his brain is smaller than his heart

he would go to the park at sunrise and sit patiently at one of the tables

within an hour someone would come up to him and ask if he wanted to play

i never played chess

as an only child whose dad liked to drink and mother liked to hit it just wasn’t in the cards

so i would just lean back and watch him

he was good

scary good

once i watched him play three games at once

all while telling me a story about this girl he was dating

he would walk from table to table

never taking his eyes off of me

and casually move the horse or butt plug or whatever the piece was supposed to be

and he would have me crying as the story got bigger and bigger

she had a knife mikey, i swear it was the biggest goddamned blade i had ever seen


and she is running into the room screaming and swearing she is gonna cut off my balls


and i’m on the floor against the window


hands up in the air, trying to calm her down


but she was crazy, absolutely out of her mind


around noon he would go to the corner bar

usually right when the open light was switched on

we played darts

this was a game i could understand

and he would keep right on talking between sips and throws

so there i am thinking it’s the end, this crazy ass woman is finally gonna do it, and if she doesn’t i’m leaving

for good this time

and then he gets real quiet and just drinks his beer staring off into space

i grab a five and feed it into the juke box in the back

play some dead boys, sonic reducer ain’t no loser

maybe some fear

good old lee ving screaming how he doesn’t care about you

and wait for him to go on

he looks at me with watery eyes and a foam mustache

i love her though, swear to god above mikey, i love her crazy ass

even with the knives and throwing dishes at the wall

she let’s me play chess at the park and come down here for beers and she actually likes you

i just nod

but one day, and probably soon, she is gonna kill me

i just nod again

he is some kind of savant

probably a genius level iq

but he is shit at picking women

i guess his brain is smaller than his heart like that

and i always beat him at darts


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