There’s a homeless man in Florida who wants to see how much of a man I am.
There’s a homeless man in Florida that has a 9mm pistol pointed at my chest and I know what kind of gun it is because he’s made sure to describe the entrails behind the muzzle. It’s a semi-automatic that holds 18 bullets, he only has 7 left, with an alloy frame and polymer grip. The overall length of the Beretta is 8.5 inches but he confesses his dick is closer to the barrel length: 5 inches. There are usually two of them in his possession, guns not dicks, but he sold one for heroin.
His shaky aim has his sole raven-barreled gun directed to various points on the right side of my chest. If I haddextrocardia situs inversus, inverted internal organs, he might have had a chance of an immediate kill shot. I could be taking a non-lethal shot close the shoulder, survivable, if I can grit through the sudden penetration and incapacitate him. My stomach tells me to cut down my instincts to disarm and maim him (fight), and easily quiet the other side of my instincts (flight). I can’t run that fast - built for endurance - and my legs get a pretty good laugh when I’m in a situation where they could actually help me if healthy.
I already plotted out my approach to a situation like this when I met him, when I meet anyone. He’s been in jail for 15 years for drug smuggler, a profitable business built on giving and taking respect. There should be a balance of respect for him and respect for myself by not being a pussy, but in the end, I ditch most of my planned idea and just picture a werewolf tearing off his face.
“Get your shiny gun out of my face.” It wasn’t shiny and I’m pretty sure I’m snarling.
“What would you do in a situation like this?” he asks and I’m pretty sure he’s crying.
“We are in this situation,” I trail off.
“If there were drugs involved and you knew this was it.”
“I would slap that stupidly aimed gun off to the side and bury my cute knife into your face.” It wasn’t cute, more garish, and my mind likes to randomly choose adjectives in new and bothersome situations.
He starts sliding up his aim up towards the place behind my face that lets me frequently write about erections. “That’s all you could do. Going for your own gun would take too long,” he stops the gun around my Adams apple, which is quite large and quite capable of deflecting bullets. “A knife is a great option in any situation,” he says.
I ignore most of his advice and tell him that he’d look nice in a grave. I growl out the compliment and give him a wide werewolf smile. I’m not a shape-shifting psychopath but the observational library in my head has a few selections on how to mimic the call signs of a monster. I smile at the moon, death is on my face. And if you wait too long then you’ll never see the dawn again.
“You’re one crazy mofo.” That’s the third time in three weeks someone has used that exact phrase to describe me, but mostly for the idea of spending months hitchhiking the country. I’ll have to tally up how many people call me that based on physical threats of violence. Hopefully, this is the only one that involves bringing a tiny knife to a shiny gunfight. I slash my smile a little higher; he backs a little farther down.
And I feel comfortable enough to imagine a black woman in funeral attire singing/reciting the next part of the Dead Man’s Bones song I began two paragraphs ago: my soul is full of sunken ships. My hearts a prisoner to my ribs. We’re flesh and bone. When we are all alone. But together, forever, we’ll live. I start snapping, not mentally, I mean with my fingers, to her dead heart beat. In the scarcity of light I can still make out the burn scars running from her jaw to brow because I’ve decided my make believe backup vocalist died in a local plantation fire. But without the sun, I’m only shadows in a dress.
Waylay, possibly a nickname, reboots my attention with a burp, a lowered gun, and a true crime story about watching a drug running buddy slicing a guys throat ‘clear till Tuesday.’ He pops his thumb to do the usual thumb across the throat knife mimic charade and I check out of the conversation and try to remember the next part of the werewolf song. The words are scattered somewhere I can’t find and I just decide to hand the man at Waylay’s front desk some more cash and check back in for his night of gritty storytelling.
So forever, towards dark, we rise.#Lit #Writing #Books #Long Reads #The Insides of Monsters #Shawn Gamez #Theory In Transit