Sunday, January 04, 2009

365 # 128: Russell J.

I grew up in suburban Houston, which is home to a lot of assholes who like to dress all country and call themselves cowboys because they drive their dad's truck and maybe they rode a horse a time or two. You, on the other hand, were something slightly closer to the real thing, at least as close to it as is possible in the present day. The kind of guy whose boots actually get dirty and who has spent his entire life around livestock. You were the big bad rough tough ass kicking redneck, but the type who actually gives rednecks a good name as opposed to the racist shitkicker that we usually think of when that label is tossed out. On the other hand, you were still a boy looking for his dad's approval. I remember once when you and I were hanging out together, I was smoking a cigarette and you were chewing on a wad of tobacco. You asked me if I knew why you chewed tobacco, which of course I did not. You went on to tell me that you'd started doing it because your dad did it, and you wanted him to like you. Turns out he didn't give a damn, you told me, and just like everything else you had tried in order to get his attention and maybe some sign of fatherly approval, it had failed. All you had to show for it was an addiction. You spat with a bit more aggression after telling me that.

As big and tough as you were, as much as I liked you, I still ended up sort of causing your girlfriend to break up with you so that she could get with me. To be fair, you were treating her kind of shitty. I don't mind telling you I was a tad bit, uh, what's the word to describe how you feel when you're pretty certain there's an ass kicking in your future? Lucky for me and this remarkably handsome face of mine, you took the news well. You and I and a few other lads ended up going camping the next weekend. We got hammered around a much too large campfire, and in the midst of our drunkenness, one of the other guys mentioned that he was glad that you and I were still friends after what had happened. You and I just looked at each other and laughed. Hope you're doing well, cowboy.

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