have often characterized him as...
|every word in
Driven into these
Thin sheets of wood,
Not set in stone,
Or etched in steel.
addicted to syllables, i've
heard our approach must
change; now it's word count.
Linen bags stretched out over steel frame, forms a garbage pail for linen. One could bundle a dirty apron, suit jacket or towel, and toss it in the laundry bag. When full, the bag would be slid of the wire rack and stack in back room. Drawstrings held it shut. Drawing the strings closed I threw it over my shoulder like Santa does his bag of toys, and walk it to back room. Went back out to drape a fresh bag on the rack. Sandwiches wrapped in wax paper tucked into brown paper bag, start with thick loaves of bread, leaven bread which is sliced in half.
Kneading, scooping fingers hollow out the two half loaves and the lettuce is first, then tomato, onion, pickle, cheese, roast beef and lastly a condiment. This sandwich weighs nearly two pounds.
The back room of Tiny's butcher shop is used for rest in time of weariness, it's used for personal phone calls, for therapeutic air clearing sessions, for cat naps on rough Friday mornings.
Gray painted, wooden table, folding chairs, a few gray paint covered wooden chairs and the light weight card table folded and tucked behind door.
Sweating profusely, breathing heavily, his shirt is soaked, jackets drenched through and through and his apron is a pink mess. Doing his ice skating routine on a slick floor. Morning meat truck, the driver arrives between four-oh-five and four-fifteen every morning, Monday through Saturday. Thin Guy helps the taller barrel chested man with dark fluffy curls unload truck. His stop here is one of many he must make.
Jet black locks framing forehead, face chomping onto sandwich. His mouth removes a huge bite from sandwich, chewing. Maw moving evenly, energetically matriculating, mashing. Paws full of sandwich, juice streaming down hand, dripping onto arm as he slirps another long pull from his soda pop.
Gulping at pop, he releases and hears plastic snap back loudly as the air rushes back into container. Tiny devours sandwich snack quickly, licks fingers clean, slirps stain off his T-shirt then wipes his hands on a towel. He wipes towel over face and forehead. Crumbles wax paper adn tosses wax paper ball in garbage. Depositing towel in linen bag. Uses restroom, washes hands and is back.
Mumbling waddling back to other side of coutner to begin the day; Tiny helping a customer with an order. Thin Guy changes out of street clothes. Takes off jacket, hear car keys jingle, untying shoes, peeling off sweatshirt. Pull on hair net and looks around the workshop to see what needs doing. This is a very busy place.
Thin Guy carrying taped up brown boxes. Back door propped open, the Thin Guy carries box after box, each well over fifty pounds, out to refrigerated truck; morning deliveries are a major portion of our business.
Thin Guy filling mop bucket up. Twist faucet handle, water pouring forth is heard, splash of this splash of that; suds foam up. Rolls buckle by mop handle over to far corner of butcher shop, out of way. Tiny helping a customer with an order. Thin Guy using squeegee on the work area.
Tiny chopping and sealing packages. Cleaver clenched and swumg, loud wet thud of blade sliciing through moist meat meeting the immovable wood of cutting block. Thick, brown paper unspool, meat set on, wound up before taping and pricing. Bundled meat is stacked or boxed, depending on size of order; not piled haphazardly in bloody piles.
Is she really still at her mother's? Yes, she says she may be there for a while at the rate I'm moving. What do you mean for a while? She says I don't earn enough to support a family, I tell her I'll talk to you about it and she up and left.
A wind chime like electronic gong dings a few bars of musaic from dirt off your shoulder each time the butcher shop door opens.
How can we assist you here at Tiny's butcher shop today? Specialty item? Have an animal in need of slaughtering? Venison jerky? I got a special on pork chops going, and the jerky is always fresh; what can I get you?
Promptly asks if there are any openings at the butcher shop.
Unfortunately for you, I just hired a new, but here's an application. You can fill it out now, or bring it back by later and drop it off, I'll take a look at it, then I'll put the app on file and keep you in mind; by the way, do you have experience?
Loafers clopping, walk up to counter, my cell phone has no service this side of town and I believe my transmission just went out, do you think you could phone a tow truck for me? I'll purchase something if necessary.
Don't worry about it, I got you; the venison jerky is excellent though.
After they spent all that time trumpeting the virtues of capitalism, they turn around and tear into our nation for its overzealous industrial development in the past, and for its slash and burn outsourcing tactics of late; are decisions ever right in hindsight?
The fight tore up his well decorated, a little too subdued and conservative apartment. He woke up the next day with a headache, laying on the floor in dirt from overturned potted plants, broken glass from who knows where, next to the couch. The DVD player, flat screen and the living room table were all smashed and crushed, like someone stomped them.
Heels clicking, she walks up to counter and politely asks in her demurring sweet southern bell accent, is there a hardware store near here?
How may I assist you Joe?
Joe of charcoal gray corduroys, black hoody, glittery watch and thin metal rimmed glasses says,
a pound each of venison and beef jerky strips, and a package of eight pigs feet, if possible.
Pigs feet? When'd you start gnawing on pigs feet, Joe?
Cut it out Tiny, my grandparents are coming for dinner Wednesday on the new table, Vanessa wants to take a shot at authentic soul food to serve them.
Stick to pizza is what I would advise her.
He rang up bill, after assembling parcels, and out the door walked Joe Hility.
I think the ear lobes caught my eye first like extra enlarged shoe eyelets, are you daft boy, the piercing holes yawned, gaped open enough to fit a nickle through cleanly. The ear ridge itself housed innumerable rings. And the metal adorned face, like shrapnel aimed, and lodged, it was amazing her neck hadn't snapped under the weight. Her black dress was plain enough, and the black flats covering her feet, but it was the piercings pace which really grabbed Tiny by the heart. Several silver lip rings, cheek stubs, chin studs, eyebrow hoops, three or more hoops in each nostril the pale skin, in need of iron was his first coherent thought.
