Poor old Edgar Derby, the high school teacher, got into the conversation now. He asked Lazzaro if he planned to feed the Blue Fairy Godmother clock springs and steak.
"Shit," said Lazzaro.
"He's a pretty big man," said Derby, who, of course, was a pretty big man himself.
"Size don't mean a thing."
"You're going to shoot him?"
"I'm gonna have him shot," said Lazzaro. "He'll get home after the war. He'll be a big hero. The dames'll be climbing all over him. He'll settle down. A couple years'll go by. And then one day there'll be a knock on his door. He'll answer the door, and there'll be a stranger out there. The stranger'll ask him if he's so-and-so. When he says he is, the stranger'll say, 'Paul Lazzaro sent me.' And he'll pull out a gun and shoot his pecker off. The stranger'll let him think a couple of seconds about who Paul Lazzaro is and what life's gonna be like without a pecker. Then he'll shoot him once in the guts and walk away." So it goes.
Lazzaro's life is pretty sad. All he seems to worry about is revenge. Every little slight or insult sends him over the edge. It seems to eat up his life. He spends every waking minute making sure that anyone who harms him in any way is punished. That's his primary motivation. Plus, he's completely amoral. Doesn't care who or what he harms in his quest for justice.
I think most people, if they're honest, have revenge fantasies. I know I do. I have one, in particular, where I become a fabulously wealthy/famous writer and, when I'm finally asked to teach full-time at the university because of my reputation, I turn them down flat with a little note that says, "You had your chance." Silly. Stupid. Immature. But most revenge fantasies are, I think.
I try not to let slights and insults upset me too much. It's not worth it. If I get angry, then I have lost control of my life, handed the reins over to whomever hurt me. That's not a smart thing to do. It will turn me into Lazzaro, putting watch springs in steaks. I would rather laugh about it, let it go, and let God take care of things.
That doesn't mean that I overlook injustice in the world, that I don't get upset. I get upset. Poverty. Student debt. Healthcare in the United States. Corrupt politicians. Bullies on the playground, in schools, in the workplace. All these things piss me off. But I have to pick and choose my battles. Some battles can be waged. Some battles can be won. And some battles have to remain fantasies--dreams of justice.
This works for me. Keeps me sane. If I didn't have this attitude, then I might as well stay in my pajamas all day, take tranquilizers, and wait for death.
Saint Marty is thankful today for the sun outside his hotel window, a good book to read, and not an asshole in sight.