New Friend Friday #28

New Friend Friday #28

I write this New Friend Friday with a limp in my step and a gash in my side. Frankly, I’m beat up. Pummeled. The last few days festivities surrounding graduation have lifted my spirits and lacerated my liver. So when I saw Butch standing shirtless and solemnly outside of Blue Moon Pizza I had to make his acquantance.

Butch is what we call “saved”. He spent time in prison and that time reads like a Bukowski novel in tattoos across his body. He explains that his back tat is unfinished because his term got shortened for good behavior. I don’t ask what he was serving for. Instead Butch drops some Biblical proselytizzy on me. You know, love thy neighbor, and you get two for flynching when the apocalypse hits. The cops roll by and instant stereotypes are focused on Butch and I. We ignore their wonder and continue into round two of the verbal smoke screen.

“So if you get two for flynching, what do you get for repenting?” Butch, unaware of irony or sarcasm digs into me deep now. He enters rhetoric parallel to any Sunday sermon. His arms raise up, his voice becomes guttural, a feeling of the holy ghost comes over me. But I’m unconvinced. He says he’s getting his life on track and I hope he’s not talking about reverting back to veins of track. He tells me about losing his father, the only role model he ever had, and how his best medicine for getting by is having friends.

“That’s what I mean,” I say. “It’s all about taking the time for your neighbors.” Butch grabs my hand and calls me his friend. We part into separate territory and the holy ghost just pauses somewhere in the middle.

As we exit this perga-story I wonder where the curb will kick me next week and how I must doth make dastardly deeds with dirty new folks.