You know, one time I broke this guy's arm. The guy was a bastard. You know, the kind of bastard that sets fire to kittens and chokes babies with rubber bands. THAT kind of bastard. But still. I broke his arm. I think it was a Tuesday. Or maybe a Wednesday. Well, hell, it was a day of the week, that's all that matters. So anyway I'm out, all decent like, right, with my hair all pretty in a band--a black band, not a sissy color like PINK or some shit like that, even purple is kind of a sissy color if you really think about it. At least my hair is dark purple, a nice kind, not that namby-pamby wimpy lavender flavor, which is the actual color of all of Claris's allegedly 'purple' hairbands. They're lavender, goddammit. Like her room. I'm not into that.
Also I was wearing a shirt. A nice shirt, gray, like a Super Nintendo. A very admirable gray, in my opinion. I'm strolling down the street, all sexy in my gray shirt and my black hairband (not thinking about it belonging to Claris, who is a girl), and I see this bastard. This guy has the kind of face that you just want to punch. Actually, that's irrevelant to me, because I'm pretty good for punching almost anybody, but with this guy, wow, it's like, why isn't your ass being kicked RIGHT THIS SECOND?
Oh, Jesus. Look, there's a squirrel running across the street, its bushy tail all pert, squinty eyes all gleamy, completely unaware of the eighteen-wheeler careening towards it. It's stopping to sniff the air. What the hell is this squirrel's problem. Countless pounds of metal death are coming for its meaty little body and it sits there, licking its paws. It doesn't even look up when the truck hits it. I don't think the driver realizes what he's done, but I guess he'll figure it out when he gets to the truck stop I passed a few miles back and sees little squirrel blood all over the wheels. Sad world.
Right, the bastard. He's kicking a tree. I'm thinking, what the fuck. Why would you kick a tree. What has that tree done to you. Nothing, that's what. I sidle up behind this guy and say,
"Good sir, why are you assaulting this poor tree? What offense has it committed against you and your family?"
Fellows, I promise you. The rhyme was unintentional.
This plebeian kind of glares at me, and without answering, points up into the branches. Obligingly I follow the invisible line of his gesture, and see a bird's nest sitting comfortably amongst the leaves.
I say, "Ah, I see. It is the birds that have offended you. Pray tell, what have they done?"
"They won't shut up," says this bastard. "I'm tryin' to sleep and they just keep singin' and singin'. I'm gonna kill'em. The mama, the babies... all of them."
"You know, God did eventually include earplugs in his creation. You could just invest," I suggested, attempting to be patient. Patience with brutes rarely proves fruitful, as I soon discovered.
He gestures again, to the house behind the tree, specifically to the window that was in close proximity to the branch supporting the bird's nest.
"That house," he says, "is my house. That window is my window, and every day at like noon I'm woken up by these birds."
He kicks the tree for a second time. "Yanno, these guys just moved in like two weeks ago. Right after I got rid of the dog next door that barked all hours of the night."
"Got rid of...?" I say, feeling the ever present desire for violence warming in my slowly clenching fists.
"Yeah, I just snuck in, right, when the guy that owned it went on vacation, and shot it. THAT shut it up."
He grins a slow, stupid grin, thus performing the impossible act of making him look twice as killable as before. Killable. Is that a word? No? It is now, damn it.
He says, "The guy did think maybe it was me that did it, since he knew about that time I tried to drown this stray cat. As a favor to society, you know, except I wound up doing a little community service for it. Mom was not happy, but anyway, Dad didn't know I had the key to the closet where he keeps the gun, right, so he said there was no way I could have done it. Cause I didn't have the key, and he said I didn't know how to shoot anyway."
Buddy here looks like he's thirty-five.
"I see," I say. "Do you also intend to shoot this nest?"
"Nah," he says. "I might hit my window, and then dad would get pissed off. I know how to shoot, but my aim ain't so hot yet."
Then I broke his arm. Took about a minute, this bastard was pencil thin, which I guess is what happens when you spend half the day sleeping and the rest shooting dogs and trying to murder birds.
Damn it if it's not hot today. The sun is searing my back as if I am a common slice of bacon. Or perhaps a Vienna sausage, although I think I like bacon better, since it's longer and thinner. I think I'm going to take off this shirt. Yeah, baby, there's that six pack. This bastard had no six pack. Animal abusers don't have time for push ups I guess.
The bastard starts howling like a short blonde girl with pigtails, who's wearing a light blue dress she just got for her birthday. But she spilled Kool-Aid all down the front so she is just bawling her eyes out.
The sight is rather grisly, I suppose. The bone was protruding from the flesh, which was ripped like a piece of fabric cut with crazy scissors. Red fabric, because there was a hell of a lot of blood. I thought he was a hemophiliac for a minute, but no. He was only a bastard.
He screams and cries for about five minutes, the birds singing in the trees above him, me standing there wondering if he's gonna die, when his mom comes running out. I figure maybe I should leave, so I saunter casually away while she yells at me, dialing 911 on her cell phone simultaneously.
I fucking hate cell phones. Ordinarily I would have gone back there and broken THAT too, but I'm not an idiot. I go home, smile at Claris, we have a nice lunch. I mention I broke some bastard's arm. Naturally Claris is appalled, but I tell her not to worry. I mean, what's he going to do? Tell the cops my ADDRESS? Yes, Wood Mountain Road. No, no, behind Wood Mountain Road. IN THE SHED NEXT TO THE POND.
Right. Anyway, it wasn't like he was the first person I'd ever hospitalized, and the men in uniform haven't come for me yet. For some reason I'm forgettable to people like that. Perhaps the image of a bronzed god with purple hair and a giant scar on his cheek doesn't stick in the mind or something.
Though I guess I should have known Claris wasn't really worried about them finding me.