No tellin’ what about this election cycle made me think about this story. (originally posted Nov 16, 2016)
Jon’s brother was a meth fiend. On and off anyways. He told me he’d been on acid when his first kid was born. He showed off his subtle white power tattoos that he got to ensure he had some protection while he was on one of his various trips to jail. You could cover em up for work, but there they were as soon as you had to strip down for showering when your various warrants finally found you.
Once in his cups he told me that he and I were brothers now. That we were gonna fuck. “Not because we’re gay but because we’re strong.” His frequent and almost involuntary laugh didn’t evoke joy so much as barely contained nervous energy. An unpleasantly spiky waveform with an astronomical amplitude both positive and negative. He was gonna do a whole back piece for me for just one suitcase of budweiser. He just had to go hook up with his buddy first.
I wouldn’t ever see him again. He got picked up that night for drunk driving, with an unregistered gun under his seat. Since he was out on parole anyways for christ only knows what, he immediately went back to county hold, to serve out the rest of his time on that offense and await trial on the myriad of offenses they laid on him that night. He called Jon one night excitedly to tell everyone his tattoos had worked perfectly. First day in and he was “down with the peckerwoods”.
He had a trick where he could put a cigarette out on his tongue. He had done it the first time while high, a convenience store cigar cherry that blackened a portion of his tongue. He confided to me that he screamed and cried and it hurt so bad he had regretted it instantaneously. But ever since then, there was no sensation on that part at all, and it made a little divot where he could pool some spit. So as long as he put it out in the right spot, he didn’t even feel it. He just got to see the sickened winces of the people who hadn’t seen it before, and feel tougher than they were.