Thursday, November 26, 2015
The Anger Games 6
Before he knew it two weeks had passed. His bruises were barely noticeable, his eye had healed and the blurred vision had passed completely. The doctor had passed him as able to return to work and both the guys at the garage had thrown him a welcome back party complete with a cake and gifts.
Nick, one of the mechanics at the garage, had given Dave a dozen new t shirts, each with a different saying on it. Dave laughed as he read each one aloud. "Holy cow, Nick! If I wear this one in public I'll be arrested for indecent exposure! Or public indecency, or whatever they call it!" he said as he held one high for them all to read for themselves. Everyone got a good laugh before Dave folded it neatly and put it back in the gift bag with the others. He knew he'd never have the nerve to wear it in public but he appreciated the gesture.
'Bonzo', who worked behind the sales desk, had given him a gift certificate to Sears so that he could replace his lost work clothes and boots. "You needed a new pair of boots anyway, that last pair looked like World War II surplus!" he'd teased.
Arnie, one of the mechanics, had given him a new DVD player and a collection of Jackie Chan movies, one of which was Jackie Chan's Drunken Master, which Dave absolutely loved. He waved off Dave's astonished thanks. "Don't worry about it, kid. My brother in law owns an electronics store, so I got a good price."
Reggie, in charge of tires, had followed that up with the full set of Indiana Jones movies, and Senwe, one of the automotive electronics specialists, added the Monty Python Box Set.
Dave cocked an eyebrow at Senwe who arched both of his in response. Immediately the two of them faced off. With the ease of much practice they began the scene.
"None shall pass!" Dave cried, imitating the Black Knight.
"What?" replied Senwe as Arthur.
"None shall pass!"
"I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight, but I must cross this bridge."
"Then you shall die!"
"I command you as King of the Britons to stand aside!"
"I move for no man," replied The Black Knight/Dave.
"So be it!" cried King Arthur/Senwe.
The two engaged in a mock sword fight, dodging and parrying, thrusting and 'dancing' as they fought.
"Ha!" cried Senwe, feigning a hit on Dave's left arm. Dave immediately tucked his left arm behind him, pretending it had been severed.
Senwe, assured of his victory was prepared to be gracious. "Now stand aside, worthy adversary," he said.
"'Tis but a scratch."
"A scratch? Your arm's off!"
"No, it isn't."
"Well, what's that then?" 'Arthur' asked, pointing to the imaginary severed limb on the ground.
"I've had worse," Dave said, nonchalantly.
"You liar!" Senwe shouted in disbelief.
"Come on you pansy! Hah!" Dave said, thrusting his sword with his remaining arm.
Senwe 'chopped off' the right arm, which Dave once again tucked behind him.
"Victory is mine!" Senwe crowed. He knelt and began to pray. "We thank thee Lord, that in thy mercy..."
"Hah!" Dave yelled, charging the king. "Come on then!"
"What?" Senwe said in disbelief.
"Have at you!"
"You are indeed brave, Sir Knight, but the fight is mine."
"Oh, had enough, eh?"
"Look, you stupid bastard! You've got no arms left!"
"Yes I have."
"Look!" he replied, pointing to the Knight.
"Just a flesh wound."
The rest of the guys chuckled but quieted down quickly so that the two comedians could continue the scene.
"Look, stop that!"
"Chicken! Chicken!" Dave crowed.
"Look, I'll have your leg! Right!" he said, chopping off one of Dave's legs. Dave gamely began hopping on one foot.
"Right, I'll do you for that!"
"You'll what?" asked the King, incredulously.
"What are you going to do, bleed on me?"
"You're a loony!"
"The Black Knight always triumphs! Have at you! Come on then!"
With a final swing, Arthur chopped off the Black Knight's remaining leg and Dave obligingly knelt on the ground. "All right. We'll call it a draw," he said matter-of-factly.
"Come on, Patsy," Senwe said, dragging George into the scene to play his squire.
"Oh! Oh, I see! Running away then! You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!" he yelled, hamming it up even further by hopping forward on his 'leg stumps' in an attempt to catch Arthur.
