Jonah and the Whale

. .
In the back room of the Body Shop, behind a desk, sits the Boss. His name is Jonah A. Prowse or Jonah E. Prowse depending on who you talk to and if he had any idea I was up here writing about him he would hurt me in some way. Don’t get me wrong, he is no Tony Soprano, he would not take a meat cleaver to my fingers but he is not afraid to scar you to make his point. The Boss likes to control his image. He’s a smiling man but he reserves the right to go all straight faced on you at any moment and to fix those eyes of his so you cannot look away.
In the Body Shop there is a hierarchy. There are those who know and those who do. I do. Sounds like I am at a wedding, I know but joining Jonahs gang is a little like getting married. And just like in a marriage you do not get to know how deep you are in the shit until it is too late. Still, I have no desire to leave. Truth is, most of us here are either orphans for real or by choice. Jonah is smart to take in the lost boys but I never feel like I am taken for granted. Hell, even Mitch Cafferty, who is a first class ass, knew Jonah would come over and bail him out of Jericho. We are not allowed to mention Mitch now. Jonah said he left the family and opened the floor for questions. No one asked any and Jonah said we had had our chance and now he did not want to hear another word about old M.C. I am glad he is gone. I hope he doesn’t come back.
Jonah is the smartest man I know. He can tell you something about anything. He is not book smart really but just smart at figuring out the way things work. He had that Major Beck who has taken over Jericho pegged almost immediately. I heard him tell Nate that Beck would show up one day to shake his hand and damn if he didn’t drive right up in a hummer and put his hand out. We were all there. Beck said he had heard a lot about Jonah and wanted to meet the man behind the legend. Then the two of them talked real civil in that nudge, wink, we all know what is goin’ on here way. Beck told Jonah that he had declared amnesty for anyone involved in the New Bern / Jericho War and Jonah said “If I see anyone who was involved I will let them know.” Jonah played it real cool all right, like he had never pulled the trigger out there in that field and took the life of a wounded man, like his daughter hadn’t been watching and like he hadn’t gotten all sad and melancholy afterward.
The boss can be a really sad guy. Sometimes you will see him go stand by the chain link fence and stare over toward Jericho. I mentioned his daughter and that is where she lives. Sometimes I think he shot that guy for her benefit. To say “Look at this war you are determined to fight. Look at what it can turn people into!” Jonah doesn’t make love or war he just makes do. I think that is why he dropped the whole Jericho/ New Bern thing like a hot potato. I think he believes that change is just an opportunity to use your wits and survive. I think change is his religion with reaction to change being sort of a communion. That whole war was too much action and good versus evil for Jonah. He is smart enough to know all of them labels are overated.



Balceroregontr said...

I can just see one of Jonah's men saying that. I missed him during the second season.

Anonymous said...

I love how you take us in with the observer here. We have an inside track on the man from one of his own. The observer is reverent of him - bordering on fearful, but he risks the fear to write about a man he also admires. You've given insight on Jonah via this 2nd party, but you've also got me curious about the writer now too! Great short, tero!


alpha99wolf said...

Terocious: You've captured the essence of the character, Jonah through the eyes of his men. Your descriptive words brought him to life. Excellently done.