Earlier today I was told a friend of mine had died. An older guy who goes by Bear who I helped out when he ended up homeless; for awhile Bear was my driver, shuttling me to meetings. In return he has helped me out when no one else could. And disappeared with my car for hours to the casino while I worried myself sick. I digress. Back to my point: so even though hes a thieving asshole I haven’t forgiven he once fought off a guy half his age and twice his size (and we really weren’t sure who would win) with a cane, to protect me. When I was at my lowest, utilities shut off, no food he still drove, and I suspect siphoned a little gas to get John and Chelsea to school. When I ran out of places to borrow or beg… I’d send him off with whatever I could scrounge to sell, tshirts and other junk, and he would always come back triumphant though sometimes he’d be gone all day and I’d bitch about him joyriding in my car.
One fight over the whole thieving asshole bit I brokenheartedly asked why he had so little respect for me. He asked if I knew how he always managed to hustle what I asked of him. Naturally I responded cuz hes a sheister and he quietly said, almost embarrassed, that it was because he kept going until he did because I had done so much for him and he didnt want to let me down. Ya, a sheister skilled in getting out of trouble but ya, it worked. Ya, I’m gonna cry again.
Ok hes so full of shit his eyes are brown and odds are he almost got me beat up as many times as saved me and I cant say were really friends, but I can say even though we can feud nonstop we don’t stab each other in the back. We go straight for the jugular, and that makes us family. Plus everyone understands I hate all humankind but still need to know you’re okay and have eaten. So I broke down when I was told he had died alone 10 blocks away. The last thing I remember saying to him was screaming at him to kick rocks, and wash his damn feet once in awhile so the rest of us can breathe. Oh man, I am the asshole. So I cried and apologized to his spirit, promising we’d claim his remains and scatter his ashes in the gooseneck or something, and cried some more until word came back. He was alive though still very ill with blood poisoning, and he almost lost his leg. So I’m relieved I’ll get a chance to tell him I care (in a vague roundabout way somewhere he’ll never see…) but even more so I can tell him I FREAKING TOLD YOU SO! No one ever listens to me and look atcha now stumpy, not so smart after all. Even Forrest Gump knew to wash his feet and listen to his mom. So listen up friends. There will be no more of this dying nonsense. Ain’t no one got time or funds for another funeral. Not unless I finally snap and do us all a favor and take you out. I could borrow a few bucks and I already got a spot to scatter your ashes that will go unnoticed since I’m pretty sure that’s illegal even if you paid for the remains and no one else was doing anything with them anyways. And pardon me for pointing it out, I understand it’s hard to shower if you’re homeless, but I’ve got one you can use and going by smell a couple of you may be dead already. So wash your nasty asses and call your moms before I stop being nice. And Bear, I’m glad you’re still with us brother and I’ll bring you some crosswords or something soon but you too Pegleg. No I’m not sneaking brandy into the hospital, try again. Maybe a bible or something. Let’s face it we’re both too hot-headed to relocate to somewhere really warm and if it’s a stairway to heaven I’m sorry but i don’t see you gimping your way up a huge flight of stairs so you better hustle us up a ride. Well, maybe just a sip of brandy. Let’s face it we both gotta try the wrong choice twice to be sure and the fact my mouth or your get rich schemes haven’t gotten either of us killed is surely an act of God, and I’ll drink to that.