October 4, 2011

Tales From Seattle...

The dark side of the needle...

One day whilst strolling about the streets of Seattle I chanced upon a middle-aged homeless man. He told me a very sad tale about Craigslist and the impact of it upon his life. He shared a tragic story about first befriending a seventy-year-old man online and then, later on in their Internet-relationship, arranging a motel-get-together so the two of them could meet and have a bit of fun.

When the old man arrived he was everything the younger man expected. He was sad, old and lonely, wrinkled from head to foot and covered in skin blotches from failing internal organs. He could still perform though and after hearing the old man's tale of a wife who hadn't had a sexual urge in her body for thirty years, the young man decided to give the old man a hand-job. A really good one too.

Well, of course the old man died. Right at the sticky crescendo to his first senior fling too. It was horrible. The young man tried to do the right thing by calling the family and making sure their father's remains were respectably recovered. It was after all, the decent thing to do.

Well, when the police arrived and took the young man downtown for questioning he wasn't completely surprised. Later on however, in the months that followed the arrest and subsequent trial for murder he endured, he learned never to be surprised by anything ever again. Tagged, The Homosexual Slayer, by the local media, he was soon thereafter sentenced to prison for a good number of years and then quickly forgotten by the good citizens of the law abiding community. All for having taken pity on an old man and then having given him a hand-job. (A really good one too.)

Needless to say the young man spent many a long hard night in unprotected custody between the stained green walls of the State Penitentiary. (His nickname from the press saw to that.)

He learned a lot of things in prison. Things that would have killed the old man in that motel room, all those fateful years ago, a whole lot quicker than the hand-job he'd given the old man.

The only thing that kept the young man alive in prison was a magazine article about a lovely place named, Seattle, Washington. He read the piece again and again until at last he'd conjured up a vision of Seattle in his dreams where money sprouts free from the ground, the weather is always sunny and nice and people don't don't care if you sleep on the cold city streets as long as you have a bagel and a cup of coffee clutched in your hands to help keep you warm through the balmy Seattle nights.

Eventually he was released on good behavior and moved what remained of his ruined life to Seattle, Washington. These days he panhandles just enough for a Porter at the Pike and a Dick's Burger or two (With a small order of fries, if the fancy takes him.) and lives a very humble life in a cardboard box behind the, Troll Who Lives Under the Bridge. He is happy in Seattle where even the worst of his days are better than any of the best days he ever wasted away behind prison walls.

Life isn't all bad for the young man. After all, when your hand-jobs are registered with the police as a, lethal weapon, there's a certain attraction to that sort of thing, among a certain crowd in Seattle. He makes a tidy bit of side money and as he warns all those who befriend him, "If the troll is a rockin', don't come a knockin'. Should the afternoon's take from playing, Jack-in-the-Box, behind the troll in the morning is good enough, there'll be Ivar's Fish and Chips for dinner this night and maybe a hot cup of Chowder too instead of Dicks, again. Life is good for the young man in Seattle and he is happy there.

It was a good tale and I'm glad the fellow shared it with me. I am a better man for it.

Good night Seattle, God smiles upon you this evening and so do I...

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