Neil

Neil is my best guy friend. He’s an asshole. No one likes him but his mother and me. He’s a little younger than I am. He looks like this–

Ladies and Gentlemen: Neil Hamilton

I believe that he can actually be identified from this drawing. I’ve seen it done.

I once heard him tell a girl, in her own house while eating and drinking her food, that she deserved to get raped. I think he said it because he didn’t think her story about once being raped was appropriate party conversation. Also because he thought it was true. She cried. He does that kind of thing all the time. You might expect he would get beaten up a lot but he’s kind of tough. More than me. A lot of my friends are badasses and I think Neil would beat any of them in a fight. Probably me too and that’s not easy to admit but it’s the truth. But I have perfect teeth and I care about them more every year I hear about what it’s like to not have perfect teeth. I also like the compliments from the dentist. If there is one place in the entire world I can waltz into and expect unimpeded adoration, it is the dentist office. The last hygienist actually called the others in to look in my mouth when I told her I never even had braces. Neil’s been banged around a lot and even had a parachute accident so he doesn’t worry about that kind of shit. I didn’t use to. But I’m a couple years older as I think I mentioned.

Neil used to get beaten up sometimes when there were too many people to fight. He didn’t care. He told an urban cowboy in a cowboy bar that his big belt buckle was a tombstone for his dick. He got beaten up that time because the cowboy had two friends that Neil didn’t see soon enough and that was back when I still could’ve kicked his ass. He’s tougher every year. He makes fun of my poems and my lyrics and my friends and some other things that I take quite seriously and sometimes we have a real argument about it. And we both get hurt feelings for awhile. He even took one of my Playboys once and he thinks I don’t know about it. And he also took my spoon when we moved out. He said it was his. After I moved out I found a picture of it that proved it was mine. He’s probably going to hit me for writing that. But it’s okay. I agreed to it.

We were drinking this one time and we had a deck of cards and I forgot not to gamble. I try to remember on account of I’ve only won about three bets in my life (snakes do have ribs, Will, and I don’t think you ever even paid me the 50¢; one of the others was eating chile, I’m New Mexican even though I look like a gringo). I tend to forget though and gamble. Neil and I drew cards to see who got to punch the other in the face. I drew first and I think it was the 3 of clubs. The most useless card there is. I rather would’ve drawn the 2. That would’ve been easier on me. He drew the 4 of clubs. That was also hard to take. But he didn’t hit me. He’s saving it up. Maybe now he’ll hit me because I told you he stole my spoon, but goddamnit, it was mine and I can prove it with that picture.

He’s not my best friend because he’s tough. I don’t need tough friends ’cause I fight just fine. It’s because if I were driving the Rover and got a flat tire on the Sea of Tranquility, he’d bring me a jack and a spare and a bottle of American whiskey and some McDonald’s burgers which I really like even though I know it’s evil. He would get mad if I tried to say, “Thank you.” And that’s why. And also, mean as he is, when I’ve had a couple of drinks he becomes quite kind by comparison.

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