Grimes Patterson ­ article ­ F a t h e r L u k e . com

F a t h e r L u k e . com

Grimes Patterson

Grimes dug the corner of matchbook cover in between a couple of his teeth, and played around at it. Then he took the matchbook out and looked for prizes. His other hand held a non-filter cigarette, which curled smoke up in paisley curlicues.

“Hey, Mister. Got a light?”

Grimes squinted against the sun, which had begun peeking through a cloud, up at the voice as he sat on the upside down plastic bucket.

“Here,” said Grimes, and held out the book of matches.

“Thanks,” said the voice Grimes still couldn’t plainly see. It sounded young, maybe twenties; older than teenage, and younger than middle age. “What the fuck?” the voice said. “…is this? Pastrami?”

“I think so,“ said Grimes. I just had a Ruben, and I was picking my teeth with it.” Grimes raised the non-filter cigarette and took a long drag. The sun hid behind a cloud again and Grimes could put a face to the voice.

Grimes wasn’t afraid of anyone. He’d seen things. Done things.

“What kind of a guy hands someone a book of matches with pastrami from his teeth,” the voice asked.

Grimes studied the face. He liked faces. He liked looking at people even though he didn’t like people, generally speaking; people were like molecules in water, just a part of something greater which was much bigger than any of the parts.

The face was tanned. There was a tattoo across one cheek. The nose had obviously been broken, and never re-set. One eye drooped, the other had a scar up and down through the eyebrow.

“Ever do any boxing,” asked Grimes, ignoring the question.

The face said, “Got a smoke, too? I can’t produce cigarettes out of thin air.”

Grimes chuckled at the old hustle. First ask for the light, then ask for the cigarette. Who ever this was, they had been around.

Written by Father Luke Saturday July 29, 2017