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Balance Part 4

"Butch?" Not my real name." I am disappointed with you. I trusted you and now I don't have my money. My sources tell me you gave it to the dwarf-homos down there in the canyons That will screw up the balance of trade around here. Now, before you give me some lame excuse…"

"No excuses… I gave them the money. It'll save their butts for awhile."

"I wonder if the rain will hurt the rhubarb?” He says while he looks over at the ugliest thug.

“Not if it comes in cans.” Says the thug.

Then the crip looks at me with this ‘I’m shit’ look and says, “Who ever heard of rain coming in cans.”

Right then I got it. I was supposed to say that. It still wasn’t funny and the crip didn’t look like he wanted to laugh.

“Damn - you are showing me no respect - is it because I'm crippled?"

I was hit in the ear and collapsed to the ground. I was picked up and my pants were again pulled down, my privates again blowing in the wind. One of the thugs flipped out a razor knife. I didn't like the way this was going.

"Please hold him up so I can tell him a story. And for God's sake don't hit him any more until I tell you. I want him to understand why we are going to do what we are going to do. We'll cut off one of his nuts when I'm through talking to him." The morons nodded.

Again, I was not in a good spot. I had told the truth …which did not help me in any way. I was thinking of a grand enough lie that would show the proper respect; I just about had it when the crip started telling me the story. I interrupted him, which did not please him.

"Can we talk about the testicle thing?"

He ignored me and continued.

"When I was in Vietnam I was a Master Sergeant in the United States Marines, a black man who had made something of himself. We were sent in country to recon Charlie's movements near the DMZ. They knew we were coming. Some fat assed brass sold us out. We fought like hell-spawned demons. Charlie had this maneuver… pins you down then swings a hinge move around toward your back…try to run you into bunji- spikes. Butch, now you listen up… you could learn something. Those crap- covered spikes make up the other side of the triangle. Every new boy lieutenant orders the run toward those spikes. Well, I shot that college boy in the back of the head, he would have a medal sent home to his mommy and we might just survive the day. The only thing you can do is to charge straight ahead. If you were lucky Charlie would break and scatter. They didn't this day and we had hell to pay. Two of us walked out, my whole squad dead. If your thinking that’s how I lost my legs, you would be wrong. I didn't tell you what we saw before Charlie hit us. Black helicopters, with no markings, were delivering guns and ammo to the enemy - our boys, Butch, delivering death to Americans. I swore I would find out who was responsible and I would kill them. When we got back we were arrested. We were told that we had two options, we join up with Air America or we would be executed as traitors. I don't know what my buddy did but I had a mission. I joined up and got stationed in Saigon. That’s where I learned the drug and whore biz. I played along well enough to move in pretty high company. I found the man, the fuck General that killed my boys. Just as I was about to shoot the bastard a mortar got him and me. The Cong were attacking the city and every mother's son was trying to get out. I thought I could use the ruckus to off the bastard, instead Charlie got him and my legs. Now here is where the story applies to you. Trust. Trust. Trust. That’s all there is Butch. And now I know that you can be trusted. You will always use my money to try and balance things up. The truth is that everything is precisely out of balance. That’s the only way it works. I tried to put things in balance and look at me. The way things are is the way things are. If you made everything tidy, fair and just - nothing would work. It’s a fucked up mess - spinning, twirling and somehow it all holds together. That’s why I should kill you. You mucked things up for entirely the wrong reasons. Shit, I could have you steal from me if you found a cool pad or had to buy a high-class hooker, even if paid for your little lost honey's abortion. But no… you gave it to midget hookers. How can I have that and keep my cred. Damn and I liked you - you have waht it takes." He shook his head like he was sorry for what he had to do.

He turned to his boys and nodded. They beat me good, the three of them, but I wasn't going to let them geld me and was beginning to have the bloody better of it when that Gargoyle dropped out of the night sky and knocks me flat. It let out a terrible scream then goes after the three thugs. It took the head off one with a single swipe - grabs the neck of one, lifting him and crushing his throat, the third it slammed it's claws into his stomach and rips out entrails. I passed out.

When I awoke I heard screams. The man with his guts torn out was standing next to me trying to hold his insides in. His eyes showed more fear than I thought a human could endure. He was still alive but just for a moment. He looked at me and tried to speak, all I heard was a rattle then he collapsed. I just stood there. Something wet hit my cheek. I wiped it off but couldn't make out what it was, the dark made everything black or gray. Looking up, I knew what had hit my cheek. The bloody and battered Vet was hanging upside down high in the branches of the fig tree. I heard the flap of giant wings and spun around. The thug who I watched die was gone. I ran. I could not own the crip's view of the world, there had to be balance somewhere. Why hadn't that Monster killed me? I had no idea what was going on. Everything that had happened to me made no sense. My brain was a storm, as I ran, and I could not stop crying. No matter what it took, I had to find religion.

I made it to the warehouse Cindy and I stayed in. I climbed the stairs to the loft we had built and crashed on our old mattress. Dreams came that night. The void, the eternal dark, was filled with angelic clerks shuffling papers from one desk to another. When the shuffling stopped one Angel would hand God a piece of paper. God would read it and then turn a dial, then a knob, then a lever and all kinds of stuff, good and bad, would happen in the world.

Why is doing what you love the hardest thing to do? Is it because failing what you thought defined you would be too devastating a thing from which to recover? If so, we stay where mere accident has left us.

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The following comments are for "Balance Part 4"
by jonpenny

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