I am: I am
Join Date: May 31, 2005
â€œChinaski and Iâ€ (a new book I'm working on)
â€œChinaski and Iâ€
â€œGood morning Kenton, you watching Channel 14 news, Iâ€™m Berry Stevensâ€ â€œAnd Iâ€™m Kara Edwardsâ€ â€œLast night a seven year old boy, Charles Daniels, went missing. Police are not yet releasing informaâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€
The television blared loudly, but I didnâ€™t care. I didnâ€™t care about much theses days. Every day was the same as the next. I get up, click on the television, turn it from channel 58 to 14, listen to the weather and news report while I brush my teeth, make toast and coffee in my crummy kitchen. Dress in my slacks and long sleeve white button up shirt with my corny tie and black penny loafers. Shave; comb my receding, graying hair. Clip my abused nails and skip out the door were Iâ€™ll wait for 10 minâ€™s, get on the city bus, wait 20 minâ€™s, get off, walk 2 blocks, buy another coffee only to enter a failing law firm and get yelled at by various lawyers and clients.
â€œHey fucker were the hell have you been!â€
â€œOn the busâ€
â€œWell God Damn it I have a client in Stevens and I still havenâ€™t got my fucking paperworkâ€
â€œIf you would give me five fucking seconds to walk in the door and take a breathâ€
â€œDonâ€™t get fucking smart with me, when I get back you better have those fucking files stacked neatly on my desk or so help meâ€
â€œWhat the fuck did you say?â€
â€œThatâ€™s what I thought. LINDA!â€
â€œBe back in an hourâ€
â€œDonâ€™t let are little fuck up fuck upâ€
Finally the bastard was gone. I could sit down and slave for 12 hours. I didnâ€™t do his paperwork. It wasnâ€™t my job to do. I walked down a hall and stepped into my office. It was small and I shared it with Chinaski.
â€œLo,â€ he mumbled from behind his computer. He was a stout, angry, old man who dressed in a polo shirt and kakis. I was always curious as to how he got away with this. I got my pay docked for not looking perfect.
That bastard, that pig fucking shit whore mother fuckerâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦
â€œDo you have Jayâ€™s filesâ€ I asked Chinaski, after all it was his job to do that, Jay had just lost his mind. Chinaski lifted a thick manila folder and tossed it onto my desk.
â€œThanks,â€ I said flipping threw it before standing up and waltzing out into the hall.
I stopped at Jayâ€™s desk and plopped the file in his â€œfile boxâ€ I returned to find Chinaski, eyes closed, collapsed on his keyboard. I came this close to waking him up, but thought better of it. Heâ€™s an old man, he needs his beauty sleep I joked myself, and it wasnâ€™t like we had any work to do.
Jay returned at half passed 11: 00 oâ€™clock and Chinaski and I took his arrival as an opportunity to leave for an early lunch. We went to the usual place, a small Deli on the corner of Smith and 9th.
â€œYeah Iâ€™ll have a ham and cheese turkey sub please maâ€™amâ€
The young college girl behind the counter rang up our total. Chinaski had ordered the chicken salad, which I was teasing him about.
â€œAnd 7.38 is your total thanks for choosing Sandiâ€™sâ€ she added, almost robotically. I pulled out exact change and tossed it on the counter. Chinaski and I walked out the deli and sat ourselves down at an Italian inspired round metal table with a large umbrella jousting at the sky. I brushed the leaves off the table and unwrapped my sandwich. A shitty little bird was pecking idiotically at the leaves I had brushed down. I shooed it away.
Half way threw the sub I looked up at Chinaski, he had barley eaten any of his â€˜saladâ€™.
â€œWhatâ€™s up Chuck too filling for ya?â€ I joked, but he just stared right past me into the crowed sidewalk.
â€œHeloooo, earth to Chuck?â€ I waved my arms in front of his face. â€˜Whateverâ€™ I concluded in my head, and I went back to my sub. And just incase your curious, his name was Chuck Chinaski, and we were fellow employees second, friends first.
When I had finished my sub and looked down at Chinaskiâ€™s plate, It was clear something was on his mind, He had eaten all the chicken out of it, but none of the salad. He stood up to toss out his wasted meal when I stopped him.
â€œWhatâ€™s the matter with you, I buy you lunch and you donâ€™t even eat it?â€
â€œNo really whatâ€™s bitinâ€™ ya?â€
He looked at me and cracked a smile, a gritty, slightly faggish smile. My eyebrows raised in confusion. He hurriedly settled down, cupped his hands together and cleared his throat.
â€œDo you ever feel like life is just, I donâ€™t know, flying by, and your just sitting in the same spot.â€
â€œIts called midlife crisis,â€ I remarked dully.
â€œNo, no, no, not like that. Just like, youâ€™ve wasted years and years of your meaningless life and you almost automatically do things, over and over and over, day after day after day.â€
I tried not show that my good friend Chinaski was basically describing the way I felt all day, rain snow sleet or shine, doing random useless things out of habit, just compulsively living out your life.
That son of a bitch fucking whore skank bitch fucker cheater fagot bastardâ€¦â€¦â€¦.
â€œSometimes I feel like thatâ€
â€œWhatâ€™s your point Chinaski?â€
â€œWhatâ€™s my point?â€
â€œYeah whatâ€™s your point?â€
â€œMy point is;â€ he exhaled, aggravated that I wasnâ€™t understanding him.
