Skinny--- Portrait of the Author as a young Dog
Skinny was tall and lean. From the bottom up, Skinny was this: Shoes soles all black and ugly, and scuffed brown shoes above that. One has a short lace where it broke off one day when Skinny was in too much of a hurry on his way to school. Then brown socks. No telling where Skinny got brown socks, probably at Robin Hood's Discount Stolen Socks right outside Sherwood Forest, as they were fresh out of forest green so Errol Flynn lent him his.
Errol thought Skinny was 'a jolly good fellow'.
Then it’s quite a stretch up the socks to the trousers. This is because Skinny was an original friend of Noah, or lived for some time in Mississippi. Either way he’s been the victim of a flood or a bad fashion decision, or maybe Skinny’s mother used water that was just too damn hot, one or the other, or the other.
The trousers are rumpled and have grease-stains on the baggy knees. Skinny has been under cars and over cars today, pumping gas, changing oil, or fixing flats. Then there’s a wide black leather belt which for some reason known only to Skinny, has its buckle to one side. Maybe it’s to balance the chromium keychain reel clipped on his other side. Then it’s the kaki shirt, long sleeve, with the yellow Shell over a red field patch over one pocket, and the oval embroidery over the other pocket with the name ‘Steve’ in red, symbolizing either Shell Oil, or that Skinny has a crush on Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
In the left pocket is a ball-point pen and a chrome air-gauge. In doing this, Skinny has predicted and pre-dated Nerd Fashion with the pen-and-pencil-in-pocket-protector-look by at least twenty years. You will notice no ear-buds or wires hanging from Skinny. That’s because the electronics revolution hasn’t happened yet. The only thing portable that Skinny owns that’s electronic is his transistor radio. Computer? Skinny has no need of computers; he always has his trusty slide-rule in hand. It’s as full of inaccuracies as Skinny’s brain.
You can’t see it in the picture but Skinny has a six and a half ounce Coca Cola in his hand and he’s ready for work. When drinking Coke Skinny feels one-hundred percent Americano.
When working in his dad’s gas station he feels one-hundred and one percent American man. Cars, tools, women in distress, that sort of thing, a Cervantes knight in greasy armor, a shell to mark his heraldry, a shield that is promised to defend all defenseless women in general.
Oh, almost forget the head. It’s a square jaw with a clean shave, longish dark hair with reasonable sideburns. Large very-dark glasses shade blue eyes searching clandestinely for a ‘Pretty Woman’. That’s right, it’s a Roy Orbison face. It’s Skinny’s version of a rock and roll kinda face. From the obvious lack of upper lip we know that Skinny is contemplating growing a mustache to compensate as soon as possible, as soon as he can manage to get as tough with his upper lip as Bogart.
Most of all, from the handsome form and jaunty pose we come to the conclusion that Skinny has extreme game, even though he’s so skinny that if he were to turn sideways he would disappear into Shakespeare’s thin air leaving only his swag behind. Skinny imagines that ladies fall behind Skinny wherever he goes to dip their handkerchiefs in his sweat. The idea soon spreads until even Elvis eventually uses this boast in an interview on Southern radio that’s blasted all over Memphis and beyond.
In the interview, Elvis thanks Skinny profusely.
Little does Skinny know that in 45 years or so he’ll be teaching a few Jewish boys English, with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, weighing forty pounds more, engaged in a torrid affair of the heart with a woman who has a degree in design from the cultural hub of northern California, writing stories on the internet and having the time of his life.
We knew you could do it all along…eventually.
©Steven Hunley 2012