Phoenix Bad-Ass: Return of Boss

Boss was back in town, and this time it wasn’t on the D.L.

Walking into The Eagle, Boss waited for his eyes to adjust to the smokey darkness that filled the room. Coming into view was a shadow he knew well. Slouched over an empty 40oz of Old E was his old partner’s son, Zone.

“Hey Kid, you still drinking that shit water?” Boss said laughing as Zone recognized him.

The leather jacket was the same one he had worn for years.  Zone had never seen him in anything else besides Levis, a black t-shirt and that jacket. Even in the squelching 120 degree Arizona desert heat, that was it.  Zone smiled thinking about how pissed he was at Powell falling off the jet ski wearing it.

“Aww, there he is…What, this?  Zone replied looking down at the bottle. “This is the finest shit water you can get north of the border.  You want? ”

“What the hell.  It’s like what…?”  Boss answered looking at his watch, “9:45 in the morning.”

He pulled up the empty bar stool next to Zone. The cold 40oz sat sweating in front of him. It tasted like shit, exactly as he remembered it. He watched Zone take a drink. The image was just as it was twenty years ago when he had sat there with the kid’s father.

“Damn where you been? It’s been a minute since I saw you last.”  Zone asked.

“Shit kid, you how it is when you are on that DL.  You learned that at what, twelve?”  Boss said as he punch him in the arm.

“Hey watch it asshole.  Zone said laughing,  “I am not twelve any more. I can kick your ass while blindfolded, hung over and my hands tied behind my back.”

Boss did not doubt that. He had a kick no one else could touch. When his foot made contact it was like every once of anger and power in him came through at once, exploding on contact. Zone’s reputation preceded him, so it was not often Boss had seen it.

“Yeah, I guess you could kick my ass.”  Boss said looking towards the tiny girl standing by the Jagermeister  cooler.  “Hey sweetheart, can we get a couple of shots down here?”

Boss watched her turn, her eyes flashing sharp blue. It was like looking a negative of her mother. Everything was the same, except black where the blond was.

“What the hell did you just call me?  I ain’t your sweetheart, Asshole.” she paused recognizing the now silver hair and the old leather jacket,  “Boss…? Damn it is you, when did you get back in town?”

“Shit, girl I just rolled up. Damn,  you look good! Wanna take a run up north? My bike is outside.” Boss asked, with a grin.

She could feel her face get hot, “Shut the hell up Boss. Your older than my daddy.”
“I know girl, I know… but in another life time..”

He said, winking at her as she handed him the shot.

The cold went down smooth and fast.  Setting the glass down his focus went back to Zone.

“Speaking of your pops,  where the hell is that asshole?” 

 

Two Worlds

They look at you with disappointment…. thinking they know something…they have no idea how wrong they are…if they knew that would they act the same…would they make stupid comments…tell you they are not involved…ask you what are they doing to you…do they remember the innocent one in the middle…

You scream….yell…FUCK OFF…as loud as you can in your writing…they act shocked at your choice of words…writing “stuff it”  instead of using the words that come out of their mouths…they like to share your thoughts with each other…laughing back and forth…like your life is their game to be played with as they wish…to them it is pure entertainment…

Do they feel better when their foot shoves your face into the mud…when they grow tired they find someone else to shove down you some more… they all stare, laughing as they watch you struggle to get up… wiping away the spec of dirt that splattered back as their boot kicked your innocent one…you stand up out of the mud…you look deep into their soul…you see nothing but anger and hate…

You wonder…can she see a time where he did not get into the car…there is no insurance settlement…the older wise one did not start her in that house…no free and clear…she gets pregnant…he is screwing her friends…she is upset…she takes one more of the pills the Dr. gave her for pain…everything seems a little brighter…a year later..no money… over due bills… and that new problem…dope-sick…is she strong enough to handle that…can she turn down the needle full of heroin knowing the sickness is approaching fast…

Does he know how inches could have changed his entire life…he has been drinking with his friends…gets into his new truck…lines start to blur just a little… he tries to bring them back to clear…cannot see the car with the single mom of three…can he see the felony DUI…the manslaughter charge…can he feel the guilt ripping him apart…does he feel the relief when the vodka slides down his throat and starts to numb the pain…

They judge with only the knowledge formed from their own world…based on what they think is normal…

THEIR world where…. compassion is conditional…monetary success required…functional addiction mandatory…
VS.
YOUR world where…. empathy is expected…sharing required, as you cannot take it with you……AND the understanding there is only a moment in time…only one wrong decision before they come slipping into YOUR WORLD ….

