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slimeball supreme

Sergio

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slimeball supreme

The man met in the bar was wild eyed, red-ragged black mane fellow with a mustache and these little spectacles belying activity. Activity: not mania, but a stream of intrigue, of thought.

 

His name was Sergio.

 

“I'm not Italian,” he said. “Uruguay. Amigo, not amico. My father, he was Italian. I belong to no nation.”

 

“That so?”

 

“So is so.”

 

“‘Makes you say that?”

 

Blink-eye, looked out wistful. Sergio nodded, “Si, a- uh…”

 

Man to his right, one leg off the stool, cocked brow curious-like. Blond middle parted undercut, stubble, green eyes digging. Shot glass on the bar not even caring for drinks, just what the fella would say next.

 

“Let me ask you a question.”

 

“Sure,” Blond went.

 

Sergio thought a moment, pointed finger furrowed, gestured out. “You believe nothing.”

 

“No.”

 

“No, this is not the question. I believed nothing. I was a boy. I believed nothing. There was no God to me, no family, no state. For the longest time, you have nothing to believe. All of this fighting, all of this anger - I see it, and I choose the state. I chose government to believe in.”

 

“Ain't a question.”

 

Mumbled something Spanish before correction - “Does not need to be. You finally find something you believe in. You think this is just cause, you think this fight for the good. You think this is the future. These men, they were the government. The Colorado, the Reds. I believed that government and the state would lead me and would lead us and would lead the world, and it would lead it to prosperity. You know?”

 

“Not really.”

 

“I killed for the government. I turned the barrel at who the government- who they told me to kill.” Deep breath. Rubbed his eye. “What do you do when you find what you believe is wrong?”

 

“Is that the question?”

 

“That's the question. I fought for capital. I found that capital did- did- did- it did not fight for me, and did not fight for my fellow man, and did not fight for society. It did not fight for good. Nor the future. Do you keep believing in what you have believed? Even when proven to be wrong? Even when you- even when you have made what you believed into yourself?”

 

“I--”

 

“I'm sorry, I ramble. I am not smart, but I know - I know when I see something wrong that I can no longer be apart of it. Yes? Even when this become me. Even when that is me, when the state has become molded with me and I am one with the state.”

 

“I never believed in the- uh… the government. Never believed it.”

 

“It never gave you something to believe in.”

 

Sergio had been soapboxing out the dockyard for god knows how long while the horses drove by and the longshoremen lifted boxes and lifted crates and lifted cotton bales. Wore and tore men with cracked faces, these big blasted ships spitting smoke or the riverboats decked blue-and-red and the men in their formals, their bowlers and their ties, clean shoes treading wood planks where the dirty and the dirty water collected and foamed.

 

“I never asked for much,” Blond said. “I just- what you was saying, you know…”

 

“I don't know much,” Sergio replied. “I saw the way the government treated the poor when I was a soldier. I was a sharpshooter, I did not see much. They kowtow to the plantations. And then I come here and I see how the colored and the redskin is treated. I read. I see how the men who run this place run the factories and run the docks. They spit on the worker and they spit on union.”

 

“You spat on them.”

 

Cops had come and made a fuss and blown whistles and said Sergio was disturbing the peace. Shipper complaints, something like that. Said the idle workers listening were screwy, screwed with productivity, screwed with packing the bales and screwed with the screwmen. Didn't like the negroes and didn't like the whites packed up together buddy-buddy.

 

Sergio had a book. Something-bread-something, Blond had forgotten the name. Was reading passages from it ‘til a cop tried taking it.

 

Sergio yanked, put the book in his coat, got off the crate. And spat in the mick cop’s face.

 

“In 1892,” he said, swigged the shot. “Was that when the unions, they- they- they came together, and they… there was no problem, with the black and the white. Right? You get overtime. This, and you, and the teamsters, the-... I forget. The mayor or the governor, bourgeois f*cking pig, he send the state militia. Right?”

 

“Didn't do nothing.”

 

“Were you there?”

 

“Most've us were.”

 

“This is the Deep South. You know, if the governor or the government or the pigs who run it, if they cannot break the bond between worker with the racial- euhh I forget the word. If they cannot break the bond, imagine- can you imagine what the worker can do? You only get so much but this can be only the start.”

 

Blond chuckled. “What, we get no days? Start’s a start. We fought, we won.”

 

“Liberty, my friend. You did not win liberty. You did not win your freedom. The ruler, the system, the slaver--”

 

“Slavery’s gone.”

 

“Is not this simple. The bond between worker beyond all, this is only the start.”

 

“Then how you get liberty? Constitution? Revolution? I just--”

 

Sergio smiled.

 

“Anarchy, brother.”

 

“Sergio- euhhh… what was it again?”

 

Vincenza

 

“Mr. Vincenza. Boss is one thing, y’know. I don't know. Violence is--”

 

“The State inflicts violence on whoever it chooses. It inflicts violence cruelly. Whether this is segregation, or whether this is the violence and the terror they have done to the Indian. This cannot be fixed by the system. The system, the state - it must do this to survive. It live and breath and it drinks the blood of the worker. This is capitalism. The slaves must be freed. Property must be abolished.”

 

“Outside you said that, but property--”

 

“When property is- I mean moreso… there is a difference, you see, from the private and the personal. You own the fruit of your labor, you do - you own the house and you own the product of which you have created. But land, the property, it’s ownership must be approved by the state. The state has the power. Not you - the government. Higher wages, this- this- this is but a, uh… half measure. Is that how you say? The boss and the capitalist and the government always leech off of the creation. And they will not wrench their hand from this without force. They do not speak the language of peace. They never will.”

 

The Blond man had followed Sergio, and he was not the only one. After the rally, after the cop was spat on, after the cops pulled truncheons and Sergio threw a brick - they had ran through slums. Through the houses sprouting from weed and swamp, through alley and through building until they found Saint Saturnines and they found the Old Quarter. Through sweat and rasped breath. He grinned.

 

Sergio Vincenza didn't grin much. The cracked face spoke numbers, serious, solemn, despite all pretense and despite the jitter and despite the fire behind the eye.

 

He had turned. Grinned. Cheek to cheek.

 

“You talk a lot.”

 

“Si.”

 

“You talk very smart.”

 

“No, no. I am no smart. I shot for the government and rode half a continent for the same sh*t smell and the same poverty and the same rich men with fat pockets I found in Montevideo. That's idiocy. My job is I convey the word of the smarter man than me. My cause, not so, but me; I am a fool.”

 

“No.”

 

“No?”

 

“I seen a lot of sh*t. Bad sh*t, y’know. I don't know. I don't got the right- uh, the right words. You just- you're… you know how to say it. Way I grew up it was - y’know, ni**er this and darkie that and I-... union helped me see that weren't so much the case. And then you're- well, I don't know. You make a lot of sense.”

 

Sergio looked a few seconds. “What's your name?”

 

“Myron.”

 

Nodded. “Myron. Myron. Myron. Well, Myron. How about - I take a few of us, we come, you follow me. And maybe we can talk more? I have ideas, Myron. I do.”

 

Myron nodded back.

 

“Sounds good.”

Edited by slimeball supreme

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Ziggy455

This is written exceptionally well. While there's a few misplaced commas and such, the dialogue comes off fresh and real. It gives me a vibe of something akin to Heart of Darkness mixed with Elmore Leonard's knack for speech. It seems original too. I'd like to read more.

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Outlaw Biker Viking

This was a masterpiece! I love it and would also like to read more! :)

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