Bourbon and Blood
My eye was so swollen I couldn’t see out of it, but I knew he was standing over me. I told him, “Go ahead, hit me if it’ll make you feel better, but it won’t break the strike.”
And he did hit me again, right in the mouth, then he said to me, “I miss the old days, when you could settle a contract dispute by kicking the shit out of someone.” Then he helped me to my feet, and I said, “Yeah, the good old days;” I don’t think he understood I didn’t mean it.
“You do know that signing with you is tantamount to creating a fucking union,” he said with extra disdain as he spat out a wad of pulpy flesh. I smiled and told him, “Yeah, but not signing with us, that’s tantamount to suicide, and that my friend, is a sin.”
He laughed, hard and heavy, and it reverberated inside his oak-tree chest; “Hah, that’s what I like about you,” and we shook hands. I couldn’t tell if he was being facetious. He took a swig, then offered me one off the same bottle of bourbon; apparently it’s tradition. I took a pull so deep I lost feeling in my face, but then the burning came back, and spilled down my throat in the unmistakable mixture of bourbon and blood.