The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Three – The Butcher 14
‘Hey these polo shirts are too yellow for a dinner party.’ She mumbled chewing on a shrimp.
‘They certainly look like the crew on my father’s yacht.’ The Butcher said calmly.
Her eyes didn’t widen that much because she was born in money. But! The remark got him closer to her and she thought he understood her pain.
‘How is your father doing?’ She pretended to care. She wanted him to share so she can pour her heart out as well.
He had recently read something about sex addiction in a magazine that his fat neighbor had dropped on his narrow stairs. It went. He sighed deeply.
‘He just admitted in front of the entire family that he is addicted to sex.’ He sighed again. ‘That would have never come out of him if it wasn’t for another scandal. Turned out he has a daughter older than me from his mistress during the time he was married to my mother. Now this new sister of mine had been making accusations and threats. Her mother’s mental health had been ruined from my father’s actions and such. She wants money. It’s always the same.’ He sighed again. ‘Not only this. My father had shut himself off that situation and is living in the Plaza with a young girl.’
‘I know exactly how you feel!’ She said through teary eyes.
He laughed inside so hard but kept stone-faced for his lovely victim.
In the after hours of the party they were sitting on the last standing folding banquet table waiting for the venders to clear out and sipping on champagne. He started collecting early fruits from the fake story of his life. Not only the fun of getting away with it. He was getting closer to becoming the real version of his character.
‘I feel like only you can understand me.’ She cried. ‘Tell me more about yourself. You are not from here, why the city?’ She pleaded as if she fed on his fiction.
‘Autch! That is a big one.’ He put his gravest face on.
‘I am so sorry to bring it up!’
‘No, it’s fine. I have to be able to talk about my past without regret. Regret is useless.’ It was easy to invent stories when he felt superior to the person sitting across.
She took a giant sip on the bubbly delight to dull the pain she felt from ‘hurting his feelings’. He felt great. With happiness and smiles blooming in his head, creativity and wit were flourishing. His stories unveiled as he went and fuelled even the most absurd of developments.
‘I needed a break from life after what happened. It was a heavy winter and we were vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Everything was great, the family fire strong, the winter outside stronger. My singing career was taking off. I had a contract and was in the production of an album. So I just rested my body and mind and enjoyed the stay at the lodge. A few days in I fell with the flu and instead of going to the doctor right away… I thought I would be fine.’ He sighed. ‘My dad said he would finance anything I wanted. I felt invincible. At least until I got really sick. The doctor finally arrived to save me from my agony but he couldn’t save my vocal cords. I recovered from the flu, but my vocal cords were irreversibly burned from the virus. I felt flattened with the ground by a giant shoe. It was so simple and so brutal of a mistake in life. Something profoundly negligible took everything from me. Everything! In my rage I burned all my recordings and lyrics. Everything!’ He cried.
He noticed her eyes getting watery. What a beauty of a story he just made as he went and what impact on his fragile audience. He fed on her weakness and went even deeper pulling out fat rabbits from his hat.
‘So I decided to move to the big city to get distracted from my pains. And get on the right track to pursuing a new line of work. My father set me up to live in one of the hotels he held partial ownership. I must have drunk thousands of miniature bottles of vodka during my stay.
Eventually they bought me an apartment thinking it would be better for me. At least I stopped drinking right.’
Her eyes were wide open. She didn’t know that he was adjusting his story to fit hers like a stretchy glove. He didn’t want to over do it so he closed the topic for the night with the excuse that it was not easy for him to talk about it.
After his open-heart performance that night they got really close with his wife to be. That was how he started learning everything about her. She would always try to stay in his place but that would completely blow his story so he had to be really creative.
For example, his father just visited him and after he saw the poor condition of his floors he immediately ordered a construction team to change all floorboards. The construction team that has done work for him many times in the past had recommended the demolition of a small internal wall that made sense so they were hard at work remodeling. In the mean time he had been staying with his father.
‘You are so lucky to have a caring dad.’ She told him one night after a few cocktails.
previous chapter: The Baker, The Butcher, and The Brewer, Part Three – The Butcher 13
all chapters: The Baker, The Butcher, and The Brewer
more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Emanuele Bresciani