Truer Words Never
I was sitting in a comfortable corner of the bar with my
notebook. We were drinking Guinness and Baileys and talking
about the old days, the happy days, the Fonz... I was well
into my third or fourth Irish car-bomb when a big biker-looking
dude took the stool next to me and ordered a Bud. I was a
little annoyed, seeing as the rest of the bar was pretty much
empty and I wanted to prove I wasn't an alcoholic by getting
drunk with my notebook instead of just by myself.
So I retreated into my conversation with my notebook and
Guinness, until this dude said, "Hey!" I looked him over.
He was indeed big, and was wearing a dark leather jacket,
which is what gave me the peripheral impression of a biker.
However, under that jacket he was sporting a bright tie-dye
and a thick rope of bead necklaces. This guy was an older
Indian of some kind, I could judge by his dark complexion
and dark hair and the angular craggy shape of his face. I
couldn't really get a good look at his face in the indirect
lighting of the bar.
"Whats up?" I asked, trying to emanate my annoyance at being
disturbed without being rude to a guy that could beat me black
and blue. He didn't seem to notice. "You a writer?" I couldn't
deny it, I had my pen in my hand.
"Want to hear a story?" I looked around: the place was nearly
empty, I couldn't just say 'No my girlfriend's over there'
or 'Actually I was about to leave' because my Guinness was
still 2/3 full. This was the first time in my life that I
have ever been annoyed at a nearly full pint of Guinness that
wasn't spilled all over my leg.
Swallowing nervously, I said "Sure."
"In the beginning, before the first man stood up out of the
dust, the different parts of his body were fighting about
who was gonna be in charge." He took a sip of his beer and
looked significantly at me. I nodded and tried my best to
keep a straight face, then decided to hide my incredulous
grin in my beer. Was he trying to convert me to some kind
of weird nature cult?
He went on, "First the brain said, 'I should be in charge!
I make all the decisions, I am obviously the best suited to
control this body and guide it down a rational path to safety
and happiness.' The legs, however, disagreed. They said 'Who
will be carrying this body down the righteous path? We will!
We oughta be in control, without us the body would never see
the sunset from the top of the mountain, or get back home
after a long day's work. We are the best choice to control
this new body.'"
He leaned forward and ordered another beer from the bartender.
"But then," he said, "the heart spoke up, and said 'I am the
repository of happiness, and I am the well spring of life.
Without the flow of my blood this body is no more, and without
my consent a smile will never cross the face of this man which
we all call home. By all rights I should be in charge!'"
The Indian paused for a minute and contemplated his beer.
"I have to take a leak... I'll be right back." The bastard
left me hanging. He was a good story teller, and even this
strange little creation myth had drawn me in. I ordered another
Guinness and pondered the meaning of this random encounter.
The dude didn't even introduce himself. Weird.
He slipped back into the stool next to me without a sound.
He moved with a grace not often to be found in big dudes in
"Finally, there was one more body part interested in running
the show. 'I wanna be in charge,' piped up the asshole. It
gave no reasoning, nor any passionate speech concerning its
merits as a leader. In fact, all it did was squeeze. The rest
of the body was dismayed! They were growing more and more
uncomfortable by the minute, each organ having less and less
space due to the backlog in the intestines.
"Finally, the heart and the brain and the legs and all
the rest said 'Enough! You're killing us, flooding us with
poison! We concede, you can be in charge.' So the asshole
let go, and with a resounding 'Phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhht' took
control of the human race. The rest of the organs were finally
able to breathe again, and even though they were being ruled
by perhaps the least worthy among them, the pressure was gone
and it was good.
"This is why a nice big BM feels so damn good, and this is
why assholes are always in charge." With that, the Indian
pounded the rest of his beer and slipped off into the night.
I sat dumbfounded, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.