The 'audience' applauded, laughing and smiling in appreciation of their antics as the impromptu actors took their bows.
"Do the coconut bit!" Reggie prompted.
"No! Bring out your dead!" suggested Bonzo.
"Shrubbery!" shouted Nick.
George held up his hands and said, "How about you act out the scene where the kid opens the rest of his presents and everyone gets back to work before their boss kicks their collective keisters?"
The guys all had a good laugh and did as they were told. George gave them time to take everything out to Dave's car and load it all into his trunk before putting them to work. He kept Dave on the selling floor until he could put that gift certificate to use to buy clothes that would stand up to the rigors of the garage. He'd also ordered Dave a new coverall which he hoped would be delivered within the week.
Dave was happy that he wasn't naturally a crier. He knew he'd have embarrassed himself in front of the guys if he had been. He couldn't believe the kindness and generosity they'd all shown, and they'd always been friendly but this is the first time Dave found himself thinking of them as friends. He decided that once he found his new apartment he was going to invite them over for a Monty Python night. A stab of fear that they might not accept or show up hit him, but he stomped it back down quickly. It was too early to worry about that, and he had work to do.
The men spent the rest of the day changing oil and rotating tires, taking care of customers, and throwing quotes from the movie at each other when there were no customers around.
"We are no longer the Knights who say Ni!" said Nick, sanctimoniously as he bounced a tire toward the car he was working on, "We are now the Knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!"
Later that day Nicky had to be slapped on the back to get him breathing again when George came out of nowhere during lunch with, "I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"
Even dressed in grease smeared coveralls, George was a very dignified looking man. When he opened his mouth people expected to hear a cultured British accent, and a quote like that would be the last thing anyone would ever expect to hear from him.
Senwe literally fell to the floor of the break room laughing.
"On three, guys! Ready?" asked Bonzo, "One! Two! Three!"
"And now for something completely different!" the guys all chorused.
Dave smiled for the millionth time that day. His stomach muscles ached from laughing so much, his face hurt from the smile that had been on his face almost constantly since that morning. Despite all that, he couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this good.
Later that afternoon he heard Senwe call to George.
"Hey, Geo! That guy is back. You know? The one that was sitting out there in his car a week or so ago just staring at the place."
George walked over to the garage bay doors and peered out. Senwe was right. It was the same black Honda Accord SE that had been there a couple of times previously. The first time it had been parked outside the garage for over an hour before George had walked outside to see if the driver needed help. Before he could reach the car the operator had started the engine and driven off.
"Want me to call the police?" Senwe asked quietly.
Dave, unable to contain his curiosity, had walked up behind George and peered around his shoulder. His stomach dropped into the general area of his pelvic bone and settled somewhere around his coccyx. It couldn't be. It just couldn't be.
He stepped out from behind George and began to walk toward the car. The door opened and a tall, dark haired man stepped out.
"David." He said formally.
"Dane." Dave replied, equally formally.
"Dave... everything all right there?" George called from the doorway, preparing to join the younger man if it looked as though help were needed.
"It's fine, George. This is my brother. All right if I take a few minutes to talk to him?"
George didn't usually have bad feelings in his gut just by looking at people, but he got one this time. He nodded and turned to go back into the garage but he made sure to keep an eye on the two young men who stood facing each other in the lot. To George it looked eerily like two gun fighters facing off in the middle of a dusty street, rather than two brothers.
"I've been looking for you for the past two weeks. Where have you been?" Dane demanded.
"I went there. After I saw the news I drove by to see the damage. There's not much more than the foundation left now. So where've you been staying? Back seat of your car? Too proud to come and ask me for help? Or Devon? Or mommy and daddy?"
Dave gritted his teeth. He hadn't called Damien and Azriel 'mommy' or 'daddy' since he'd been about five years old and for some reason it grated on his nerves when his older brothers did it.
He took a deep breath and concentrated on calming the beating of his heart. "I was under the impression I wasn't welcome." He said steadily.
