A distracted writer's journey. Articles, half-truths, fiction, poetry and publishing.
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State of the Union
Well, not so much ‘Union.’ More like, ‘Me.’ I haven't posted in awhile so now I'm feeling the need. To give you an idea of my state, I’ll broadcast a play-by-play of what’s happening right now.
I’m at work, sitting at my desk, pretending to work on something important, while a rude workmate stands beside my desk, clipping his fingernails. I look up at him with that expectant look in my eyes that clearly says, “Move the hell away from me before I come up out of this chair and start beating you about the head and shoulders.” I give this look while placing my hand over the top of my coffee cup, and inching it away from the shower of fingernail clippings raining down all over the place.
In my head, I imagine ripping those clippers out of his hand and shoving them down his throat (or maybe some other orifice) and then throwing my cup of nail-laden coffee in his face. But, in real life, I won’t really do that. Instead, I’ll wait patiently and quietly while he finishes his personal grooming over my morning beverage. Then, when he walks out of the office, I’ll simply use that little file on my Swiss Army Knife, and file away enough of his clippers so the next time he uses them, they’ll rip at his fingers, and cut the nails unevenly.
I don’t know, while busting him in the face would give me immediate satisfaction, it would be fleeting and quite possibly cost me my job. Instead, I’ll chose the passive-aggressive route, and know deep down within my kool-aide pumping, asphalt jumping, mustard seed, air-assault heart, that the next time he tries to use his little tool of digital grooming, my revenge will be exacted.
I learned a long time ago that revenge is often much sweeter than retaliation. In fact, I can tell you exactly when I learned this.
It was Christmas season, 1983, and I was a young soldier in the military. I was stationed overseas (Germany) and had nothing to do for the holidays. So what does a young soldier do for fun when bored, you ask? Why, they go to the local club, drink themselves into a stupor, and look for a good fight, what else is there? So, That’s what I did. Of course, I wasn’t completely stupid; I didn’t do this alone, no, I brought my roommate with me to join in the festivities.
I awoke the next morning at about 4 am to the sound of loud knocking at the door. I attempted to lift my head from the pillow, and found the pillow adhered to the side of my face. Apparently, blood turns into a decent glue when dried between a face and fabric. It was then that vague memories of the night before started seeping into the, still inebriated but semi-conscious, part of my brain.
I remembered leaving the club, ending my drinking binge only because I was out of money, arm in arm with my roommate, again, out of necessity. Two, or maybe it was four (although it was more than likely only two, and I was seeing double) young men followed us out, and met us in the dark stretch of pathway between the club and our barracks. I’ll just go ahead and say right now, that their intentions were not honorable.
They asked for our money, and really, it would have been wise for me to oblige them with the thirty-five cents I pulled from my pocket, but I was not very wise that night. I know, I know. I’ve written in the past, how I used to be ten foot tall, and bullet proof, and I was, but, unfortunately for me, so were the other guys that night.
Well, I showed them my thirty-five cents, and told them they could have my money when they pried it from my (one minute forty-eight seconds of expletives removed) cold dead fingers.
I’m certain I threw the first punch. I’m also certain I didn’t actually connect to anything. From that point, it was on like Donkey Kong. To make a long story short (I know, too late) the blood on the pillow the next morning was mine. My face hurt badly when I pulled it from the stained fabric and answered the person yelling on the other side of my door. Answering the door turned out to be my second bad decision that week. Because I was there, I found myself on guard duty, taking the place of someone who was smart enough not to show up for the duty.
Needles to say, I likely didn’t look very good to the person standing in front of me as I stood for inspection. I drew the first shift. After my shift, which went by relatively fast because of my moaning and groaning and puking, I visited the local medical clinic.
I learned that taking immediate vengeance cost me a broken nose and a cracked skull, along with numerous other small contusions and bruises. So, take my word for it, when you want to get back at someone, just take your time, be passive aggressive if you need to, and a path to vengeance will present itself. Otherwise, just be prepared to someday come up against somebody badder than you and get your ass kicked. Either way, the job will get done.