toxic wasteGood Morning Divagates,

Life is short as anyone over 40 will tell you, yet somehow someway we continue to deceive ourselves about how mortality works. We’re all going to f-ing die! Get used to it, and honestly, I keep asking when, but only allowed to cough and hack without mercy; destined to suffer alone!

My relapse has much to do with a long-time associate who at times loses perspective! He’s apt to befriend feral cats, small children, and a few ‘Bag Ladies.’ Now holding court at the Magnet Inn; aka: “The Maggot” (more about that soon) our good friend brings in Mark who is waiting for a company bus and certainly not my social calendar.

As soon as we met I immediately began a labored breathing. Mark seemed a bit out of place. Look, what I mean by that is it appeared to me as though he’d just escaped from a prison ‘Psyche Ward.’ Besides being very excited about his newly acquired job as a laborer for some toxic clean-up site, and through his cocked-eyed look to the right seemed genuinely fond of our associate. Mark was sinister looking and odd, but his gracious host seemed oblivious to it absorbing his continued frontal assault.

Waiting for his bus and donning his work garb that by all accounts resembled a HAZMAT suit stuck out his hand in fellowship. Ignoring the gesture the poor bastard was forced to pay $50 bucks for his precious boots before day one.

Congeniality aside, within minutes the air was filled with the acidic stench of Kerosene, literally causing our tear-ducts to overflow in self-defense. Mark was so proud of his newly soaked boots he felt it necessary to come to where I was sitting immediately conjuring up cirrhosis. He displayed them with pride and didn’t seem to care I was holding a napkin over my face turning green from the fumes!

Our confused associate looked as though he was sobbing out of control, but continued to encourage his living breathing vapor with boots to stick around, so I removed myself to let them catch up.

While the chance meeting of old friends is nothing new to me, but this unholy union of complete opposites was disturbing on many levels. Yet I believe it to be the first time in years our associate had a good cry. Shameful as that is, it just goes to prove our fellow curmudgeon is also a ‘Prince’ of a man capable of unimaginable things. God bless him.