by Eric J Baker
Rare is the friendship both instant and lasting.
Near the close of my seemingly endless trek through college, I worked at an electronics store, briefly as a shitty salesman but mostly supervising general merchandise, where staff turnover was continuous. One morning yet another transient reported for duty. Jaded beyond all recognition, I tossed out my usual, disinterested, “So what’s your deal?”
“Well, I do like Fulci movies,” was the reply.
Fulci? You’re gonna bring up Fulci to me? You must have, because I’m the only one here.
I turned. “So, do you lean toward Zombie or The Beyond?”* BAM! Instant friendship. No turning back.
I eventually left the store to finish my damned degree (for christsake!) but continued to meet up with the boys for food and drink. My buddy, who we’ll call ‘Ricky Roma,’ had a quiet intelligence, was undemonstrative (except for the time he ripped his uniform in half – while wearing it – to let management know he disagreed with their policies), and a snarky sense of humor. The kind of guy who loves to insult people without them knowing it.