"You're paranoid. No one said anything of the sort. Why didn't you contact mommy and daddy after the fire to let them know you were all right? They've been worried all this time." Dane said. "It's just like you, Dave. It's always about you. Always some kind of drama. You are the most selfish person I know."
Dave held up a hand, successfully quieting his brother. "You obviously came here for a reason. I'm just guessing it's to talk. If you came here to talk rationally and in an adult manner, then I'll ask George if we can cut out for a cup of coffee." Dave said calmly. "However, if you only came here to start shit with me, then leave. I have work to do."
Dane drew his arm across his body, hand rigid, in a stance that Dave had seen too often growing up not to recognize.
Dave surprised his big brother by stepping into the larger man's personal space instead of cringing or stepping back as expected. "Touch me! Just once! One fucking finger...!" He growled.
It was Dane's turn to take a step backward. Dave's mind flashed with the mental image of a kitten standing up against a Rottweiler. He gave a feral grin which, judging by his brothers widened eyes, had succeeded in unsettling the larger man at the very least.
"I'm telling you right now, Dane... I didn't file a complaint the last time you put your hands on me out of respect for Dam... dad. NOT A WORD!" He commanded when he saw his brother's outraged expression. Dane looked surprised and remained silent, but the hand dropped to his side. "If any of you put your hands on me ever again I will call the police." He hissed. "I will file charges, and the lot of you can rot in hell after that. You can go right ahead! Run to 'mommy and daddy'," he said, turning the words into a curse, “and tell them I said so. After that, if they still want to see me they can call here and leave a message, and I'll drop by their house when I have time."
"Who do you think you are?!"
"I know who I am. You people, on the other hand, are little better than a pack of wild dogs. No, not just wild, rabid..."
"Now wait one fucking minute...!"
"No, big brother!" Dave said, slurring the words. "If you can't see that the way you people treated me the last time we got together was wrong then I can guarantee we have nothing to talk about and you may as well just leave now. Three against one? Really? Dev didn't join in the fun but I'm willing to bet that if I'd stayed there much longer he'd have jumped onto the dog pile with the rest of you."
Dane opened his mouth to protest but Dave drowned him out.
"NO MORE!" he shouted. "Ever again! Do you hear me?" he demanded, refusing to be intimidated by his older, taller, broader chested brother who now leaned forward menacingly with his fists clenched by his sides, eyes slitted, nostrils flared, lips compressed into a thin line. Dave was aware that his body was shaking but it was with restrained fury rather than fear this time.
He took several deep breaths, bringing his breathing back to something akin to normal. "Now," he resumed in a reasonable voice, which to his credit shook only a little, " Did you want to go have a coffee and talk about whatever it was you came to discuss, man to man? Or should I just go back to work?" He looked steadily up at his brother.
Dane's features softened gradually, an unreadable expression replacing the righteous indignation that had been there only moments ago, and he relaxed his stance. His hands slowly unclenched. In an uncharacteristically quiet voice he said "Yeah, I could go for a cup of coffee."
Dave turned toward the garage to look for George, only to find the man just inside the bay door with the shop's cordless phone in his hand, finger still poised over the 9. He smiled when he noticed Senwe with a five pound rubber headed mallet held casually in his hands. Several of the other guys appeared to be working on engines or tires but oddly enough had no tools in their hands.
"Yeah, go ahead." George had said. "An hour good?"
"An hour is great, thanks George. I'll be at the D 'n' D's just up the way, OK?"
When Dave returned to the parking lot, shrugging into his jacket, Dane opened the passenger side door, and gestured for Dave to get in.
"There's a Dunkin' Donuts just a few buildings down, the weather is great, we can walk. Or if you want to drive you can and I'll meet you there." Dave said, turning in the direction he'd indicated. He paused a moment to look back to see if Dane were going to drive or walk with him and was pleased when his brother began to follow him. He gave a smile as he allowed his brother to catch up to him. Dane, for the first time that Dave could remember, returned the smile, and the two of them walked companionably along the side of the road.
Scene from: Monty Python and The Holy Grail, 1975
All quotes directly from Monty Python and The Holy Grail
Written by Monty Python
Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland and Neil Innes