Ted (merovingian) wrote,

If this post is a political allegory, I assure you that I don't get it either.

At the bar near my work, there's a regular crowd on Friday nights. We start to become familiar with each other, even though we're strangers. We're strangers who see each other in a relaxed social setting every week. Casual contact over a prolonged period creates its own kind of intimacy. Is this chair taken? How is that beer, I've never tried it? Hey, do you have any napkins? I can only pick two songs in this jukebox, you want to pick the third?

That's how I became friends with Rick. He worked at a nearby company. We never saw each other sober, and mostly we waited at the bathroom together. Rick worked at a defense company nearby.

One time neither of our coworkers showed up, and we got to talking.

Halfway through the conversation, Rick mentioned something very strange, and I asked him about it.

"Oh, I'm a nuclear bomb," he said.

Then I noticed it. Rick was made of metal, not flesh. He was shaped like a tapering cylinder. He had a serial number and a U.S. flag on his side, and had no limbs. I just hadn't really registered it before, and, like I said, I never saw him when I was sober.

Right after he mentioned it, he said how much he appreciated that I never asked him a lot of tiresome questions about being a bomb. I suddenly had a swarm of questions I wanted to ask, but of course I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

So we talked about sports instead.

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