Man in picture. Carlo Tarcisi.

We talk politics and religion. Celebrities and ordinary people. He’s friendly and charismatic. A quick smile and eyes that seem easy to read. I can’t help but like this man. We smoke and drink and talk. We tell each other excellent stories.

After a time, Carlo looks at me and says with some gravity, “Let’s us visit my shop, you and I. It’s just round the corner and up the street.” I tell him I’ve suffered an injury to both legs and can’t walk far. I’m conserving energy for my return to the ship, I say.

“I have a car”, he says, “I’ll get you back in time”, he flips open his phone.

Like the movies, an immaculate black Mercedes sedan emerges from around the corner. The sound of it’s slow rolling tires is something I can’t help but exalt. “Wait, bring your drink, get him a refill!”, barks my new friend, Carlo Tarcisi. Once inside the car, our drinks are passed to us through the open windows.

I’m drinking snake bites. Bad idea. Carlo sips from a tumbler of what looks like cold medicine with weeds in it. Who knows? I haven’t ordered or bought a drink since he sat down.

“I’m going to sell you a watch my friend”, we’re in the back seat, charging up a hill. He smiles big. Teeth immaculate.

“A good watch at a good price”, he says.

I don’t feel like I need a watch. I’ve had no success with them. They quit working or I lose them. I like watches. I’ve always admired them. I’m kinda broke, most likely unemployed. I say nothing. This is a bad idea. I look out the window.

Past twilight.

No shit, I’m confused. Some cosmopolitan oddity that I’ve just bonded with on a muddy sidewalk in a third world country wants to take me to his store to sell me a watch? What the fuck?

Flags go up.

How do I get myself into this shit?

Who is this guy?

I look at him and he nods his head while patting his knee. He’s composed but anxious and I don’t know what to make of it.

We get to the place and the driver puts a fedora on his head before stepping around. He opens the door for me, then Carlo.

It’s dark. There’s a single lamp at the end of a long road. It’s a spooky business district that probably evacuates just before sundown. Curbs but no asphalt. Sidewalks but no street. I swear I hear bats.

I cannot afford to succumb to fear. I can’t allow it. It’s dark.

“No worries my friend, you’re safe”, he says, looking me in the eye while he pulls out his keys.

I tell him I’m fine and remember my cane.

My shoes are noisy as fuck. His aren’t.

I’m a little light in the head and breathing hard.

Then.

The shop is a wonder. A storefront on approach, labyrinthian inside.

I see herbs and soaps and salves, potions, lotions and concoctions.

Bird’s eggs, fossils, telescopes, globes, animal fetuses in in backlit jars, glass eyes, pipes, cigarettes, cigars, lighters, maps, watches, real skulls, human bones and tusks. Guns, rusty knives and swords.

Dragon Flies, Wasps, Beetles, Scorpions and Black Widows. All giants.

Masks, odd statues, anatomy books, velvet paintings, pinball machines and an impressive array of gumball dispensers. I smell hot greasy fries and ketchup.

Everywhere I turn there’s something to covet. This place is fucking unbelievable.

Cool paintings. Old posters. Unopended model rockets from the seventies.

Look closer, there’s a beaker pale green and bubbling with a two headed rodent bobbing. Organs floating and churning in red or yellow aqueous.

Old Swamp Thing comics illustrated by Bernie Wrightson in portective mylar.

A popcorn cart.

The more I look, the more I see.

There are live owls in the rafters. Almost completely silent but not at all shy about clocking me. There’s five at least and they never stop shooting beams through me.

You know, owls are fierce predators but the biggest ones weigh a mere few pounds. I could take one out with a badminton racket easy. For five, I’d probably need a bat.

He reaches under a dusty counter for a tray of watches, and I’m dismayed. It just reminds me that I don’t understand what’s happening. I’m confused. Why would this guy bring me here to sell me a fucking watch?

I mean, Carlo Tarcisio has far more going on than selling watches to dipshit drunken tourists with an unexplained handicap. At least in my estimation.

The owls mock me.

I look deliberately at the tray of watches for the first time because I don’t know what else to do. Craftsmanship. Nice watches.

There are maybe a dozen and he goes through them with rapid grace, naming the brand and features, weight and thickness, jewels etc. He smiles while he does this. He’s proud of them and pleased to offer them to me. His hands are fast and old.

I know enough. I’ve admired exclusive watches. Bezel, band, movement, crown, case and crystal. These are gorgeous. They are real. I’m sure.

I tell Carlo that although I literally just got off the boat, I have no money. I apologize to him if I’ve somehow misrepresented myself, allowing him to think I was a man of means and in the market for a luxury timepiece. I am embarrassed and still very confused.

He calls me by my first name, smiles and says, “It’s a gift. Pay with friendship and honesty.”

This starts to confuse me further, so I tell him I’d like to buy him one last drink before I go back to the boat.

The Owls compose a very complex chord.

He beams at me and seems lit from beneath, “I would recommend this one, Swiss movement, light in weight, still detailed in a way that appeals to one or both sides of your brain and you clearly don’t favor gold.”

Just like that and it’s on my wrist.

