The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Four – The Brewer 19
The Brewer liked to think that he was not represented in this mélange of social craziness. He liked to think that he was a completely different kind of animal. A puma for example, living on the hard edge of nature dark smooth and determined to beat the odds. This was exactly the ingenuousness of this painting that even if he didn’t see himself in it, it sparked the reaction in his brain to identify himself with his inner animal. Made him feel, made everyone feel something that was specific to oneself. This painting was all the psychology and mental work of a scholar in a glance. No one could create this with intention. It was a random accidental success of nature and the Baker happened to be nature’s brush.
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the slamming of the door behind him. A slim, tall, elderly gentleman stormed in. His white hair waving through the air under the Brewer’s nose as he almost went right through him, like he was not there. The Butcher.
‘They are finally here, half an hour late! I told them to be here at nine sharp! But no, they can’t be told what to do!’ The Butcher screamed as he was doubling his stride to the back of the room. He moved some light paintings and shuffled them around like he was looking for something.
Suddenly he stopped, looked sharply across the room strait in the Brewer’s eyes and started walking up to him. Just before he reached him a loud bang on the door shifted his trajectory and he opened it.
‘Police, finally don’t they teach you punctuality in the academy! I don’t intend to spend the night here.’ The Butcher’s condescending voice echoes in the hallway.
The moment he uttered ‘police’ the Brewer felt like his kneecaps flew off, his mouth dried in an instant and he thought he would collapse on the floor. He could not even turn around and see who was it that was framed by the door. But! By the heavy boots on the hard wood floors in the room he had no doubt that it was they. His stomach was rolling up into a tight ball and readying to go home.
‘Did you bring the convict? We need his services pronto!’ Almost screams at them the butcher.
That gave him a little courage and he turn around. Indeed, the law was walking in, escorting a short ginger headed man in handcuffs. The color on his skin returned as if he jumped into an ice-cold cucumber soup. He smiled.
‘What are you smiling at? Who are you anyway? Ah the janitor. Wait, just wait here, your turn will come!’ As the Butcher was condescending him he felt so happy that there was nothing that could wipe that smile off his cucumber face.
He had never felt so happy and he was enjoying this moments of triumph over fear of incarceration. The great feeling of overcoming great danger and coming out clean gave him more energy and motivation than all the love in the world. No time to go deeper into that thought, he thought. He was not the main meal for the evening any longer so he wanted to know what was that all about.
The room got crowded all of a sudden. There were four police officers and a short middle-aged man with a ginger head wearing white pajamas. The convict, he was a prisoner but what was he doing there. The fresh party walked deeper into the room where the Butcher was clearing up. He shuffled some more paintings and now the Brewer could clearly see a safe, a rusty looking giant safe that probably weighed a few tons.
‘Can you open it?’ Barked the Butcher at the ginger man.
‘First! Talk to me like I am a human being. Don’t just bark, condescending me like you are better than all of us present. Second, what’s your name?’ Head shot for the ginger man as he preached more confident than Jesus at a rally. The Butcher turned red in an instant. He managed to bottle it all in because it seemed he was in the hands of the ginger man.
‘My apologies, Mr… My name is Porter, what is yours?’
‘I am Jackson, you have made a terrible first impression. You are lucky I don’t trust first impressions.’
‘I apologize Jackson! Where are you from I sense a bit of accent.’
‘Bulgaria.’ Answered Jackson sharp and dry, fixing his eyes on the Butcher’s forehead.
‘Your country is quite savage… I mean, behind in certain areas.’ Stumbled the Butcher.
Jackson seemed to have anticipated a comment of that sort. He fastened his stare on the Butcher’s eyes, grinned as if amused and proceeded to answer.
‘That is correct, savage is a mild way to put it. In order to start school there are two requirements back home. One is to be at least six years of age. The other is to have killed at least one person older than you. If you have killed more than one, depending one the circumstances, you could skip first grade. Only the toughest and most ruthless sociopaths get access to the tools to grow and succeed in Bulgaria. The rest are an expendable working force. Ask the Albanians! They know better than anyone what it means to cross a Bulgarian. By saying ask them I don’t mean when you meet an Albanian to ask him casually. Never do that, it’s unspoken law never to ask an Albanian about the Bulgarians. You would be lucky if they just throw you a beat. Poetic part of the world, indeed.’
‘How many people have you killed?’ The Butcher was amused.
‘I never went to school.’
The Butcher chuckled and hummed for a moment glancing at the Brewer and the cops.
‘I apologize again, I am just desperate to open this old dinosaur for I need the content urgently for tomorrow and no one in town seems to be familiar with that technology since this is a century old very rare safe.’ The Butcher proceeded to business. ‘Do you think you can open it, Jackson?’
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – Tuesday, May 31st
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more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Leeroy