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Made Him Dig His Own Grave
The Tao of Tony Rooster

The TikTok lounge on 82nd is one of the few places in this part of town that serve decent food 24 hours a day. The large windows next to the booths on the diner side of the establishment afford one of the best vantage points for people watching that I know of. Right there, inches from your face is the grimy sidewalk belonging to the Avenue of Roses. This particular spot is always alive with the hustle and bustle of the most deranged and demented denizens of the desperate city's homeless diaspora.

At one time, I incorrectly surmised that the reason for this must be the bright flashing lights surrounding the windows, an allegorical flame to these bizarre moths. After much contemplation however, I have come to the unmistakeable conclusion that the mentally ill gather here for no other reason than they are desirous of an audience. They like being watched by folks in the diner. How much fun would it be for them to act like crazy, babbling idiots, if there were no people about to witness them? All the world's a stage.....

A fair amount of prostitution and drug dealing are also on display for your viewing pleasure. The abyss WILL gaze back into you, but you can at least enjoy a nice breakfast while it is doing so.

I walk in tonight and notice Ski sitting at the liquor bar. Ski is a six foot eight, 400 pound Polack, who is fond of wearing bib overalls and hickory shirts, an acceptable uniform for a log truck driver. Upon his face is a long beard, black here, and grey there. His dark eyes hold just the tiniest hint of insanity. Imagine Charles Manson with a pituitary tumor.

The first time I met this brute was the afternoon I had my wisdom teeth extracted. I was seated at the bar, drinking whiskey and thoughtlessly spitting blood into an ashtray, cursing the primitive nature of modern dental practice, when I was approached by this Herculean oddity.

He informed me under no uncertain terms that I was occupying his seat.

Being the pacifist that I am, I politely motioned to the stool that was three seats down and inquired if, maybe, possibly, that wasn't his seat. The main topsail-sized flannel jacket resting flatly on the stool couldn't possibly have belonged to anyone but him. Still, he persisted that I move on and relinquish my seat, or face dire consequences.

I meditate on this for a moment, and after spitting another mouthful of blood into the ashtray, arise to face his challenge.

"If you really want to go out to the parking lot and bash each other's skulls in, let's get it over with. But I ain't giving you my seat."

The big lug broke down and started crying right then and there. He told me that his woman had just left him, and he was feeling quite despondent. I patiently listened to his woes, and even told him a few of my own. Misery does love company and we've been familiar acquaintances ever since.

Tonight Ski told me a story involving his sister.

"So, last week, my sister's husband got out of prison. He was in for some measure eleven shit, basically just slapped the fuck outta some stranger at the park when he was spun out. Probably thought the guy was CIA or FBI or something. He thought the old lady at the Safeway store was undercover DEA for awhile. Paranoia self destroy ya, kinda shit. I don't know what my sis sees in him. She's a nice girl. School teacher, ya know? Clint's just a crazy fuckin' tweaker......hey, what's up with that waitress over there? Is she retarded, or what?"

I look at the sad waitress and give my opinion, "Too stupid to drive and too ugly to strip. That's why she's here." He gives a brief courtesy laugh and goes on,

"Anyway", he continues, "dude is fresh out of the joint, he got out a few days early, and when he finally makes it home, he sneaks inside the house to surprise her, right? He starts goin' upstairs to the bedroom, but now he can hear she's in there with another guy. The crazy fucker plays it cool, just turns around, creeps down to the basement and starts smoking meth and drinking whiskey. He hides down there for awhile.....the whole time he's just stewin', getting more and more pissed and smoking more and more crank." Ski makes an angry face and the circular pantomime motion of a lighter on a meth pipe for effect.

"After awhile, he goes back upstairs, haha, and they're STILL fuckin! Except now, Clint has an aluminum bat, and, SURPRISE! He breaks the dude's legs. Both of em. Busted one of his arms too. He made this dude crawl to the backyard, and threw him a shovel. Told him to start diggin' his own grave. The whole time, he's talking to my sister, asking her if all this was really worth it."

"So what happened next?", I ask.

"Neighbors called the cops. They heard the guy screaming when he was gettin' the bat. Clint's back in jail. He wasn't even out for 24 hours."

I'm curious, "How much of the hole got dug?"

"I don't know. She hasn't asked me to come over and fix the lawn yet."

Somehow Ski's sister escaped unhurt.

"If you ask me, he shoulda shook the guy's hand." I tell him. "Why do these men feel the need to own a woman? I kinda like what Siddhartha said about attachment always leading to suffering. My chick asked me the other day why I don't tell her I love her, why I don't do more nice things for her. I told her it's because I know she wants to destroy me. You ever hear of Balzac? He said you should never marry a woman until you've dissected at least one."

"Dissect a bitch? Where do you come up with this shit?"

"Look man, women are like cats.", I ramble on. I'm a little bit drunk.


"Yeah, cats. They just want to be petted, but not too much. You know, you fuck 'em, and then you lay there and pet 'em, and then they bring you food."

Ski is obviously not getting it.

"Listen. You fuck 'em, you pet 'em for awhile, and then they leave. But when you let 'em go, they always come back.", I tell him.

The big man looked at me suspiciously and said, "You're fucked in the head."

Masculine Axis: A Meditation on Manhood and Heroism

Add Comment
ShepOctober 28, 2017 10:28 PM UTC

Schoolteacher, huh?

"The future of America".