I don’t like knives. I’ve carried a few. It’s part of doing business these days. Sometimes when you have to make a point, a blade can make a statement…if you know what you’re doing.
That’s why I was sharing a bottle of vodka with the eight inch gash on my ribcage. That’s why I spoke through clenched teeth while Rudy stitched me up, again.
“It’s deep. When are you going to give this gig up? You already look like a poster from a butcher shop.”
“I’ll quit when guys pay on time. It’s a cause and effect relationship.”
“I’ve seen the effect. Did it fit the cause?” Rudy snipped off the last length of thread and tossed the bloody needle in the alcohol-filled metal tray, now cranberry red.
“I pulled my stiletto and explained the facts. He pulled out a friggin’ machete and presented a counter-proposal.”
“A machete? You’re jackin’ me.” Rudy grabbed the bottle from my hand a slugged down a shot.
“Oh yeah, it was that big.” I shrugged and winced.
“Did he pay?”
“They all pay, one way or the other. He just paid a little more than he expected.”
I pulled out the severed ear from my shirt pocket and tossed it onto the table. “Add this to the collection”
Rudy then slid it into the black box, now almost full. In a fair fight against a big blade I shouldn’t have stood a chance…if I fought fair. I don’t. Now he knows better.