Max Kael’s coffin wasn’t the first one I stood beside this past month.
Maybe that would’ve helped you all understand exactly what I was going through last week. Maybe Cancer would’ve cared. Maybe Bobby wouldn’t have bounced. Maybe Rick would’ve… whatever Rick didn’t do… stayed? Meh, I guess we’re all a little better off… but, more importantly…
Maybe you would’ve asked.
Of all the Bandits…
You and I seemed to share a certain bond. Completely unique to that of any other egg enthusiast. It was you, who instantly reminded me of my old man. It was you, with old man problems of his own. It was me, the old man of the Bandits.
I recruited you. Remember that?
Cancer Jiles was my brother.
Bobby Dean was the funny Uncle, who was also weirdly younger.
Rick, a blip, who’s already been mentioned too many times.
Troy, the Mom. A petulant personification of pathetic pandering. I couldn’t stand another minute bowing down to a Queen serving a rival in GoD. She openly admitted that taking ranks with the Bandits was temporary, a bridgegap, while she crawled her way back to those who oh-so-quickly cast her away.
Of all the Bandits…
I had faith in you.
It’s weird how the death of a loved one can change a person, isn’t it?
Look at Mike.
Dude just killed his brother… and for what?
To lose a battle with Cancer.
I never like coming here.
The wind always swirls. The birds don’t chirp. It’s always cold. And frankly, the parking is horrible. You have to walk a half mile one way, and then double back– forget it. I’ve already said too much about it. What I hate the most about coming here are the tombstones. They scare me. I don’t know why, it’s not like I was tortured in a graveyard as a child or I think Zombies are going to emerge from the ground and straight jacket piledrive me six feet under.
Maybe it’s because the tombstones never change. They always stay the same. They always tell the same story. They always show the same, stone cold face. Sure, they weather with time, and some may receive a fresh bouquet of flowers if the person resting there didn’t know Jiles…
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s me.
Maybe I’m afraid of change, or something like that. I mean, shit, it only took me ten years to leave the Bandits. TEN. Every single one of them spent with Jiles chirping in my ear about the stupidest fucking shit you could ever imagine.
I had every reason known in existence to leave is what I’m getting at it.
Was I afraid to leave? Maybe. I know it wasn’t easy deciding to align with Lee Best. It still isn’t. He doesn’t have eyes, yet… I know he’s watching me. It’s an uneasy feeling, especially when I’m taking a shit or in the shower.
Back to the point.
Was I afraid to leave because I’d find out the grass isn’t greener on the other side?
I think the reason I was afraid to leave the Bandits was because of what I would become. Without the goofs acting aloof, I’d have no excuse to not injure with purpose. Especially, if someone were to over extend themselves and wear britches too big for their upstart legs. Not to mention, say that same person left me for dead with a foaming at the mouth jackal lurking about to do as it pleased.
Maybe I deserved it.
Maybe I didn’t.
Regardless, someone is gonna have to pay for it. Unlike my old friends, my new ones don’t take too kindly to upstart, slack jawed, southern trucker cap wearing gentlemen getting over on one of their own. If it were a shove… maybe even an open palmed slap, it’d be one thing. I could maybe convince them otherwise, and the case that Max Shell deserved better could always be made.
But it wasn’t a shove, or a slap.
I was attacked from behind, and then the coward decided it wasn’t good enough. No, he had to really flex his muscle at my behest by trying out a new finishing move like I’m a rookie brought in for a one off.
That’s when he made a grave mistake.
That’s when I might have cared about winning and losing a lot more.
That’s when I also might not have cared about hooking a mouth with my index finger and dragging a guppy around the outside of a wrestling ring while his body reacted like a fish out of water.
That was then.
This is now.
Which reminds me.
The whole reason I’m here.
Hi Dad! Miss you!
Tell me Saturday Night, Zeb.
How did it feel? Was it cathartic? Was your little fishing rod hard afterwards? Did you call home and tell everyone in your twelve person town about it?
You fucking idiot.
I’m going to crush your country bumpkin head in to the point you’ll never be able to wear another Levi Garret hat again.
Eat shit, hick.
Oh wait, you’d probably enjoy it.
Eat charcuterie, hick.