The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Five – The Brewer 1
Note from the narrator: I hope you understand my pencil. For it has been speeding on the pages ahead of my mind. Full of the wind. Empty of reality. Dreaming of poetry. Sculpturing.
Dry cleaning, bank, vegetables, pills, haircut, laundry, tired, couch, television, sleep. Work, coffee, sandwich, small talk, fat, elevator, train, noise, tired, couch, sleep. Dreaming of work, cubical nightmares. Breakfast, lunch, drinks, tired, couch, sleep. Dreaming of work and fat. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, drunk. Wondering when it all gets better. Unlucky, unlucky, unlucky, unlucky, Lucky, unlucky, unlucky, unlucky. Brunch, beer, fried food, nap, beer, ice cream, drink, sleep on the couch. Weed, beer, movies, exotic tacos, sleepy, tired, couch, sleep. Dry cleaning.
He wanted his heroes to keep strong, up and push fighting forward and grow great. He wanted them to do that because he could not do it himself. He was tired or lazy or too tangled by everything above. He gave up but he want to watch. He wanted to sit on his couch and watch his heroes. Everything was fine and as good as it was going to get. He had beer and fairly cheap but premium entertainment system. People who didn’t appreciate that were fools. He got it all figured out and got lucky often enough. If he didn’t get lucky he got drunk or high or watched television. He had the premium package. He bought it with a discount because he knew what he was doing. None of his friends had a bigger television than him. He watched the real life stream next to him without being able to touch it. But he had beer.
Pre-Brewer. That was the Brewer before he became the Brewer! Before I, your humble narrator, became a part of him. Incarnated.
Planting a tree on the streets of the great city is poetic. Giving a chance to a tiny seed to be part of a timeless landscape. But! The tree will never reach its full potential. The monarchy of forest giants and flirting with the wind will fade away due to shortage of sunlight, obstructed by angular solid structures. The tree will struggle thin, destined to be a green-leaves-producer for the predators, so they can lure their prey and indulge. One in infinity will get lucky by some random deed, rocking down a building. Enough sunlight will trickle down to grow that tree with a voice load enough to fight fate. How loud does a nobody has to be!
This was one of the many unspoken thoughts that bounced between his head and the window as he stared out.
Shortly the working day would be over and he would join the flood of aimless workers in the No Idea Bars and try to reduce his thinking capacity by killing brain cells.
He debauched on the bitter opinions of mediocrity and fear infused family members. Like a roach inside a toilet bowl unaware of the fatal mistake it had made. Waiting for someone to flush.
He created memories in the nation of randomness and yellow teeth. His life was panned out for him till the age of seventy-five. Fun till twenty-five, marry by thirty, kids by thirty-five, grow a belly by forty, loose his mind by fifty, grandkids by sixty and then he had fifteen or so more to watch television and spread wisdom to his family. That was if he was lucky and they wanted advice. Right around seventy-five he would check out and go in the land of beards, orange pants and knitted sweaters to sit on a rocking chair over a dreamy cloud for eternity. Or. He would most likely go to the other place. The not pink.
By the time I met this young man he was already (within the socially normal) addicted to alcohol. He was conditioned to take what live gives him, not to question authority and to eat the open containers first.
He came back to his cubical from a comfort break. The phone was ringing obtrusively. He picked it up.
‘Where were you? Why are you not picking up! You knew I would call!’
He refused to dignify this assault with an answer.
‘I traveled well, call my sister and tell her I arrived well. I can’t speak to her. I walked around the neighborhood, it’s nice. We will cook lunch now. He is going to work after. Then it’s going to get dark. Stars will shine in the sky. We will eat dinner and go to sleep. There are threes with green leaves and brick buildings. Don’t wonder the streets. Go home. Bye!’
‘Once I caught a fish so big that when I put it in my car the tail was touching the road in the back and mustaches were tickling me on the ears.’ He wanted to say that but he didn’t. He knew she wouldn’t understand. He also knew that in a moment of weakness like this one only whiskey could help. So he wondered into the streets to find it.
He did. And. I found him.
all chapters: The Baker, The Butcher, and The Brewer
more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Ryan McGuire