To be honest, Richard, I hate the fucking Dallas Cowboys. Or “Chow-Boys” as you’d say so drawled it’s like your mouth was an engine gunked-up with black gold and well overdue for an oil change.
“How about them Chow-boys?”
Where did you get that saying, anyways? And how did you end up on the west coast in a sprawling desert home and married to that nice woman Linda with the large hair and wrists full of clinker-clack silver.
The questions I still want to ask you.
When you slapped my back and squeezed my hand, I felt for the first time the violence held back in every man. It wasn’t good enough, so in the backyard when Linda and grandma were refilling the wine, you knelled down to give me another go under the endless Southern California blue and said, “squeeze it like a man, son, and look into my eyes like you’re calling me a sonafabitch.”
I wanted that violence. And I’ve been shaking that way ever since.
But you’re a relic now, Richard, three decades after your heart went ka-pow. There’s no room out here anymore for a man like you or that dust-devil you held back, spinning in your gut looking for an open plain.
Did you ever let it out? I bet you did. I understand. How else did you exist out here among the grift? Did you ever find someone across this south land, studious and running everything with no time for anything but a dollar, to say yes to an ancient Texan like yourself looking to extend Happy Hour to drink number three?
Did I say how much I wanted to be like you? But I can’t. No way, not today. I was born out here with a different kind of drawl that holds the vowels a little too long and among the woken people of healthy lifestyles and influential meditation. I’d be just a bad impersonation for a new millennium. You’re a relic, Richard.
And yet your voice is permanently lodged in my ear, and there’s an ache that still lingers from the squeeze of my right hand as I write this letter with my left to a dead man I met just three times.
I still got that goddamn Dallas Cowboys shirt somewhere in a drawer, Richard. Don’t worry, they haven’t won shit since.