The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Three – The Butcher 15
‘Yes, I have been very lucky in that department.’ He replied. ‘It was most evident right after the disaster that struck me. Since I had some songs recorded and they were decent he arranged a few ‘royal’ appointments for me to get motivated again. That was without my knowledge. One day I received an official invitation to attend a luncheon at the White House. Apparently the president host events for renown artists on regular basis and since my father was acquainted and established capitalist he could squeeze me in.’
‘You have met the president!?’ She was ready to open the gates to her pink castle. Luckily his lonely provincial life had made him proficient in altering digital photographs. He produced a photo handshaking with the president in front of the American flag. On the back of the photo was the invitation, also produced by him.
Since the success of his White House visit he could get away with anything. He took a long break from fiction and avoided the topic with his lovely girlfriend. He survived the first meet with her parents. He was modest all the way, completely avoiding the topic. For the second family dinner he was included in, he had fresh hot plate to serve to them all.
‘I had adopted a child in Africa on online basis. Meaning I just send money through the foundation and communicate with the child through emails and letters. I know it seems like a silly thing to do but it gives me strength by doing something good for someone else.’ He was sentimental, maybe too sentimental. But they bought it, or just didn’t care. For her father left the house before dessert on an urgent business. (His favorite hooker was in town.) Which sent her mother crying in the reading room. And he, he just ate his cheesecake.
‘My father is still stranded in Europe with some major legal problems costing his corporation a lot of money. His hair is turning white faster than usual. He wants to come and live here for a while and invest in some hotel chains he still has some interest in.’ He went on and on.
‘I love Europe she said, I want to go back and travel there for ever.’ It seemed she had some good memories from the old continent.
He didn’t. He had never been to Europe. His fictional self had. And further more…
‘My ex-fiancé is in Europe.’ He started gravely. ‘She was an executive at a big company here. We met by accident in front of a department store and she really brought me back. We were living together and I started writing again and looking into an acting career.’ The Butcher acting! He was acting pretty well at that very moment. Maybe he should have looked into an acting career. He was laughing inside. ‘She was relocated by her company to run things in Europe. In the beginning it was only temporary. I couldn’t go I was too traumatized from everything that happened there. One year passed and she was still there with no expiration date on her absence. She called me one night telling me that she met someone else.’ He tried to tear up but he couldn’t. So much about good acting. Moving along. ‘It was better that way, she deserved better.’ He attacked the cheesecake pulling it close to him. Nice alternative to crying, delicious and as effective.
‘Seems like you can’t catch a break!’ She squeezed his hand, probably thinking that they equally need each other. Which was true but in far more perverse ways.
‘This is when I turned to drugs.’ He looked at her wide eyed and blinking. Her jaw dropped. ‘It was an unpleasant episode of my life and was filling the void with the worst possible substitute of love. I can’t talk about it.’ He cut off frankly, because he was out of ideas on the topic. He let her imagination fill in the rest.
‘How did you overcome it?’ She.
‘Andorra.’ He always wanted to visit that tiny landlocked principality. ‘I went to a voluntary isolation from the world in a high mountain monastery in Andorra. It’s small mountain community outside the main stream of the world. The monastery is completely isolated. All I did, was simple work helping the monks to make jam and cultivate a small patch of land, carry stones from one place to other for repairs. Sometimes I would just walk deep in the mountain by myself, outside the reach of any human soul. And I would just scream. I would scream as loud as I can to the heavens and let it all out. Just me and the mountain. It holds some kind of magical relief to be able to scream knowing no one can here you.’
‘I want to go there and do it. I want to live in a monastery and scream in the mountain.’ She was melting faster than his cheesecake.
Of course she did. He ignored that and moved to his next assault weapon. His imagination was awaken from the sugar in the dessert.
‘That wasn’t enough.’ He sighed. ‘After Andorra I went on a six months trip in South America.
Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador I just traveled by myself gazing into this new worlds. I experienced a lot of good and some bad. I widened my perspective of the world first hand. I will never underestimate a minority ever again in my life. So much trouble in this world. I am stronger than trouble. One of my very first days in Argentina they stole my camera. So I don’t have many pictures. But I have enough.’ He had to patch some photos together soon, he thought.
‘I would love to see them.’ She. As expected.
‘Now you know everything about me.’ He couldn’t take it further for it would become too hard to manage. He could hardly remember all his lies as it was. That was the problem with lying, he could only fit so much fiction in his head closet.
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more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Jordan Hile
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