Week 9: And so we meet…

“Ohhh look at this fucken thing!” Mick thinks to himself as the flamboyantly dressed man approaches the bus stop.

The heavily intoxicated man flops on the bench near Mick. “You don’t have to sit so close mate” Mick grunts to the newcomer.

“Don’t flatter yourself” the man slurs as he slides along the seat.

Irritated at this remark, Mick cannot help himself “see that’s why you blokes get bashed.”

“Excuse me?”

“You walk around dressed like poofters and you make smart ass remarks to strangers at bus stops and then you wanna whinge when you cop a hiding.”

Mick’s companion straightens up on the bench “are you threatening me darling?”

Mick stares straight ahead “Don’t be a gronk, I’m just offering some advice.”

“You picked the wrong night buddy” snarls the other man as he unstably gets to his feet and positions himself in front of Mick in a boxing stance. Mick quickly gets to his feet and puts his hands out in front of himself in a placating gesture. “Settle down tiger” Mick says flatly.

The man begins to bounce on his feet; surprisingly nimble, although wobbly. “I was a Golden Gloves champ as a kid smart ass”.

Mick wants no part of it “good for you mate, congratulations.”

“I boxed out of the Newton Police Boys.”

Sensing an opportunity to catch a liar, Mick asks “me too, around what year we talking?”

The man starts throwing out some feint jabs “eighty five to ninety two”. He staggers badly and nearly trips.

“Bullshit” says Mick “now sit down before you fall down”

“Don’t bullshit me!” the man screams as he moves in for the kill. Mick slips a worryingly fast left jab and is forced to sidestep while he parries the straight right that swiftly follows it. His assailant is now off balance, but is clumsily preparing for another combination. Mick quickly moves in and grabs the sloshed pugilist tripping him just enough to sit him back on the bench. If this bloke wasn’t so hammered Mick could have a real problem on his hands.

The drunk straightens himself in the seat and glares up at Mick “I trained under Johnny Roberts”.

“Me too” says Mick.

A silence settles between them as they take a closer look at one another. Mick sits down beside the inebriated boxer and stares at his face. “Mathew Simpson?” he mumbles.

Recognition flashes across the other man’s face “Mick Caulfield you black bastard!” he announces.

Mick struggles to find his voice “Wh…What happened to you? You just disappeared” Matthew waves his hands over himself in display. Mick laughs out load.

“Newtown was a little different back then” Matthew says solemnly.

“Yeah, rough as guts?” Mick remarks and then chuckles as he says “you’d fit in perfectly now but ay?”

Matthew laughs and notices his bus approaching. “This is me” he says and awkwardly adds “maybe we should catch up for a beer”.

“Yeah sweet, as long as you don’t show up dressed like that” Mick replies.

Matthew hands Mick a business card and jumps on the bus. He hangs his head out the door and blows Mick a kiss “See you later sweet heart” he calls.

“Fuck off” is Mick’s reply as the doors close and the bus pulls away. Mick sits back on the bench and takes a look at the card in his hand. It reads “Mad Matt’s Stunt Services: All your action needs served. Jumping, falling, fighting, driving, riding, crashing, and burning. Performed and/ or co-ordinated”.

Mick giggles to himself “Matthew fucken Simpson”.

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