The Redneck Poet

Years ago, my old friend Mike, who I haven’t seen since I went out to Sixth Street last (that is, in years), was really into this girl. He was known to become infatuated with a girl who he’d convinced himself — despite our suggestions to the contrary — was into him and then, two weeks later, start calling her a “stupid fucking bitch” because she wasn’t interested in him. We made much fun of him for this. And do till this day, though, like me, most of my friends from back then haven’t seen him either. Unless they’ve been out drinking.

He was an interesting fellow. A redneck poet. He seems hopped up on meth all the time. He wasn’t. Not all the time. I think his pituitary gland was a crack factory. This is a man who couldn’t drive while sober — the, inevitably company-owned, truck swerving all over the road. May as well have been driving braille.

Anyway, the point of this whole thing is that one time he was into this girl and he went over to her apartment and left an artichoke heart on her car. I think knew her car but not her address. So he left a note and the artichoke heart. I can’t remember what the note said. I’m sure something appropriately romantically creepy. He had a way with words.

Mike was a great storyteller, though. In both senses. He was great at telling lies (and making you laugh as he did so) and telling stories about West Texas. He accidentally answered a call from his car loan company one day while we were sitting around a friend’s house. I believe he was at that point leaving his vehicle at that friend’s house so the repo man couldn’t find it.

On the phone, he told the girl that he was on sabbatical in West Texas, out near Pecos and was heading down to Terlingua later and that his phone was dying because there was no power (he’d had to use a guy-down-the-road’s generator to charge his phone, he said) and on and on. The word “sabbatical” coming from him was hilarious, and it only got better.

So, here’s to Mike: The Redneck Poet. Who I wouldn’t be surprised has exploded his heart by now.

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