Billy shaved with a kitchen knife which he had made so sharp it was effortless. The TV blasted from the other room- men with authoritative voices hawking everything and women singing about it. The picture was black and white and hard to make out on account of the broken antennae but he kept it on just for the white noise. Next door his ex-girlfriend and the manager of the hardware store were getting it on and he didn’t want to be forced to listen.

After making his face as smooth as a baby’s ass he moved on to his tattoos, clearing them of any stray hairs that may distract from the images. The images were of people being stabbed through their skulls with long knifes, mostly. He had gotten them all done by a half Japanese guy who lived in Hawaii. One of the masters in the field, an old timer who passed no judgment on Billy’s choice of subject matter.

When he was done shaving he patted some spicy-smelling balm over his skin. It burned and made his flesh turn momentarily red. He put on a white shirt and buttoned it partway up. He tucked it into his black slacks. Then he went over to what he called his “knife table”. On the little motel desk he had laid out every possible kind of knife, old and new. Some were antiques, some were stolen from Denny’s yesterday. Really the only thing they had in common was how sharp they were. Billy had heard something about samurai swords being so sharp that you could cut someone in half without them knowing it and he thought about this whenever he sharpened his collection.

He wore a series of sheaths strapped under his clothes, on his legs and his sides, his back and his arms. Each one fitted a different kind of knife. Once he was fully outfitted with all his knives from the knife table, he put on his straw cowboy hat and went out the door. To go visit certain people.

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