Buddah the Barbarian
"Good thing the rain stopped," I said to my partner. "Yeah, the sun should dry this shit off quickly. You gonna hit this?" He asked holding up a lit joint.
"What the hell." I replied. I took the joint and shared a smoke on our way to our next job.
We arrived at our site. It was a single family brick ranch home on the North side of Chicago; nothing special. My partner began looking for boundary corner markers as I began to draw and measure the property. The sun had finally broken through the rain clouds and the heat immediately returned, although the grass was still wet.
"Alright Buddah, I got what we need" my partner said to me. "You done measuring?"
"Almost brother. Moving a bit slower than usual." I said with a mocking smile reminding him I was still stoned. We both laughed and we continued to work.
"Just need this front measurement." I took a few steps forward and slipped on a cardboard box, wet from the earlier rainfall. "Holy shit bro, I almost just bit it there!" I yelled.
Just then, we began to hear a loud high pitched squeal. It was a horrible cry of pain. An unnerving shriek that struck straight to the soul.
"What the hell is that?! What'd you do man!?" My partner yelled at me.
"I didn't do shit! I slipped on the box." I yelled back.
My partner looks down at the wet box, leans over and flips it to reveal the cause of the crying. Writhing in the wet grass was a small rabbit.
"What the hell Buddah, you stepped on a rabbit bro!" Said Mario, pointing down at the injured animal.
"It's not like I meant to, man, I just slipped. I didn't know the stupid thing was hiding under there!" I said with a grimace.
"Do something." He said "The thing is in pain!" He yelled.
"What do you want me to do!?" I replied
"You're from the border, kill it! Put it out of its misery!"
"I'm from the border, but I'm from this side of the border asshole! Your family is from fucking Guatemala homes, isn't killing chickens and shit part of your upbringing?" I yelled at him.
We both look down at the injured animal that is still crawling and crying frantically on the wet grass. The sounds it was making were striking, piercing the spirit with every shriek.
"Just do it man, the damn thing won't shut up!"
"What the fuck man, this is bullshit!" I exclaimed as I reached down and took the rabbit in my hands. I grasped it firmly by the neck and let the body fall, quickly flicking my wrist and snapping the neck.
"It's still alive, Buddah!" Mario yelled. "You did it wrong!"
The animal now changing the tone of its agony to deep gurgling.
"You told me to snap the damn neck, I snapped the damn thing!"
"You need to kill it man, it's in pain!" He yelled again.
"I snapped its fucking neck, how much more killing do you want me to fucking do!?"
Mario looked to both sides and found a stone lining the shrubs around the home. He found the biggest one, picked it up over his head and let it down hard onto the animal's head killing it instantly.
Silence fell on the duo of surveyors. We finished the job with almost nothing said to one another. The heartbreaking episode we had just experienced, having also been high, making the empathy that much more worse, caused a serious time of reflection between us two. Lesser men, may have cried but the level of machismo shared between us on any regular day prevented us both from letting out any outburst of raw emotion, though we both knew each other had been affected by the unfortunate event. We sat back in our car and began driving to the next job, only breaking the silence once.
"Buddah, I've never seen any barbarian shit like that before in my life," Mario said.
Without taking my eyes off the road, I replied
"I'm a barbarian? You smashed an animal's head in with a big fucking rock. I don't know what you think, but it doesn't get much more barbarian than that, bro."
He took out a bowl made of tin foil, that was pinched in at the top to prevent the weed from falling out. He opened the top and lit it, taking a strong pull.
He turned to offer me some and I refused.
"Buddah the barbarian," I said with a smile.
My partner turned to look at me with amazement, and let out a plume of smoke. we shared an uncomfortable laugh and continued on with our day.