Death, with Compound Interest

Give money me, take friendship whoso list,
For friends are gone, come once adversity,
When money yet remaineth safe in chest,
That quickly can thee bring from misery;
Fair face show friends when riches do abound;
Come time of proof, farewell, they must away;
Believe me well, they are not to be found
If God but send thee once a lowering day.
Gold never starts aside, but in distress,
Finds ways enough to ease thine heaviness.

--"Of Money" by Barnabe Googe

Cool, the American stands on two legs, favoring neither left nor right, his weight equally distributed. No contrapposto wuss, he declines to lean on stumps, cherry trees, walls, chaise longues or, god forbid, another man. In his mind at least, one or more babes could be seen draping themselves, melting, practically, all over his dry solidity. For a casual yet don't-mess-with-me equilibrium, his feet are set slightly wider than his hormone-bred, steroid-fortified shoulders.

His forebears stood at a sepia-tinted bar, draining liquor. Though sitting, he hasn't gone soft but is perched on a high stool, his height nearly that of a man standing. Even at rest, he is erect and ready for action, be it darts, dancing or a preemptive strike against some dark pest of an enemy.

Just east of Italy or south of Spain, men squat. In all of Asia, even Japan, they squat. That says it all, he reflects, turning off his credit card charged plasma screen. If ever evicted, he would never squat, he doesn't think. He imagines a squatting form in his foreclosure encroached, exurban cul-de-sac. With a running start, he would boot this collapsed, balled up, abject, defecating alien through the goddamn upright. You just can't have shit on the sidewalk.



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