â€œMy point is why?â€
â€œYour point is why?â€
â€œExactly what? Now youâ€™re just not making sinceâ€
â€œThis conversation is done I thinkâ€
â€œWhy do we do it?â€ he said as I was standing up.
â€œWhy do we just let our lives pass us by, why do we live our out boring compulsions?â€
â€œBecauseâ€¦.Thatâ€™s just what were supposed to do, live our livesâ€
â€œWell you know what, Iâ€™m not doing it anymore!â€ he shouted, standing up.
â€œHave you lost your fucking mind,â€ I said quietly threw clenched teeth. People were looking in our direction. I was obviously embarrassed and Iâ€™m sure Chinaski could see this and he sat back down, cleared his throat and looked me in the eyes.
â€œIâ€™m not, living this life anymore,â€ he said gruffly.
â€œIâ€™m tired of wasting my time and I know you are too.â€ He waited for me to nod before continuing his rant.
â€œNow Iâ€™ve saved up a small nest egg, about 27 grand, all my lifeâ€™s work has come down to that. If I retire now, I get 1200 dollars a month the U.S. federal government and about 550 a month from my IRA.
I grunted, even this man, this dingy, dirty old man, was more accomplished then me. How embarrassing.
â€œWhat about you?â€ The fabled words spewed from his mouth, I was doomed to answer him. I had do.
Rat fucker son of a fucking whore bitch cunt fudge packing coke snorting mother fuckerâ€¦â€¦â€¦.
â€œOh you know, a little here and thereâ€
â€œI donâ€™t know any exact numbers but somewhere around, 1000 with my social security and IRA.â€
I waited for his laugh but it didnâ€™t come, I guess he had conditioned himself to not laugh at other peopleâ€™s financial misfortune. But what struck me as strange is that though both Chinaski and I worked for the same firm for the last 22 years, he still had more them me. I wondered what he had done before this now, but his retirement wasnâ€™t really anything to gawk at either, both of us had depressing amounts saved. Guess we should have planned more.
â€œWhat?â€ Now you know my name.
â€œI said If I say something, do you promise to keep it to yourself.â€
â€œIâ€™m leaving out tonightâ€
â€œIâ€™m taking early retirementâ€
â€œCome with meâ€
â€œStop saying thatâ€
â€œI donâ€™t know what to say Chuckâ€
â€œOk yes Chuckâ€
He extended his hand across the table, the food, and shook to a life we had worked on for years, and shook for a life we would start now.
Chinaski and I went back to work. Jay freaked out some more, as usual, and 4 hours later, I left for home. Got home, stepped in threw the door, clicked on the Television, got a TV dinner out of the fridge and into the microwave, popped open a ginger aleâ€¦â€¦â€¦.
There was a honk that interrupted my routine. I walked to the window and separated the mini blinds. There was Chinaski, pulling up to my curb in a Winnebago. I tensed up. What was he doing at my house, why now, of all moments, in the middle of my routine? I hesitated between just ignoring him or going ahead and seeing what he was up too. In the end curiosity won me over and I made my way outside.
â€œWhat took you so long?â€
â€œI took long?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know, I didnâ€™t realize that I didâ€
â€œWell you didâ€
â€œDonâ€™t worry about it, Iâ€™ve got good newsâ€
â€œWould you like to step inside?â€
â€œDonâ€™t change the subjectâ€
â€œIâ€™m not changing the subject, I just donâ€™t like being outsideâ€
â€œWhatâ€™s wrong with being in the outdoors?â€
â€œNothing Iâ€™m going inside, you should come with meâ€
â€œFine, well go inside, if that makes bitchy boy happyâ€
I was aggravated, but I allowed Chinaski to enter my house. He glanced around the entry way, grimacing. He took his finger and ran it along a bookshelf.
â€œWhat,â€ I said defensively. He smiled widely and put his hands behind his back.
â€œNothing, you have a beautiful home Billâ€
â€œLets get down to business shall weâ€
Chinaski went into the dining room and sat himself down in the far left chair. I offered him a ginger ale.
â€œA ginger ale?â€
â€œYeah do you want one?â€
â€œFunny, you didnâ€™t strike me as gay Billâ€
â€œGay? Iâ€™m not gay.â€
â€œThen whatâ€™s with the ginger ale?â€
â€œWhen did drinking ginger ale make you gay?â€
â€œWhen has it not made you gay?â€
â€œI like ginger ale, Iâ€™m not gay, get over it, Iâ€™m not going to stopâ€
â€œWell have to work on thatâ€
â€œNow, I have here.â€ He pulled a brown envelope from his pocket. â€œ25,018 dollars and 12 centsâ€
I looked at him, cocking my eyebrow. He was still talking.
â€œChuck hey wait, Chuck.â€ He glared at me apparently stunned I interrupted him. â€œChuck what are you doing hereâ€
â€œWell if you let me finish you would find out!â€
â€œOk, fine continueâ€
â€œThank you, now as I was sayingâ€¦â€¦â€¦..â€
""The New Law of Righteousness," that there "shall be no buying or selling, no fairs nor markets, but the whole earth shall be a common treasury for every man," and "there shall be none Lord over others, but every one shall be a Lord of himself.""