In the evening of one particularly somber Sunday, I was scrubbing away at the caked on remains of a lasagna I’d baked for dinner. The dinner party it was prepared for ended in complete disaster when Reggie, who’d been staying quite drunk since noon, burst into tears. Every guest in the room immediately stopped what they were doing to assess the situation for themselves. Reggie, crying out for the lord to ease him of his never ending suffering, fell to the floor dramatically.
However, it was well known that the sole source of Reggie’s endless suffering was Reggie himself. He frequently and openly cheated on his wife with numerous neighbors throughout the suburb he lived in. At least once a week, generally on payday, he visited the local casino, where his hard earned dollars generally all but disappeared. The final major point against him, according to his acquaintances, was the recent but rapidly spreading rumor that Reggie steals, although, if I’m correct in my assumption that every light bulb in the guest room didn’t unscrew itself and vanish, it may have some credibility.
You may ask the very valid question, why does Reggie have any friends? Unfortunately, the answer’s not so simple. Once upon a time, Uncle Reggie was a pillar of our little familial community, but when he enlisted, he was almost immediately shipped to an area notorious for its volatile communities. In a sense, it’s a miracle how lucky he was, but the Reggie we saw off at the airport was not the one that came back to us.
Although he took a gunshot to the head, the bullet only came in contact with the left hemisphere of his brain and exited through the back of his skull. One of his comrades noticed that, though in great pain, he was alive. They managed to get a field medic over to him in time to save his life. I guess they saved it.
Most of the time he’s actually quite calm, but some days he just seems to be under something else’s control, so we’ve all done our best to accept his behavior. Personally, I can’t comprehend how Theresa gets through a single day as the man’s wife. As far as I know, she’s remained completely faithful and does all she can to retain some semblance of their previous, happy life. I admit I’ve wanted to beat the living shit out of him for some of the things he’s done, but deep down I know he can’t help it.
As Uncle Reggie wailed, invoking his maker’s intervention, the rest of the family began mumbling and grumbling amongst themselves, most likely explaining to each other for the hundredth time that he was just having another episode. Normally, that would have been the end of it, but evidently his brother, Ron, had been allowing the stress of Reggie’s unfortunate behavior to weigh on him a bit more lately.
“That’s it, I’ve fucking had it!” Ron exploded. Every head in the room turned in unison as he shot out of his wooden chair. He then proceeded to do things I’ve only fantasized about. After the first punch to Reggie’s jaw, I noticed several people turning to each other with shocked smiles over their faces, and the beating itself was allowed to go on much longer than any of us should feel proud of.