pit of my stomach. I snuck in quietly and opened the bedroom door.

Right there in front of me I saw my lovely wife blowing one sixth of the Village People. This guy thought he was Marlon Brando.

He looked over at me and said, "Oh, ha ha, hey man! What's up?" Everything goes silent at this point. His grin evaporates. I break the silence, and calmly tell him "Get out."

I walk to the kitchen like a zombie, and open a beer, affording this gentleman the opportunity to dress and leave peacefully out the back door. I drink a beer, then open another, slowly walking back to the bedroom and my beautiful, loving wife. She is crying, hysterically.

"I'm so sorry baby." She sobs, "but you know, you're always gone and I get so horny. I love you......." On and on. I just look at her.

My beer is getting warm. I drink it down in one pull and go get another. Head back to the room, where she's still sitting on the bed. Inspiration finally hits me.

"You haven't been able to find a job for the last six months. All you wanna do, all you're good at, all you know how to do is FUCK." Why am I not angry, I wonder to myself. Maybe I'm in shock. Maybe I'm just cold. Maybe I'm relieved.

"So how about this, sweetheart", says I, "I'm going down to the u-haul place and renting you a trailer. We're going to load all your shit up into it, and then I'm going to drop you off at the whorehouse in Elko. Kill two birds with one stone. How's that sound to you?"

"FINE! If that's how you see me, I guess I'm just another one of your whores, right?"

She thinks I'm bluffing.

Two hours later I'm back with the trailer. The next day I drop her off in Elko.

The next week I have a u-haul trailer of my own. I didn't even know where I was going. I had it narrowed down to either Burlington, VT, or Portland, OR. It did't really matter. I just wanted to get that Nevada stink off of me. I'm standing in the driveway, next to my truck, ready to go and, I finally decide to just flip a coin. It comes up heads. I'm going to Portland.

Divorce is never pretty. It's a long drawn out process, even when the split is amicable, which mine was. At least, I think it was.

Three years later when it was finally made official in the eyes of the law, I asked my new ex-wife, there in the courthouse lobby, if she was still at the brothel.

I hadn't seen her since Elko.

She smiled, that same smile I fell in love with, and said proudly, "The owner put me in charge of running the place last year. He said I was a natural."

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Add Comment
ShepOctober 11, 2017 2:32 PM UTC

The guy's reaction makes me wonder if she was already playin' for pay. He acted like Tony was just another client who showed up a little early.
BobOctober 11, 2017 3:51 AM UTC

Until the 1970's in some European jurisdictions honor killing of an adulterous spouse and/or her extra-marital lover attracted a reduction of the sentence, providing it was done without premeditation. One can understand the logic.

Nowadays you join a mens' group for your mental health and pay alimony to her.