It is silver and glistening. A black detailed face with a style that doesn’t afford contemporary simplicity any more than a nod. Despite Carlo’s words, it’s heft is still impressive.

He’s given me an authentic and beautiful chronograph for the sum of nothing. I’ve made it clear I have no money to spare.

I remind him I’m good for a drink and he says quickly, “My friend, it is time we get you to your boat.”

He tells me on the way that I wear, “the aura of troubled”. I look in his eyes and tell him I’m haunted and it’s as bad as he can possibly imagine. He looks at his old hands in his lap and says, “I know”.

I knew he knew.

“We made friends today, you and I. We are not finished”, he’s smiling. “You like your new watch?” I tell him it’s fucking awesome. “Wear it to bed”, he says.

We approach the boat and He breaks character to become nearly ferocious when he grabs my collar to say, “Tell no one you’ve met me. Say nothing of it. I will find you tomorrow.”

I barely have time to thank him and I’m hurrying up the plank without knowing why.

Ever seen those electric meat carving knives? My mom had one and could slice up a holiday turkey like a goddamn samurai. Even as a kid I worried a little about that appliance. It disturbed me. I made my peace with it when I realized it was only formidable for the length of the cord.

I guess now they’re available battery operated.

After finally figuring out how to work the fucking lock on the door of my suite, He’s sitting on the end of my bed flicking one on and off. He’s in a pair of tighty whities and the blood from his eyes runs down his chest to stain them.

I back out as soon as I see him. He screams HA, but I can’t tell if it’s angry or amused.

I find a bar, I don’t know what else to do.

In the middle of the ship there’s a glass elevator that starts in the lobby, near the bar where I sit, and goes all the way up. He mocks me from it. Dabbing at his eyes to write my name on the glass with the blood on his fingers. At first he writes it backward. Then he get’s it right and he’s delighted.

I understand this will be a long night.

6 Responses to “Man in picture. Carlo Tarcisi.”

  • Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  • admin:

    Thanks man.

  • the senator fromillinois is the worst type of fraud perpetrated on the american populace. He is simply an opportunist taking advantage of white guilt. he has played the race card from day 1 and uses it as a crutch anytime there is heat in the kitchen. His great speech was a pedestrian effort that he came up with because he knew the rev wright was going to sink his political ship. Why was he so afraid of a revote in florida and michigan? he is a shameless wimp that has little chance of standing up to the leaders of the world such as putin in russia. Just how bad a president he will be hopefully will never be determined because senator obama is a bad joke.

  • Trueblooded:

    The magic Negro should be asked to explain why in his view, discrimination against whites is good public policy, i.e. affirmative action, while discrimination against blacks explains and makes fine and dandy, the rants of the Rev. Wright which cause and support the killing, robbing and raping of whites by blacks and his inability to do the right thing and take his family out of a church where such rants of racial of hate mongers in the black empowerment philosophy like the Rev. Wright are spewed regularly for the last 20 years.
    He should also asked about his 20 year membership there and why he embraces and espouses the philosophies of such a dispicable place.
    The answers are all pretty simple.
    He’s a racist, anti-american, scum-bag piece of shit.
    All citizens of the USA need to be able to separate the true friends of racial justice from the phonies like the Magic negro, MFJ, Obamma-Nation, who believe like the pigs on Orwell’s Animal Farm that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
    This sums up the racist agenda of MFJ, Obamma-Nation, no good racist shit-bag.
    He will never be my president. Ever.
    Fuck him and fuck anyone who supports this shit-bag of a sub species humanoid creature.
    Ofuscation eschewed yet again.
    Fuck all of you motherfuckering liberal scum creeps.
    I have some 125 gram education waiting for all of you liberal fucks who think you can kill me easily.

  • DOLPHKIM and X RAI as one:

    Peace Dreamer is missing, the absence of Innocence: Forgive my apparent reprobatedness., your busted. I’m watching your every move in my head, every action that you do.
    When we dream, we dream hand and glove, scuba diver in a wet suit we swim as one.
    I only pretend not to notice that your a passive aggressive male mammal Michael.
    I’ve already wrote a whole rap song, and then some about it that I’ll never share with you.
    So the jokes on you, April Fool. I could care less if we ever have sex again, no longer will our bodies meet between the sheets, lifes a bitch sweetheart!
    As I’ve stated I got a view of the Drooler; now all I ever smell is the stench of dead animals, and fresh rotting Plasma.
    I can’t stand the suffocating pain and the shrill high pitched, defeated screams like typhoons in my dreams.
    How does one escape oxygen thieves, can one evolve back to innocence,
    back to Peace dreaming?
    Return my virginity, you bastard! You are Grande, and look muy pellagroso, to get an ounce of protection and relief, I relent and hide behind you, and stick up on you, locked on like superglue.
    For those of you who don’t want codependantcy affliction step away fast..,
    The lucky ones simply go insane..,I’ll disclose more if I’m allowed to recover, but if you in the audience think that you may be susceptible to insanity be aware the Hellish nightmare has won, thus far.
    But the Show must go on, I need a vacation so bad

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