[Posted by Jack]
It was something like two in the morning and we were walking down a stretch of suburban road. Max and the cab driver had agreed to disagree about the best route back from O’Malley’s. I looked over my shoulder and saw a man cleaning spit off his passenger window.
A night out drinking with Max is guaranteed to include an awkward altercation with a complete stranger over nothing important. He’s a bindfolded kid swinging at a piñata. It’s not personal. It’s not about the candy. It’s about the swinging.
Max wants to fight the whole world. His problem is that the world won’t put up its dukes. That just pisses him off.
Max is barely interested in the pornography of conflict. He doesn’t play video games and he doesn’t care about your team. He has no fight in him for metaphorical battles. He drinks to try to jump start some kind of ordeal, with mixed success. He wants some kind of story to tell, something worth telling, something good enough to make you wonder if it really happened like that.
Everyone wants Max to calm down. But he can’t. He can’t relax. He tells me it’s getting worse. Whatever is coming is getting louder.
My theory is that Max is looking for a climax in his narrative. I don’t know that we’re all guaranteed that kind of climax in life. Modern men lead anticlimactic lives.
Where he’s headed, though . . . I think his chances are good.
Max is going to pick a fight.
That’s where I come in.
While Max is on his “long backpacking excursion,” I’ll be here.
For the most part, I’ll be posting whatever dispatches he sends down the line.
If the spirit moves me, I may post a few stories of my own.
I’m used to writing about men one way. This is another way.
* * *
[This entry was written by a buddy who covered down on admin duties while I was overseas. When you drink for sport, you deal with a lot of cabbies. Unscrupulous drivers are a common lot.]