Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Silent Salesman Chapter 01

The hobo had eaten his meal and now wouldn't pay. He insists he "can't" pay but Harvey Sipowitz, the owner of 'Dickie-Bows' Diner, points out the hobo still has ten fingers. Christ, Harve is regretting this. Regretting letting the hobo into his diner. Regretting opening the doors this morning. Hell, regretting getting out of bed. "What are you going to do, motherfucker? How are you going to pay for this meal?" Harvey is a short, bald man, who was sweaty even after showers. He is wearing a white shirt with the top two buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His thick, Italian chest hair can be seen matted to his chest.

Right now, at this very moment, Harve, the hobo and a waiter are in 'Dickie-Bows' Kitchen. Harve and the waiter, named Kaito, are holding the hobo. The waiter holding from behind and harve holding tightly onto the hobos sweater with one hand, the other hand brandishing a carving knife. The hobo is scared to the point of shitting himself and is mumbling something about God, revenge and a story. The chefs are busying themselves preparing the lunch menu, effectively not noticing the violence. It's half eleven and the diner will be full in one hour with the lunch crowd; mostly office workers. Anyway, the kitchen staff have seen this enough times not to be fazed.

"Alright, this is the deal", said Harve to the hobo. "This Mexican here is gonna cave your face in and you'll never come back here again". The hobo started scrambling but Kaito had too strong a hold. Harve punched him in the gut and the hobo fell to his knees and gasped loudly for breath. "Take him outside and finish it quickly. There's customers waiting to be served". Harve wipes his hands off each other and scuttles out of the kitchen into the diner. Through the swinging doors, he can be heard welcoming customers. Kaito, a strong, 25 year old Chinaman, picks the light, smelly, vagrant off the ground and throws him through the diners back door into the unloading area, which was just big enough for one truck to reverse in and drive out.

"Wait... Wait, don't", spluttered the homeless man through his filthy beard, "I'll pay". Kaito was shocked. "How you pay? you got no money" spat Kaito back at him, clenching the straightened clothes hanger he just picked up even tighter. The hobo was on his knees. His body, tense, looked like it was begging for mercy but his face, his eyes, looked peaceful and relaxed. "I'll tell you a story. A story so good you'll let me go". Kaito raised the wire to hit the hobo but, suddenly, his armed relaxed and fell by his side. "Listen to me carefully", continued the hobo, "this will change your life". He brushed the dirt off his pant legs, arched his back until it cracked and began. "One day, thirty years ago, I met God".