The Curse Of The Bleeding Heart
The Curse of the Bleeding Heart
Life was going by at a pleasant clip until HE encountered the dreaded monster, Aesthetic Prejudice.
“Of all the crazy little juke joints in the world I had to walk into this one.” She bemoaned.
There standing at the bar rail was the ugliest man she had ever seen. Nearby was a spittoon. Every ten seconds or so the ugly man spat into the spittoon.
The noise made by phlegm hitting phlegm was as ugly as the man making it.
HE approached the barman, a fellow new to her acquaintance.
“Hey, barkeep, would you do something about that!” She hitched her thumb in the direction of the offensive creature. The ugly man belched.
“What’s the problem, lady?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” She rejoined with some indignation.
“Oh, it’s like that is it?” The barkeep gave her a cold stare and continued to polish a metal tumbler with righteous vigor.
“Like what?” HE asked in consternation. How can this guy be so blind?
“Geez, Lady, ya come inta this place o’ business like ya own it. All on yer high horse about something ya just don’t understand. Can’t ya leave well enough alone? Huh, can’t ya?” The barkeep turned away from her and went about his tasks.
HE felt like she’d been sucked into an alternate dimension. A place where people ignored the offensive. A place where brazen ugliness was accepted as normal behavior.
Finally, consumed with her need to right all wrongs, to squelch the Beast of Unalloyed Disturbance, she walked over to confront the lowly specimen who had done her the egregious disservice of violating her aesthetic prejudices.
“Listen, buddy, could you take your mucus machine somewhere else. Yer bothering me.”
“Imagine that. Name ain’t buddy, it’s Krill.”
“The name is Krill ya whining bi . . .”
“I wouldn’t go there if I were you, Mr. Krill.” HE pulled herself up like a person certain on making their position known.
“Yer one ta talk, lady. Here I am minding me own business and up walks Mrs. Astor, miss sanctimonious busybody, fully prepared to unload her damned opinion like it were asked fer. Beat it, Missy Particular. Last time I checked this were a free country. Move, before I spits on you!” Krill proceeded to hack up a substantial lugee and held it in his mouth threateningly.
HE blanched with disgust. She thought of holding her ground for all that was right and decent and proper, but decided, in this instance, retreat was the better part of her personal valor.
Later that day, back home lying on her divan with a cool compress parked on her forehead HE though of the events at the First Amendment Saloon, an establishment she’d heard better things of from people she respected. She remembered something she had heard all of her life, yet never actually had any real dealing with: “I might not agree with what you have to say but I defend your right to say it.” She guessed it took a more evolved soul to do such a thing. What she felt like doing was loading her pearl-handled derringer and returning to the saloon. There, in her brilliant fantasy, for HE was a woman of dangerously brilliant fantasies, she would dispatch the horrible Mr. Krill with a single bullet to his hardened and black heart. Then, perhaps, he would bleed the way she did.