The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Four – The Brewer 3
‘What is this a rebellion, a fucking revolution, the gorillas are going to storm in now!’ The man was amusing himself.
‘I never dreamt of selling a product people hardly need, is potentially addictive and causes health problems. Plus. The margins are always too low. I want out.’ The Brewer knew how to party.
All three of us were having a great time.
The man almost smiled but composed himself.
‘You put numbers in a computer! You are a foot soldier! What margins!’
The best verbal clay pot full of scorpions I had prepared for the occasion was something Archibald said to women. I lauded it in the catapult and cut the rope.
‘Put your clothes back on and go make me a sandwich.’ Said the Brewer calmly.
The man strained his mind visibly as his eyes and forehead wrinkled with effort to comprehend.
‘Are you drunk?! Get out of my office, before I fire you!’ Unable, he retreated to an automated response.
Me and the Brewer were disappointed. He walked to the door almost skipping, opened it wide, turned back around framed by it, smiled and said loudly.
‘This is not a way to treat people!’
Then he went back in closed the door, sat back into the chair and said.
‘I need you to do me a favor!’
The man behind the desk was beyond angry. He was laughing.
‘Yes you can preach your version of the story. Take all the credit for firing me. But! Two weeks from now. Until then if someone asks I am on a medical leave.’
As soon as they hear health problems people soften up.
‘Is everything alright with you?’ Expressed concern the man.
‘I don’t know yet.’ The Brewer didn’t wait for a response and went on with his life.
He left the reminders of his past on his desk. Freedom.
Stepping away from his it the phone rung. He knew it was her. His possessive companion in life for the past few months. He froze in time and space. It was only he and the ringing. (I advised, my already well susceptible to lobbying neurons, against picking up. She had to go. Let go. Go. Go. Go.)
(I dug up some archived animosity against her from the Brewer’s head library and poured it in his vacant mind.)
‘I never believed in arguing. Waste of energy. To concur or not? I never had worthy audience. Her? No. I tended to agree and she kept arguing. Blindly she kept pouring and piling aging pains with a new voice. Voice as moody as all the other links in her life – mother, friends, shopping. Love is never enough, is it! Hate is! Only hate can fully occupy my mind and make me blind to obstacles. Love is more poetic but easily shrank in the face of life. In the dark space between love and hate most of us dwell lost in routine, biting away on the salty rocks (sheep lick salt).’ His thoughts run in-between rings. He knew exactly what was on the other side of this line so he just embodied its meaning in the ringing itself. His thoughts flew. He had a silent but meaningful chat with the telephone. A good relieving chat. He enjoyed it.
He knew good chat is uncommon. Good advice is uncommon. Advice is common. But the advice that works is the one in the shape of butterfly fighting the wind. That was hard to find. That difficulty inspired by the lack of worthy companions translated in whiskey for him. Whiskey aided to settle for imperfection because there was not enough poetry available. Halt fighting and stuff his soul with salt. Salt substituted a passionate chat mate to tell him that he was not alone (but with a metaphor).
When the ringing stopped he left. He didn’t want to talk to himself, his thoughts unheard.
He unplugged from the yellow teeth nation even though his teeth didn’t change color.
He vanished. Most of his acquaintances knew him only by name and number. All he did was change the latter.
Only she was more tangled into his life. His family was too busy drinking.
He changed his number and pretended she never existed.
It was the best solution both emotionally and statistically. Relationships are tough and sometimes you have to make awkward decisions. They are like gravity and all the good stuff. Stuff he no longer needed. He had me. A new kind of relationship, if you must. New gravity. With the old kind life made sense for a few hours, days or weeks. Then he had to rewind it back to the begging or go all in.
Cutting everyone else out was seamless. Plunging that single well-rooted hair. She. Had its percussions. When in doubt drink a bottle of scotch. After which he sang.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – Tuesday, February 2.
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more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Andrew E Weber