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Steve the Psycho

Steve was a fucking psycho. A mild man in speech, a face that read like a low intelligence quotient, bundled up in some form of deep sadness likely delivered in a penetrative way, back when he was a child in rural West Virginia. Capitalism dealt him out a job as a low paid security guard, one that stood around awkwardly making customers and staff insecure. Sacked by the clothes shop, he fell through the gap. There was only one thing left for Steve to do - batter himself inside the bar's toilet. The waitress screamed, and behind the red door of the cubicle, pain.

Steve slammed his head off the wall and nutted the faucets. The cold had been leaking for a while and I remember afterwards that the leak stopped. Thank you Steve. On top of the sink, the grimly emaciated soap bar that customers used to transmit disease to each other, died in his blood. Parts of Steve were left on the walls, his signature splattered over the floor. If you could read red, you'd have seen something similar to the above.

Before the end, while still a taxpaying employee in the security field, his approaches to the bar had been wary but civil. For a few weeks, he had cranberry juice but suddenly switched to coffee, cream, eight sugars. It was around then that he turned up in his security uniform with a badly mangled eye. After switching back to a cleansing cranberry, he pissed out a story. "Niggers attacked me." He was sacked the next day.

He tried to find work but the security companies that hired people rejected by the police and armed forces said no. His bulb was dim, not bright enough to follow an order and in security, order was a badge. He sat on the barstool, the sweat on his security uniform shirt showing under the arms. There was nothing to guard. I didn’t charge him for the six coffee refills. He was desolate.

Steve had played football when he was younger. He looked like it, that squat American man frame, but without the features for quarterback. He always carried a plastic bag with him. There was nothing in it. One night he appeared with his other eye, swollen shut. "I got it playing football."

The end zone was beckoning. The psycho in him had inches to go. The racist story, the football hurt, mere visions of what he wished had happened. If only the bludgeoning had come from another, then he could have played victim. But his disfigurement came from his own hands. His two extremities existed outside of him, slapping and punching the man they were attached to, punishing him for a life of total and utter failure. Sacked by security. Blocked by everyone.

With the waitress unhinged, and the bartender ripping off the cubicle door to stop the savagery within, Steve was expelled, and told to never return to a barstool near us. He attempted re-entry to the atmosphere the following night, unable to remember:

“You're fucking banned, Steve,” I said.

A threat, he left.

"I'm going to return and kill every one of you."

No mention of thanks for all the free coffee refills and the sweetness of the sugars, not a word.

Last I heard, he had made a down, to homelessness.

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A very real ``Type'' . . .

. . . seen, tragically, more and more, and no where for them to go, to get the treatment they need. In Washington, D.C. once, on a chill winter day, we're sitting in a window booth in a fairly posh coffee shop, see a homeless man across the street. He looks at us, crosses the boulevard and child-like walks straight into the coffee shop plate glass window. He ``sits down'' hard on the sidewalk, and crys, blood coming from his nose. Still, he seems more embarassed, ashamed, than physically hurt. Most of us look away. A few go to help him, assist him to his feet, wipe off the blood as he cries like a child. A gentler, maybe more sensitive person than the one above, but both flummoxed by life.