The Man, The Mystery
Recently, my buddy doug ran into this guy we knew from high school, Tony. He snapped a picture of him, which I am now sharing with you.
I barely knew the guy. He was in my 9th grade science class. During a discussion on leaches, he interjected, "Getting leaches on you is cool." Our teacher started laughing and said, "Yeah, if you want hickeys all over your body!" He went on to tell the class, to our further amusement, that he had gotten covered in leaches while he was swimming under some bridge to pack explosives underneath it, like some sort of ultra-awesome commando on an important mission from the president.
A year or two after high school, I drove my dad to an auto shop so he could pick up his car. While I was waiting to make sure his car was ready, this guy with a huge, unkempt lumberjack beard stepped out of the shop. He had a big piece of metal in his hand, and was staring at me like he knew me. It took me a few seconds to realize it was Tony.
He came up to my car and showed me the piece of metal in his hand. It was long and flat, in no way symmetrical, and one edge had been sharpened into a jagged edge. There was fabric or tape wrapped around the base, so one could hold it without slicing themselves.
"I make swords," he told me, "It's what I do."
He went on to tell me that he worked in the auto shop, where apparently they didn't mind if he spent his time looking like the unabomber and making prison-style shanks. He also said that with his beard he could get into any bar, despite being underage, and that I should stop by the motel where he lived to hang out sometime.
"Room 28, man, I'm always there!"
I never saw him or heard about him again.
When Doug ran into him, Tony filled him in on some of the more recent events in his life. Apparently that shop where he was working was owned by his dad, and Tony was in the process of purchasing it from him. Working as a sword smith/auto mechanic had been incredibly profitable for him, and when he was arrested for driving under the influence, he had a stretch limo pick him up from the police station within 15 minutes.
I think tomorrow I'm going to quit my job and look for a new career in the crazy guy industry.