Vanity and legend

I have been looking for the moral code of the universe for a long time, and I have discovered that there is none. We are all rolling like hogs off a cliff.

Now, a man like Cándido, he will disagree with me, and he is a most agreeable soul. He will share his cigarettes and tequila, and he is a good listener. He avoids speaking nonsense, and I am often curious how his mind works. He knows my history with drink, because I am loud with it; it has become a part of my vitality and legend. “I used to be a drunk,” I will say, and you can imagine the bright lights and angels that greet that declaration. If there are angels, I further say, and if anyone gives a damn, I would weep for them.

I am one of many, one of six, and Cándido, he is our santo patrón, and I am our patron drunk. Oh, poor Luis, you may say, the drunk is the clown of the story, the clown who hides his tears in whiskey. I tell you this: save your pity and your piety, for I can be as cruel and foolish as you like, and I will still outrun your prophecies. You cannot save yourself if yourself does not demand it. A wise and judicious man told me that, and do you know what? It was me. Ha! And so I defied all expectation and defied the whiskey, because I still care a little for what is left of my soul. Did you know that in the time it takes for the rope to uncoil, it takes less time to wrap it around one’s throat?

You see? I am loud with it! Did I not tell you?

Cándido, he will sometimes share his drink with me, and it would be impolite to refuse him. I think my friend understands much about the rope, but I do not ask him. I know he would not say. He is a thoughtful man, Cándido is, perhaps more so than I.

(A work in progress)

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Author: Steven Baird

Writer, amateur photographer, ad compositor and chicken herder.

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