The Supper Bell

The swing went back and forth with a slow harmony.  The sun was fading across the horizon as the stars began to twinkle through the leaves.  They watched him gaze up, pausing for a moment to admire the full moon.  His vibrant blue eyes making contact as he wandered towards them. They looked at each other and smiled. The glimmer they had not seen for so long was back. The supper bell rang across the yard, interrupting the silence reminiscent of every night.

The table was set with the familiar nine places. The smell of the homemade macaroni and cheese filled the kitchen.  Small talk continued until everyone was seated.  Grandpa looked around. After seeing that everyone was there he bowed his head…  God is great God is good and we thank Him for this food. By His goodness we are fed, give us Lord our daily bread, Amen…

Plates were piled high with fresh homemade goodness.  Grandma made sure no one walked away from her table hungry.  The conversation about the upcoming election died down as Grandma opened the little book she read from each night.  The Daily Bread somehow always fit the events of the day.  As she read about giving thanks in everything, they all knew how blessed they were to be there.

Homemade pie replaced the empty supper dishes.  Warmth and content filled their stomachs. A story being told was given a twist, in hopes of a reaction from Uncle. As he noticed the stillness come over the table, his eyes came up to them staring and waiting. The silence was broken with a laughter that echoed throughout the house.  A sound heard each night after the supper bell rang.

MEASURE

Her stomach twisted a little more into the familiar knot.  She could not remember the last time it was not there.  He looked at her as she picked up her phone not sure who she was calling.  Listening to the ring, she wondered what to say.  Half hoping it would go to voice mail, she heard the familiar hello.

A smile came across her face.  Her look reassured him they would be okay for the night.  He did not want to think what was going to happen after.  The apprehension of the future was almost unbearable at times.  The next ten minutes were filled with unease as both gas gauges showed no promise of making it.  A little prayer of thanks went to the heavens as they pulled up to the house.

  She rang the doorbell and looked at the sign that hung by the door.  She had read it a hundred times, but tonight the meaning hit home.

THE MEASURE OF LOVE

IS TO

LOVE WITHOUT MEASURE

   As the door opened there stood Grandma, with a smile and her blue eyes twinkling.  The feeling they had standing at a door having lost everything was not new to them.  Heads hung low with the usual shame, they walked in. She asked how they were.  There was no judgment.  No questions on how could they let this happen.  She showed them to a room, and told them supper would be at six.  Clean sheets and extra blankets were already out. They put down the bags as the panic started to fade.  The dinner bell rang and the of three walked towards the table now set for nine.

 

 

He Doesn’t Smile Anymore

She watched as he walked towards the door.  The look in his eyes told her the smile was forced. The joy he once felt had slipped away months ago.  It was as if the darkness had engulfed his spirit, leaving nothing.  He looked back, trying to give her a glimmer of hope. A small sign that everything would be okay, but he did not have the strength.

He was sitting in the same ragged chair that she had grown to hate. It was the same picture of despair she saw every morning.  She smiled at him while she put the leash on the dog. As she did every day, she asked if he would like to come with them. The answer was always the same.

She walked out as the morning sun was coming to light.  The breeze felt warm and comforting across her face. She let the dog off the leash and watched as he ran across the dew covered grass.  Tears came to her eyes as she thought about the last three years.

His eyes followed her as she walked out the door. He could  hear her laughter as the dog splashed into a puddle.   He closed his eyes trying to remember the last time they had laughed together.

Cannot Take it With You

If you made a call to them letting them know you are about to be homeless would they know what to say?  Do they understand that explaining the mistakes you made fifteen years ago has nothing to do with what is about to happen in the next forty-eight hours?

Have they ever felt that dread of not knowing where they will be the next week?  You know they have not.  They cannot look at you without putting a monetary amount on you. They will never look at you any other way.  The weight lifted once you knew you did not care what they thought.  Would they approve of this or that, who really cares.  Sign in blood and they need something for their time and effort.

You feel sorry for them. Can they see what has slipped away? Their actions say yes, and they are good with it.  A sign we all saw in the past: HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS….You wonder if they remember the man who put that sign up..The difference was he knew the meaning of the other sign…YOU CANNOT TAKE IT WITH YOU…