May I help you miss? Yes, if you had a whole chicken, three livers and a sizeable rump roast, my shopping and extended errands would be over, and the rest of the day would be mine to spend anyway I see fit.
No problem on the chicken, the livers I got, and your rump roast.
Thick bushy beard, long blue jean shorts, tangly greasy hair fell down over oversized T shirt, high tech high top tennis shoes made his at least three inches taller, and his thin gold chain dangled from neck.
Morning Mr. Butcher, mum sent me to bargain a few pheasants out of the display case, and since I'm here, I figure I better stock up on that infamous jerky this spot makes.
Yes, mum says it adds to tone at high intensity, uncomprehendably, abnormally hostile business dinners. The jerky's for person use, dad's business partners can come down here themselves and pick some up.
An enterprising man indeed, the total come to fourty three eighty nine, on the visa it is, sir.
Limp through door, How you doing Tiny?
I'm well my friend, I see your legs acting up again, are we expecting rain?
More than likely, and the weather report supports my balky knee's claim wholeheartedly.
Been a while now, hasn't it, since you've last been in here.
True enough, Tiny, true indeed.
What brings you over to my side of town Larry?
Venison by the truck load, in any form, venison steaks, venison jerky, ground venison, I've been torturing myself with thoughts of the chewy, warm, mouth watering flavor venison.
I have jerky.
Give me five pounds of it, ten pounds of ground venison and five pounds of the steak variety.
That's going to cost you a pretty penny Larry.
I have it covered Tiny, my books been doing better lately, sales are brisk.
Rolls into store on motorized scooter wheelchair,
Delbert? Delbert, is that you? calls Tiny.
Yeah, it is I replied my in motor scooter, can you help a brother out Tiny?
What you need man, I'll see if I can fill the order for you.
This new Mexican doctor I got myself says I need to vary my diet some, now that I'm beyond the age of re building and what not.
What'd he recommend?
Omelets made with ostrich eggs, sandwiches built around buffalo steaks and stir fry full of sauteed alligator meat.
I say to hell with the omelet though, gimme three pounds of ostrich flank, five pounds of buffalo steak and make that an even pound of alligator.
Hey Mrs. Ledding, long time no see, how may we be of service to you today, at Tiny's butcher shop.
Hi Tiny, well, you heard about little Jimmies grid iron adventures?
Yes, of course, he the reigning two time Mr. Football, on his way to being best in state history.
She responded, no, no longer on the way to the state records, he tore his knee up last week and is going to need to eat healthy during his rehab.
Oh no, knee injury, poor kid, it is always the good guys who get hurt.
Upstairs he'll be fine, as long as he eats right, and works hard during physical therapy.
Bringing us to me.
Correct Tiny, I'll require two pounds ground beef, five pounds thin steaks and five pounds of chicken breasts.
Tiny, Tiny, Tiny, Tiny, Tiny, Tiny, Tiny, why-o-why-o-why do I work midnights,
said the red eyed, five o'clock shadow ridden, haggard looking man standing in front of display case.
I go to work, my makings of breakfast in fridge, I come home to bare wire shelves; no respect I tell ya, no respect.
Chuckling, Tiny responds come on Art, that's why they pay you the big bucks, so you can replenish those supplies, daily if need be.
Today Tiny, I need three pounds pork chops, four pounds of bacon and three pounds of the breakfast sausage.
Just one moment Art, and it'll be twenty eight fourteen, out of fifty. Get home, get some rest Art, here's your change, take care.
Enter store shuffling stepping in hurry.
Hiya Tiny, the man with red T under yellow button up shirt with gray dockers began, how's business been treating you
Not bad, not bad, steady as she goes, I always say, what can I get for you this morning?
I need to place an order for the last Sunday of the month, we'll require two quail for dinner that evening. The wife's trying out a new recipe.
No problem, you wish to pick them up on Friday or Saturday?
Make it early Saturday, I'll pay now, and toss in a couple pounds of venison jerky strips; I love that stuff.
Clear the doorway, step to counter ogling meats, Morning Tiny, how are things treating you today?
Good as can be expected, last night I found out my boy made honor roll again, I believe I woke up this morning smiling at the Good news. How can I be of service?
began the man in black slacks, brown loafers with his white shirt and red with silver pinstripes tie,
my boss, over at the travel agency is having a barbecue this weekend, and he asked the room in general about quality meats, at affordable prices. I sang your praises for a view, several people seconded my proposal and I was recruited to place the order.
How big a barbecure are you talking?
I'm talking ten whole slabs Tiny, Kilbasa, hot dogs, burgers, the works. H gave me a thousand dollar budget, with half going toward meat for the company picnic.
You need it delivered?
No, I can pick it up on Friday, when its ready of course.
Let's get the order in, and we'll see if I can cover everything for you.
Lull in business, Tiny chopping pork into sizeable sections, wrapping in plastic, affixing price tags, panting;
in wanders a young man wearing fade olive parachute pants, black sneakers and a beige sweatshirt over top of a black turtleneck sweater.
Hello Tiny, how's life been treating you?
The family? Fair, fair, little Evan's doing well in school, Ingrid's getting along quite nicely in her garden, and, business is as steady as ever.
How are you doing?
End of summer, the creative juices dry up, become all gummy instead of viscous, but I've been testing out some new approaches to painting, so I haven't stagnated.
Good, good, what can I get for you this morning?
I woke up with a taste for shark flank firmly embedded in mind, so a couple pounds of shark meat it is, Tiny.
I don't do shark.
You don't do shark?
No shark here.
Where do I go for shark?
Try the fish market.