Tell the boys in blue I won’t go easy. I’m just gonna have one more drink, and then, bam! I’m gonna take care of some shit. 

You listening to me? Joshy, stop coloring for one goddamn second. You’re outta the lines. No, I’m not gonna buy you any more crayons. Not until you stop eating them. Be quiet for one second. Joshy. Joshy. I’m trying to tell you something here–something important. 

I got some wisdom that I’m giving you here. Give me one of your crayons: the blue one. No, that’s red. Are you color blind? The blue one. Yes, that’s blue. I’m gonna write this on the wall for you, so you won’t forget. There, can you read this? Yeah, it’s okay to write on the wall. That’s at your mother’s house, where you can’t do that. This is my house. We can do whatever the hell we want here. It just washes off, anyways, right? Your mother is so uptight about these things.

Do you know who the boys in blue are? The police. They’re called that because they wear blue uniforms–blue is supposed to be a calming color. But do you know what it means? I’ll tell you what it means. Remember the black guy who came into my bar a while go? The crazy guy. He came in with a bottle of kerosene and a gun. He said, White people are gonna burn tonight. That’s what he said to all of us. He was goddamn crazy. He shot a girl in the leg. He poured kerosene on some women. I mean, he was gone. He was wearing elbow pads and a goddamn catheter. He was gone. But after the whole thing I read an article about him. He’d been abused by his parents as a child and his wife was real sick and had died. He had a son to take care of and he couldn’t find a job, because he was sick himself. And he just couldn’t take it anymore. He thought white people were the cause of his problems–which I think is bullshit–but anyways, Joshy, he decided to do something about it. So one night he says goodbye to his son and writes on the wall, Tell the boys in blue I won’t go easy. And I thought, okay, this guy is crazy and coming into my bar with a gun and kerosene is just not cool, dude, not cool at all, but God, you gotta admire his guts. He didn’t just lie down and take it. I mean, he had the right idea.

Tell the boys in blue I won’t go easy. 

This is what it means: don’t let them take you without a goddamn fight. It means: go out swinging. It means: don’t let them screw you over. And I’m not just talking about cops here. This is bigger than that. This is almost like a life philosophy almost. It’s all encompassing. It’s a lot of things–one thing I know for sure, it’s about the Man–sticking it to the Man. Do you know who the Man is? Joshy?

No, I’m not the Man. Ha, ha, you’re funny. No, the man is the bad guy. He’s the guy with all the money and power who’s always screwing you over. I’m the good guy.

                                                   ***

What do you want for dinner? No, I’m not making grilled cheese again. I can’t have any more cheese. I’m lactose intolerant. You will be too, probably, when you’re older. Everything gets worse when you get older. Trust me on this. This is the highlight of your life. You’re gonna look back on these nights when you’re coloring and eating grilled cheese as the best time of your goddamn life.

Do you want to see the gun I bought? Maybe later. I’ll make your dinner first. But God, it’s a beauty: .44 Magnum. Just like Dirty Harry, only the barrel on mine’s a little shorter.

Okay, I’ll make you a grilled cheese but I’m not having any. I can’t be all bloated and gassy tonight. I gotta get shit done.

Where’s your mother? Jesus Christ, am I the only responsible one in this family? Am I the only one who gives a shit? What time’s she picking you up? Didn’t she say six? She’s always late. Always. How can you trust a person if they’re always late? How do I know she’s taking good care of you if she can’t be here at a time she herself specified? I’m gonna send her a text. But it won’t be an honest straight-forward text. It’s gonna be passive-aggressive, like the shit she’s always pulling on me. 

                                                    ***

Here’s your grilled cheese. 

Let me tell you, it’s gonna feel good to take care of things tonight. You wanna hear the plan? I’ll tell you but you gotta promise not to tell your mother. I know you’ve made that promise before, and you haven’t always kept it–that twenty I took from her purse was mine, she owed me that money–but I’m gonna try to overlook that. This time it’s for real. And if you tell her I’m just gonna deny the whole thing and say you’re lying again. I don’t care. So don’t even try telling her.

You know what this is? It’s a stethoscope. The doctor uses this to listen to your heart, to hear if it’s working right. You’re probably wondering why I have one, since I’m not a doctor. Well, besides being used to listen to people’s hearts you can use it to listen to other things, like, for example, safes. Do you know what a safe is? It’s a metal box where you put valuable things you don’t want stolen. The stethoscope doesn’t work on newer safes but if you’ve got a real old one you can put it up against the locking mechanism and just listen and hear when the tumbler falls into place. Then, bam, you’re in. I don’t know how to do it myself. That’s where my friend Stan comes in. He’s a bartender too. He works with me. He used to have a different profession, though, one where he learned how to use this thing. And he wasn’t a doctor either. Bam.

That’s all I’m gonna say. Except, well, let’s just say my boss doesn’t like banks. So guess where he keeps all his money instead? In a safe–an old, old safe. At the place where Stan and me work. Late at night. When he’s not there. Are things starting to make sense now? Do you get where I’m coming from? No, you’re just gonna keep on coloring and ignoring me? Okay, I don’t mind. I’m just talking to myself here. I’m just gonna make myself another drink. Time to buy some more Jack. I wonder how I’ll afford that. Bam.

Here’s the main thing, Joshy. My boss is the Man. God, it’s so classic. I mean, he just…he is the Man. I can’t explain to you how bad he is, but let’s just say men come into the bar and he sets them up with company for the night. And if that’s your thing, fine, whatever. What I’m trying to say is that the guy is no good. And I’m gonna do some good with this money. I’m not gonna piss it way. First thing I’m gonna do is donate ten, maybe five percent to charity. That’s a guarantee. First thing I do. Then we’re gonna take a real vacation–you and me. Maybe Florida, maybe the Bahamas. Wait, you know what, screw that. We’re gonna buy our own island, just like Johnny Depp. I wonder how much that is. Our own fucking island. No, no, that’s one word you can’t say. That’s a grown up word. What, you don’t ever pay attention to anything I say except for that one word? If I ever hear you say that word again I’m gonna beat your ass. Or I’m gonna get Johnny Depp to beat your ass. I swear I will. I don’t care how much it costs.

                                                      ***

Your mother is here. Finally. Forty minutes late. Typical.

Hi Rhonda. Oh, really, I hadn’t noticed the time. It’s no problem. No problem at all. We were just having some dinner.

It’ll wash off. Really. It’s just a crayon. Really, it’s not a big deal. Alright, Josh, see you next week. High five. See you later, kid. I’m just gonna have one more drink.