Sunday, April 2, 2017

Johnny Gets Out of Line

I played with matches. There. I admit it. If that makes you feel superior, then great. I really don’t give a good-goddamn. I also ate paste and often ran with scissors. And yet, here we are, standing in the same slow-ass line: a glue-mouthed firebug and you, the scissor-walking golden-boy of Upper Lake. You’re turning your back on me? Really? That’s fine. I don’t mind if you turn your back on me. I’m just digging the proximity. I mean, we both know you’re not going anywhere, and I’m sure as hell not getting out of line. So whether I’m talking to your back or your front, it makes no difference. The fact of the matter is, unless you plan on shoving those nicely manicured fingers in your ears and singing “God Bless America” over and over and over at the top of your lungs, you’re going to have to listen. Front or back, my friend. Front or back. Makes no difference to me. Plus, that’s my cousin, Steve, behind you. He’s the one that taught me how to play with matches in the first place. So don’t expect a better class of conversation from him. Okay? Hi, Steve.

Look. I think we got off on the wrong foot. All I’m saying is it’s hot out here, this line hasn’t moved in hours, and I resent the shit out of you. That’s all I’m saying. I was about to say it’s nothing personal, but even a paste-eater like me knows that’s not true. It’s one hundred percent personal. I’m a person. You’re a person. And you irritate the hell out of me. So I guess it doesn’t get any more personal than that, right? Hey. Relax. I see that fight-or-flight look in your eye. I’m not going to get violent. We’re just having a conversation here, just two adults talking through their differences. That said, if you had a bottle of water I’d probably take it from you. You’re a pretty big dude, sure. But don’t forget about Steve. Yeah. I’d totally steal your water. But hey, look. That’s neither here nor there because you don’t have any water anyway, right? I’m just glad we can talk like this and kind of clear the air, you know? Strive to reach some common ground, et cetera, et cetera.

Hey, do you hear that? Are those sirens? Bells? Is that the ice-cream truck? I bet it’s just up on the next block. Steve, do you want some ice cream? You’re goddamn right you do. Let’s go. This line’s not going anywhere, anyway.

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