It is a frigid day, and as the sun sets behind the hills I feel the temperature drop another ten degrees. It is days like this that I truly like working outside; the Christmas trees are stacked six feet high, and the contrast between the warm green laying against the hardened redstone ground as the snow begins to fall makes me think of the opening scene in Gladiator. It lets you know that you're alive, makes you feel like your spine is made of stone and you will never die.
Out of the lads I work with, I am most certainly the alpha male. Though not the oldest and far from the largest physically, my personality overwhelms theirs consistently. I am more garrulous than the other fellas that are around my age, many of whom can only hold a conversation when it comes to things like fuel injection and link kits and all the other things that I know nothing about. The younger kids look up to me for some odd reason, probably because I give lectures on History in between drinking stories. I can't tell you how many have said to me, "Man, I wish you were my teacher, I'd have learned the shit." It's amazing how much some guys will absorb when you take them out of a classroom, let them light a cigarette, and swear a couple dozen times while you're talking... I should teach seminars.
I won't lie, I'm not easy to get along with. I am extremely confrontational, (a product of being 5'7") and very physical. I swear too much, and bluntness is my only virtue. I am either OK or pissed off, there are few in betweens. I have a terrible tendency to make a mess of my life consistently, and this can put me in some pretty foul moods. However, for some reason, these fuckers like me. I guess I'm entertaining with my tales of fights, strip clubs, drinking, and whatever other misguided adventures me and my compatriots have embarked on. Besides that, though, I think that they can sense that I'm not a bad guy- I don't have stories about heroin or jail or any of the other really bad things- just dumb drunken ramblings that always have a punch line that everyone can laugh at. I mean no harm.. I'm just completely wild at heart, and appreciate good roaring stories that never let the truth get in the way. I always tell my bosses that after I leave there, things will likely go alot smoother, but it won't be half as fun.
"You ever gonna get married?" one asks me.
I grin. "I suspect one day some poor girl will sucker me into that. Not soon though. I'm not looking forward to it... and fuck me, forget kids!"
"Man, because it's already been declared by my mother and all of my exes that I'm having all daughters."
"Why do they say that?"
"Because I don't know how to handle women. I can't smack them around when they fuck up like I could with a son... and plus, they'd be like me, good looking as fucking hell, and then I'd really be in trouble. I already see it. The first one, she'll be the decent one, the one with a conscience, a good heart, all that. She will most likely take after whomever her mother is, because she's likely to be a far better person than me. So #1 will be fine. It's #2 that I'm scared of. She will be like me, dark and Italian looking and a knockout. And she will have my fucking attitude, my hatred of authority, my smartass wit, my Irish heart. And she will be the trouble maker. When she is born, I'm going to buy many guns. I'll grow a beard, grow my hair to my ass like the old guy in Blade, and when her first boyfriend comes over she will say, "I'd let you meet my father, but he's busy downstairs cleaning his shotguns." I'll work my fucking forearms the hardest in the gym, just so when I meet the cocksucker I can crush his knuckles in my grip and smile."
I see myself, some day, looking into the dark and undoubtedly devilish eyes of something that came from me, and I know in my heart that that will be the only thing to truly reign me in. I will hold her one day and sing the Irish ballads about Botany Bay and the Famine, and about how each kiss is a cry we all lost. I used to dread this.
Now... not so much.