Give me a yard of yarn and a diabolo and I’ll amuse myself; I’ll dick around for a while, I’ll even try to catch that spinny sucker behind my back – chuck it up whoop and catch that thing like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Absolutely. And yes, it could be fun, I don’t deny it. Or show up at my house around dinnertime and feed me lamb chops and couscous with some of that fire-hot harisa sauce – same thing – I’ll eat, I’ll relish. No doubt about it. All true, all true, but none of this makes the cut, the diabolo, the couscous, not by a long shot.
At the end of the day – I’ll tell you – all stacked up, it’s people I love! Warm-bodied bipeds with nerves, knots in their stomachs, blushy faces, jittery hands and above all! stuff to say: Lui, my man, what goes in a bouillabaisse? A conversation about clams, for instance. Cleavage, Labas, on older women, what do you think? (Brendan) not my favorite, but beats a diabolo hands down.
In short: long-haired, short haired, male or female, people. It’s with people I live, people I mingle, converse, interact, intercour–
(um… I hold a special and particular fondness for females– this is true – and a few even ignite fires in my groin and lower abdomen: redheads, girls from Split and Dubrovnik, classy chicks from Belgrade and so on, but this has been documented and is not the subject of this present exposé)
Where was I? People, yes, but not all people. We have here vast populations and among them, to be sure, there are some monstrosities too: six-hundred-pounders that can barely move (I speak not of the professionals that wrestle Sumo; they are incredibly agile). And there are people who are monstrous in a less visible, but equally disturbing way: some have demonic breath, others sweat like hogs. And there are even those that are monstrous in a way that is practically invisible, that can go undetected for years, but is deadly nevertheless. I speak of men and women who seed your thoughts with nettle and thorn-bush, who plant seedling quips and jibes until your mind is crawling with fucking brush and thorn, and you can’t see jack shit anymore for all the undergrowth, let alone move without scratching yourself bloody –
My list… I was going to give you my list. My list of people hand picked out of a population of 6.692 billion and counting (I just checked). Some are alive, some are dead, some I don’t know, but all are class-A, stand-up, league-of-their-own types. Clams, cleavage, stock-chit-chat, anything goes with this band of greats. Here they are, in no special order, my people:
Labas, Bee: Sister. Dome-haired semi-professional bowler. Winner of “Best Sister” and “Best Sister… Ever” National and Hemispheric. Famous words: hit me with that little rake again little brother and you lose your balls.
Benchpress, Brendan: muscle-bound macho-man. Conspiracy theorist and philandering rake (other rake). Famous words: drop the brain Labas; it draws blood from where it is needed most.
Bigman: Creature of the burrows. Holder-down of the fort and gentleman of the night. Famous words: [none in known language].
Spirelli, Mica: Au-pair extraodinaire. Lithe-limbed princess of Ljubljana. Wearer of fleecy wool and sayer of sweet-somethings. Famous words: hold my hand you baboon.
Gonzaga, Luigi: Predecessor. Barefoot soldier of the spirit. Winner of “Coolest Medieval man-of-faith” and features in “Best Haircuts of the Sixteenth Century”. Famous words: keep your word and the path will clear itself.
Stanic, Drago: Serbian. Numerate gangster. Disembodied spirit. Holder of hotdog stand on galaxy rim. Famous words: Ignore the gun please, just give me the money.
Labas, Lui: Croat. Once-in-a-while nuisance. Land animal and ocean-faring spirit. Professional. Amateur. Admirer and defamer. “Best Brother” Hemispheric bronze medalist. Famous words: I’ll just show up if your turn me away.