It is like a bad script of "man talk" but it is sometimes astonishingly funny and sometimes even wise. "Explosive thigh sweat" and "That there is a rare chinchilla" are phrases that will stick with you.
Despite the scripting, neither of these men is like that. Despite the sex talk, if you catch him alone one will speak with quiet earnestness about his wife and how he would never do anything to hurt her feelings. Both have had opportunities. Neither has acted on them.
To one degree or another, everyone in the truck is experienced at violence. They tell stories of wild uncontrolled anger and flights of fantasy vengeance but in the real deal they are professional. Controlled. Cold. They are good enough to teach it- not just teach violence, but teach control- in a country torn by perhaps millenia of war.
What brings this on, the talking role? I'm used to wannabes who talk tough. They are mildly amusing. These are true tough guys who talk like wannabes on steroids. Are they playing out a script, something that they learned somewhere is the way talking is 'supposed to be'? And if so, where did they learn to separate their worlds from their talk? Are they spoofing the people who try to imitate them? Does it ease some of the tension of being good all of the time to talk bad some of the time? Or is it just because it is funny?
So I'm a little puzzled today about the why of it, and wondering how many others would see past the words to how these men act. "Words and actions in accord" are one of my usual signs of heart. If these mens acted like their words, I wouldn't like them. But I have seen them take risks to comfort a stranger, show compassion to people beneath the notice of most (by the social rules of this culture), and show the utmost politeness and cultural tolerance. The tolerance was clearly a habit, too, the default value.
Only locked in the rig in the early morning do they vent like teenage boys with a radio show. It is funny, but puzzling, too.
Sometimes you have to share what can't be shared. Years ago, I drank chichu with a reformed cannibal in the jungles of Ecuador. In a very real way, that summed up my life at the time. I have a new summation now.