JJ finished talking.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“What do you mean?”
“Let me get this straight.” Shaboo leaned back and looked hard at JJ. “You came in here to get drunk and escape two friends that make you uncomfortable and may or not be fucking with your implied consent?”
“And you cut you’re yearlong road trip short after two months because you couldn’t stand being around this woman you supposedly love.”
“Yeah, but we go back…”
“And you won a million bucks and bought a farm and you don’t farm but you live there and do…what? Putter around?”
“Well, at first…”
“And you moved back from Wyoming or wherever to find yourself after your real true love jerked you around for a few years?”
“We were close…”
“And that real true love, what was her name again?”
“After Lucille convinced you to live in a tent in the mountains to escape the Rocky Mountain Mafia.”
“She was trying to help. As it turns out…”
“And you were fleeing the Rocky Mountain Mafia because you stole a bunch of money from nine-fingered Miguel?”
“And this Matias was some kind of Dear Leader to Lucille and she introduced you so you could sell pot for Matias?”
“Well, yeah. I mean, I was looking for pot for me. At first.”
“And you moved out there because you ran from some cops at a traffic stop in Connecticut and just kept running?”
“Yeah, well, I had been drinking. I think there’s still a warrant.”
Shaboo paused. “That explains why you disappeared from college so quick.”
“So there’s only one question here.”
“Why the hell aren’t you writing this down?”
“Dude, you got like three novels right there. What the fuck!?”
“That’s just my life. Those things really happened.”
Shaboo stared at JJ. “What do you think fiction is? It’s just shit that really happened, tweaked and compressed.”
“It’s as simple as that?”
“Yeah. No. The work…” Shaboo trailed off and looked away. His face became vacant and pained, like a veteran recalling the meaningless loss of comrades in headlong assaults. “The work takes a toll. If you do it right.”
They were quiet and the tavern crowd was thinning.
“But, is it worth it?”
Shaboo’s face came back. The twinkle, the head cock, the direct look. “Yeah, it’s worth it. What else you gonna do?”
The next day, JJ got to work.
2 thoughts on “Tweaked and Compressed”
Great stuff my friend.
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