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A Brother
In These Parts #4
© 2023 James LaFond
JUN/28/24
In Kelley’s living room.
I got the news from the kidney doctor that my kidneys are down 27% from where they were, that I’m headed for dialyses. I won’t do dialyses. My oxygen is good, look, 97%, as good as yours. He told me not to take anymore iburpropen or tylenol—just stop! So, I stopped. Whiskey is much better for the pain anyways—to brothers, to good friends.
[Kelly, looking like a hulking offensive linemen covered with a blanket on the sidelines on the couch to the author’s right, reaches across their tiny shared 8 inches by 14 inch drink table and clinks glasses.]
It is my fault, my line of living. I sit too much, eat to much and drink a little now and then. You, you’re angry at yourself for being 160 when you’re thinking 140, wondering when you lost the magic weight wand of being were you wanted, where on the scale you wanted. Imagine being me—I got a hundred pound sack of concrete right here in these guts, imagine carrying that and having nobody to blame but your self? Once you get down to the end of this road, it’s hard going back because you lose some options. I’d say we need to get up and do some exercises right now—but I’m feeling cold, look at my big ass bundled in a blanket and your skinny ass plenty warm.
I have an enlarged heart.
[Puts hand together and makes alternating hand motions.]
Your heart beats like this here. My heart beats like this, just does not contract enough to propel the amount of blood necessary. If I have a heart attack they will not try and bring me back. I am so damned tired and there is so much stuff I want to do. My stepson left these brand new yoga mats, never used downstairs. I need to get one of them out in the den and do some floor work. But, [my wife] she has every day planned out: run here, run there, shop here, eat there, see this do that.
The rats are probably down their reclining on those new mats with a cocktail!
[laughter]
We’re a team, I put up with her bitchin’ and moanin’ and she deals with my griping and groaning. It’s a deal. Now this little fugger here [Cooper, the spoiled ballistic boxer faced terrier] he is about my only real exercise, put in thirty minutes of tug-of-war today.
There, she goes [nods to gorgeous step daughter of perfected proportions] out for a walk with that little dog. She’s been in prison and knows how to carry herself, packs a big knife—feel sorry for the fugger who tries to roll her.
[Daughter speaks] “Thank you, James. I will practice what you showed me.”
[Author returns] “Remember, states attorney’s look at multiple stabs as intent. So stick it in the guts, twist it, and rip—make the biggest blood channel you can with one stab. I’ll drill it with you each time I’m here.”
[The hottie smiles and returns] “I’ll practice. I wanna be a pro!”
Kelley laughs, I would a told you to stab him a dozen times—good to know, keep it in and twist!
[Wife comes out from the den and gives the author a huge hug.]
“James, thank you so much for giving that knife to my daughter. That was very thoughtful.”
[James returns] “No woman should be out after dark in a city that has 25,000 homeless men, without a weapon. That’s like me in Baltimore, where I carry three knives, so I always have a backup and can draw from wherever my hands might be. The guy that gave me that knife, I’ll see him before I get to Baltimore and I’ll restock my back ups.”
The wife retires to the den with my Land Lady and Kelley grumbles, She disappears for three hours and comes back with three hundred bucks, looking like that. I know what’s up. But that’s my step daughter and her knack for hooking up with asshole boyfriends is legendary. That one fugger, he seemed more soid than the rest. I signed over my Tahoe to him, have a receipt where he promised to pay $5600—I’ll never see that. He totaled the fuggin’ thing—a good car. Then he turns asshole and puts the boot to her. She’s a good girl, works hard, cleans the house, walks everywhere. But lookin’ like that [a 9.5 stripper body, natural], trouble is just a heart beat away.
Okay, here’s another story, how trouble’s always a heartbeat away.
I’m at the Trappe, down the way. I never drank far from home. It was after I bought this house but before my wife, although they would meet later.
[rolls eyes like a cartoon ape man]
This woman is a bodybuilder, super hot and I’m buying her drinks. I asked the bar tender to not tell her that I had her drinks, that I didn’t wan to come on like that. But either he told her or she knew. Let me tell you, she was special. She dances and then comes over and sits on my leg and her pussy was soaking wet, soaked my jeans right through the pants and skirt!
So we go back to her place and its on, paradise. Her joint—this place was put together by a man. This woman was no single mother in a double-wide with brats runnin’ around. I’m suspicious, and I’m like, look if your old man is on vacation or something...that’s just not my style.
What she said blew me out of the water:
“My husband picked you out, said you were a good guy, and told me if I needed taken care of while he was in prison, that you were the right man for it.”
That blew me away, so the next six months are like a dream I know that I have to wake up from. I knew who he was—knew of him. So, I suppose he trusted me as biker adjacent rather than biker. So, after he got out, soon after I was with [my wife] and they would occasionally come over for a family visit and the wife is like, “How exactly do you know them?”
[Kelly laughs a reverie-laced chuckle descending into a rolling snicker…]
Well, somethings are too complicated to explain within the confines of marriage.
‘Being One of Eight’
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honor among men
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'in these goings down'
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blue eyed daughter of zeus
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broken dance
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fiction anthology one
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