My hobby… I collect shirts, shirts I’ve stolen from the closets of men whose wives I’m fucking. Pass whatever judgment against my character you will, I’m proud to say I keep a full wardrobe.
My father used to tell me messing around with married women was a surefire way to get yourself shot. I was eight years old at the time and didn’t take his advice very seriously. I didn’t get to hear too much more advice before cancer shot the old man dead for whatever transgressions karma wields pancreatic cancer to amend. My dad was a fisherman. I guess that meant he liked giving unneeded advice to unheeding listeners.
I collected my first shirt at the age of twenty. There was a time I bought comic books which meant I had only a dodgy understanding of what a vagina was. After that I sought after drugs, a hobby which exposed me to all sorts of vagina. It was at the age of twenty I hired in at Jay Manufacturing and met Sara Beth.
Sera Beth was many things. Beautiful, alcoholic, ten years older than myself, personable to the point of constant flirtation, politically ambivalent and married. While Sera Beth and I operated neighboring machines on the night shift, her husband, Donnie, worked in the quality control office on day shift. He liked to tinker on cars in his spare time.
Where hobbies reveal character, employment often dictates hobbies. At Jay Manufacturing everyone pursued alcoholism with the single minded fervor of a lifer carving a chessboard and pieces from soapstone and whatever pieces of marble he can find in the prison yard. I’d clock out of work at eight in the morning, shower, put on my best black clothes and meet everyone at Scarlett’s Tap for their breakfast special, draft beer and tequila sunrises.
As with women in general, Sera Beth gravitated to me on account of my easy charm, quick wit, and good teeth. When our innocent banter regarding the original architects of the pyramids segued toward discussions of our favorite sexual positions, my father’s counsel concerning the dangers of dallying with married women never occurred to me. In fact, despite including it verbatim here, my dad’s words still finds no purchase on the vast smooth walls of my Polack logic. This sort of adage only sinks in with the bullet which proves the axiom.
Most days I wouldn’t leave the bar until three or four in the afternoon, pilot my battered Chevette wannabe, the Pontiac T-1000, to my buddy’s crummy apartment where I’d crash unconscious on his sofa usually while he sat on the coffee table, getting the power-up and rescuing the Princess on his Playstation machine.