Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why we gotta fight?

Outnumbered by the band members, Ricky did what he always does – he ripped off his shirt. In most bars on Crescent Street, that would get you kicked out, but this one caters to the dregs of downtown – schizophrenic alcoholics, drug dealers and the university crowd. And Ricky, who falls into categories one and two, owns it.

Set to the right soundtrack, I'd argue the scene was wildly homoerotic. Five sweaty, dishevelled men surrounding one other, half-naked and panting. Anyone could mistake this potential brawl for a more invasive sort of gang bang. I'd never mention that to Ricky of course, so as to avoid having my pinky fingers mailed to my parents.

Anyone who knows Ricky, knew what was to come next. Some knew word for slurred word. Ricky, who is almost always in the wrong, has a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card, which is ironic because he's spent a lot of time there. To play it, he strips down and gestures toward his mangled torso.

"I've been shot three times and stabbed five!" he announces. "Why we gotta fight?"

The look on his face says, "We're all just people, so let's just chill out and be friends."

This particular night, after holding the band's drum kit hostage, he was playing that card again. The show was over, the dance floor was empty, and these guys were drunk and exhausted. Letting Ricky freestyle on their equipment until he drank himself unconscious or sober wasn't anyone's priority but his own.

While his words and face were friendly, Ricky's scars shouted, "You should've seen the other guys!" The band backed down thinking maybe no one ever saw those other guys again. They grabbed their gear and left.

I waited for my friend to finish up behind the bar, so we could get out of there, too. She poured Ricky a pint for his nerves, and I witnessed a road map of veins smooth into the contour of his massive head. I stole a few sideways glances at his eight uneven scars, and marvelled that he is still alive.

Shot three times? Stabbed five? At what point do you ask yourself, "What am I doing wrong?"

(I'd include a picture of Ricky at his bar, but I'd rather keep my pinkies. You'll have to settle for one taken in an Irish pub. The monsters there were smaller.)

12 comments:

surviving myself said...

Right. I think after my the first time I got shot, and maybe after the second time I got stabbed (I mean, who hasn't been stabbed once?) I'd start to think about maybe taking up a hobby.

i am playing outside said...

umm... so how's london? quiet and safe i see. LOL

I'm Kate... said...

I say the one with most scars and is still breathing (most have both criteria!) wins the argument/brawl before it even begins - in my book, anyway!

Kate Savage said...

surviving - See, that's what I'm talking about. Apparently, he's still in the "any attention is good attention" phase.

i am playing outside - Twenty-six day to London. This is Montreal. You should hear my Montreal-Est stories!

I'm Kate - I'm with you. He wins that, but very little else...

wyliekat said...

Some people are just miswired, methinks. And we sense that on some animal level - those of us who are welcome to continue swimming in the gene pool.

Kate Savage said...

Gosh, I hope no one pees in it.

wyliekat said...

I actually think peeing in the gene pool is what creates these people.

surviving myself said...

Dude - have you forgotten about us readers? I'm just saying - real life is NOT as important as blogs.

Son of a Thomas said...

Great tale. I know a Ricky. In some strange way he is still one of my better friends. That's probably because i was olmost Ricky. Almost.

Kate Savage said...

Surviving - You know, every major thing that's going on in my life right now happened via the blogosphere, so, yeah. I better get back at it. Thanks for the b*tch slap!

Son of a Thomas - Thanks! And welcome to el bloggo. What do you mean you were almost Ricky? Like, you stopped taking your meds or something?

pistols at dawn said...

I say once you get to stabbing #2, you should have learned to carry a gun yourself.

Kate Savage said...

pistols at dawn - But then you realize just how MUCH of a screw up you are. I mean, not even his enemies do their job right.