Punch Drunk Lament

The punch was pretty tart. It was also pretty punched. And Big Guy Jim was bent on punching a place nearby that decanter of joy, a place where he could slug that refined and rarified mash down as if it were pure mountain water. A place where he could begin working on a lonely eighty-six.

Big Guy was a boxer, and there were two things Ole Guyboyo liked more than anything else in the world, except maybe the charms of a good woman. These two things were well sauced punch and a punch well thrown. It might be noted, he preferred sauced punch to ease the loneliness of a boxer, and he preferred it free and easily available. And it should be further noted that, regarding well thrown punches, Guy preferred throwing, but was amenable to admiring one received as well. It didn’t matter much which, really, since either one told him he was not alone, that there was another in the arena, bent as he was on breaking and hurting.

As for women, in Guy’s experience they were the very hurt of loneliness. It should also be noted that there was a woman, Mel Marshall, between Big Guy Jim and the punch pot. Whether she was a good woman or a charming one was a proposition of great uncertainty. She was in the vicinity of punch bowl, nursing a wounded glass of sour mash, looking for a tall handsome to steal away her loneliness.

Guy, despite his moniker, was not a tall handsome. He was a sq uat five-nine, one-forty-five, when in trim. But the squat was pretty solid and ripped, even when he wasn’t in trim. Even at five-six, one-forty-five, it was pretty easy for Big Guy to punch his space at the hooch buffet. He had a boxer’s face, his nose cocked a bit left, pointing toward a lump where an ear might have once been. A white scar serrated across his black right eyebrow. And one of his beaver incisors was just a gap—noticed only when and if he smiled, grinned, or sneered. Nobody who knew this Guy looked down on him, and he made sure of it.

Mel Marshall tried looking down at him. Not a hard thing to do in the absolute sense of the word. He was not tall handsome, and she was five-nine, in four-inch heels. And she had the audacity to stand there between Big Guy and the rum and vodka punch, her blue-black mane flowering and blooming down across the pale proud of her bosom. And she had the crust to proud out that bosom, flip the mane aside, lift her thin, snubby nose and turn her soulless baby browns down at this little Big Guy bulling his five-six, one-forty-five toward sauce basin to get punched.

Guy barely paused. He glanced at the prouded, mane-draped brazens, glanced at the pearly-perfect white sneer, took in the superior sniff of the narrow nostrils, and then angled his killer blues up about a foot, aimed them right at the soul of Mel’s soulless brown eyes. She gasped, punched, at the punch busted face. Then Big Guy grinned, a flat, friendless, boxer’s, I-am-a-killer, gap-toothed grin. Mel gasped again, lifted a thin trembling hand to cover her bosom; and she staggered back leaving to Big Guy Jim his punched place at the barley sauce pot.

Big Jim dipped himself a tall, tart, well punched glass. Then turned and, from the gap he’d punched, he surveyed his kingdom. From that empty acre, he proceeded to punch himself unlonely.

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