Just Like High School

 

***

“I kind of get…I mean…the other day he randomly walked up to me and asked me what one word best described my life. I don’t know, exactly how…”

“Endearing.”

“…Yeah.”

***

Maybe it doesn’t matter, how fascinated he seems by learning how to break someone’s ribs in order to bring back their breath.

“You basically turn a baby around and beat the shit out of it.”

Now that William is getting more comfortable at work he has been forming better relationships with others. In the weirdest sense, it feels like a massive relief.

Maybe it doesn’t matter, when he walks by and says that he hates people.

“Heyyy. Jesus,” I answered, offended. Didn’t we spend quality time together as people?

“I mean the customers,” he clarified.

Maybe it doesn’t matter that he has already picked out his next tattoo. Of a revolver, with the bullets falling out and down his back. Bullets with writing on them.

“Please tell me you haven’t named any of the bullets already.”

“I have.”

That side of him, that gets really upset whenever I call him ‘Billy’. He says I didn’t know Billy, but I always want to test him.  Shove him in to some lockers, call him a faggot and see what he’s got.

New place, new start. Maybe there’s more or maybe he’s just in love with the idea of all the wrong things.  In my mind he rides around in the back of ambulances in the not-too-distant future and looks down at a suicide attempt, to the flower his arm, and back to the person lying on a stretcher. In my mind, It Gets Better. But every now and then I wonder if a strong enough pull, a strong enough impression could push him entirely over.

“You shoulda seen William at his interview. He was all spiffy –“

“In a bow tie.”

“Yeah. How’d you know?”

Because I saw him first.

At work we get these little bullshit pins if we pass enough training sessions. Bronze, Silver, cheap shiny weights on our collars. The post lady handed me our latest bunch and I threw the gold one at William.

“Way to go, Billy.”

“I’m leaving now.”

“Good. Get the fuck out.”

And there it was, that off-balance I needed.

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