Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Raferty - I

Raferty sits on the porch of his Virginia plantation. Born in 1901 Raferty is now eighty-six years old. He is a crotchety mean old bastard. No one likes him. He is proud, but generally feels the same. He wasted his time. He chewed on American fat for all but two of his eighty-six years in time and space. It's a wonder that he is alive. He is lazy, weighs three hundred pounds, and sits on his porch smoking home grown tobacco out of a pipe. He grows the tobacco himself. He does not allow the help to touch it. He is revolutionized in thinking, but still does not trust them darkies. He tells them that they do not water it properly. The truth is a different story. Countless nights Raferty wakes in the middle of the evening peering out of his second story winder over the small plot swearing that he saw one of them stealing. They scare him. The world scares him. He will ever admit it. He will die a sad old lonely coward that could not admit the universal joke that brings a certain brand of depression to all men. Empty. Unable to truly answer the hard questions. Raferty let them all know that he was different. Just as many feeble old wrinkles before his own he pretended to know otherwise. Raferty did many tours of war. He was shot five times on three separate occasions. Two in the thigh, one in the shoulder, and two in the head. One of the head shots was actually in the neck. The hundred of the times he told the story he never actually used the word neck. He is an idiot. They might as well both be called head as far as he knows. Raferty graduated the third grade and dropped out. He went to work for his father growing peanuts and potatoes and chickens. All Raferty harvests anymore is peanuts and tobacco. No one wanted his father's Virginia Red Potatoes and cockfighting is against the law. Raferty's father was also an idiot. Raferty hated his father. He would not let Raferty play the banjo as a child. The truth is his idiot father did not care. Raferty did not know how to play the banjo and the learning scared the shit out of him. Raferty has not worked since he was twenty. His father willed him the entire plantation and all of his stock in the company that distributes and cans the nuts. Raferty's nuts are eaten around the world. "Seasoned with the Virginia air," is what his father always said. Even today, when people buy the Idiot Nuts the slogan is still proudly printed on the can. The peanuts continue to make Raferty millions of dollars. He does not have to do a thing. Raferty never married. When his father died Raferty went dancing with the ladies almost every night for a decade. He was a lousy dancer and could not hold his liquor. The women did not mind though. He also could not hold his money, and these women would easily trade a few moments of pain and deep sadness to put their hands in the stream. Raferty has deep contempt for those women. Raferty hates women. He knows that not a single one was interested in anything but filling their pockets. The women had deeper contempt for him. He still sits on his porch saying to himself, "The joke's on you bitches." Raferty contracted hepatitis from his second hooker. And there's a certain itch that he's been scratching for over forty years. Raferty feels like he is going to die everyday, but he will not die anytime soon. One of Raferty's peanut pickers approaches the porch. Raferty begins yelling, "What you want boy? Why you ain't workin?" Moleole starts taking off his straw hat. "Sorry boss. The new boy is getting dehydrated." Raferty slowly takes his pipe away from him mouth. "Molo. I can't believe it. You ever heard the expression porch monkey?" Moleole looks confused. "Well Molo I gots a monkey on my porch. Can you believe that?" Raferty starts laughing hysterically. "A monkey on my porch. I don't mean anything by it. It's just when you think of that expression," Raferty continues hysterics. "Yee. Yee. Yee. Molo." Moleole no longer looks confused but decides to wait for the fit to pass. Raferty's laughter dies slowly and he frowns slightly. Shaking his head, "Well I guess you don't get. No sense of humor. Fine. Send the boy home Molo." Raferty places his pipe back in his mouth and readjusts himself from his fit. Raferty now back in full slouch Moleole says, "Thanks boss." Moleole nods Raferty waves him off Moleole puts his hat back on and walks back to the peanuts. "We should start raising them chickens again Molo," Raferty shouts. Moleole continues walking and tells himself, "I'm gonna kill that mean old fuck one day." Moleole would sooner leave the plantation before actually killing Raferty, but he aches to watch Raferty choke to death on one of the tobacco leaves he chews everyday after breakfast. Raferty shakes his head in disappointment. "Boy can't hear neither," Raferty continues on the way he did yesterday and the day before. He is a stagnant river that should have run dry. Instead his damp stench lingers over the shore. He decides that he wants pork for dinner.