"...Oh! Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah - what was that guy's name? Oh man, I can see his face. He was about five foot six. Had a self-made buzz cut. Constantly in cargo shorts. Face was so beat down. Like an ugly Tommy Lee Jones.
He was a floorer so he wore knee padz all the time --
Charlie! Charlie was his name! Little Italian guy. He lived in a motel room out on the Mass shore. But is was "cahm-fah-table" as he would say. He was so proud of his Barcalounger.
Man, he was great floorer. But he needed a ride. That's how I got the job. He had too many DUI's and lost his license. Every morning I'd pick him up and drive him home. Feeding him tile, cheap carpet, and linoleum in between.
He was wicked fast. The sooner he was done, the sooner he was in his Barcalounger with a tall boy. He'd always invite me to hang on Fridays. He'd say, "C'mon kid, what you doin'? I got a lot of coke and tall boys. I'm not goin' on a bend-ah or anything." Coors Litez. "It's the silv-ah bullet, kid."
I was like, "That sounds like a bender to me!" I'd just say thanks and take off. That is after I helped him unload all the extra flooring we had from the day's job. He'd tell customers to call him direct if they ever needed another floor. It was his side hustle with company materials.
He'd store it all in a rusted out 18-wheeler tractor trailer behind the motel. Had a big sheet over it; he rented it for a few extra buckz from the motel owner.
Anyway, sadly he was disowned and disinherited from his family and was very bitter about it. They were from Cape Cod. He prodigal son'd it. You know, if the prodigal son story was about a drug addict floorer; and they never took him back.
Always wonder if I'll run into Charlie again when I visit back home. But seeing as how he doesn't get out much and makes most of his public appearances in the local police blotter, it's unlikely..."