The Canadian years, 27, honking cowboys

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Tuesday 09 December 12:18

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Friday night at the fights

My brother had bought tickets during his break at the ticket outlet and I paid him the 15 dollars back. I showered and with the pot brylcreme of my brother, I forced my hair with a wave of the pocket comb that you always wore at that time, in your back pocket, in place. I thought I looked handsome. Too bad that my brother did not want to lend me his mustang. I had to have wheels, but I would have to wait a little less than a year, I made up my mind that on the day of my 16th birthday, I would get my license. I considered presenting my brother as my driver, but he would not go for it, I certainly knew the Winnie the Pooh cap, would probably not fit over his big head. Sometimes you have to make do with what you have and my brother was my only possibility. I was a bit worried because my brother looked a little like Buddy Holly and had a Mustang, a real cool car, moreover he worked and earned moeny. Not that Shelly would want to spend her life, with someone stuffing hospital sheets in large washing machines, but I realized that women do look for opportunities of the moment and I felt insecure. The power struggle between brothers over women had begun.

‘You look splendid,’ he said. ‘Oh’, I replied, ‘you go only once to the free fights.’ I had even carefully  shaved my one and a half whisker and had 'besplashed' myself with my brother's 'Old Spice aftershave ‘ I smelled like a half decayed bouquette flowers. I felt like a man of the world. ‘Who is your friend,’ asked my brother? ‘Oh someone from my class’, I told him evading the truth. ‘Well I'm going as I am’, he said, ‘because we are only gone two hours anyway and I'm going out tomorrow.’ ‘Sure’, I said, ‘you're right’, he looked awful. Unshaven, with unkempt hair that just came to the edges of his ears and an old lumberjack's checkered shirt with jeans, working jeans that sported many a stain. ‘You're my brother,’ I said, ‘we are not going to the Oscars, you look just fine.’

The car started with a deep growl of the eight cylinders that the engine was rich and we drove very slowly out of the 'alley'. ‘Just tell me, where we are going,’ asked my brother? ‘Varsity acres,’ I replied.’ Oh, a neighborhood with streetname that  is an expensive neighborhood’, my brother said. Why was my brother always so obsessed with money? Poor devil, he would never have any money and everything he would buy, would be on credit. He was absolutely impressed by money. Money did not interest me, it was more something that you needed to do what you liked to do, but otherwise it could not fascinate me. Ironically, I  would always be in money, all my life and his life, confined to the short time that he had and that we fortunately did not know about then, would be one ,with only worries about money. The night was young and full of promise. Who could have imagined on that night, that my brother's time was ticking away shockingly fast. Fortunately we did not have the gift of sight, because I would have gone mad at my attempts to save him.

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Close to Varsity acres we had to stop for a traffic light. There was a little strange car, a mini-Austin, in front of us and behind us a car neatly closed the line. The light turned green and the driver of the small car, was bent over, rummaging in his glove compartment. ‘What an idiot’, said my brother, and honked the horn, the sound of the two-tone horn echoed for a moment. The man looked up and got out and got out and out. A bear of a cowboy came up to us with irritated steps. With his finger he pointed at the closed window of my brother’s car. My brother hit the power window button and it whizzed down. Immediately a big claw came inside that grabbed my  brother's lumberjack shirt turned it a half turn, making the buttons pop and half lifted him up. ‘Boy, you honked at me,’ asked a  gruffy whiskey voice? My brother gave the only right answer, ‘No!’ ‘ Why boy, are you calling me a liar,’ the voice continued, while from where I sat, I watched his other hand clench into a fist.

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‘Always bull’s eye,’ I thought, if he admits to have honked he’ll be belted and if he denies it, as well. ‘Mister, mister’, I said, my brain spinning at full speed. ‘He honked, alright, but not at you.’  ‘Can you talk little shit,’ said the man who was looking at me now with great interest. ‘Yes,’ I said gently smiling, I asked my brother to honk to two girls I know and ..oh they are gone now .. well that is why he honked.’ ‘Right,’ said the cowboy, ‘so  you asked that, you are not very convincing,’ but I saw that his anger was diminishing.’ Boy,’ he said, ‘you talk fast’ and he gave me a dark look. Then he must have realized that we were young. ‘I'll tell you what, he said, if I come to see you boys again today somewhere, then I’ll kick your ass so hard, that you brain will turn to pulp, is that understood?’ ‘Yes’, I nodded. He looked at my brother who was still frozen in his claw, and if you ever honk again at me, then I'll cut your honk hand off.’ My brother nodded. He stepped back and waited again for the red light to change. We had met a cowboy of the worst kind. ‘Pff,’ said my brother, ‘thank you.’ ‘Don’t honk anymore,’ I advised him. The light turned green and agonizingly slowly the cowboy drove away.

San Daniel 2014

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