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Do we make the big decisions—or do they make us?

Known as: Chris Shaheen , Christoph Shaheen Known as: Chris Shaheen , Christophe Shaheen Known as: Chris J Shaheen. Show details.. Chris Shaheen. Co-Founder and Lead Engineer at Ferris. Techical Recruiter at Synapse. Semiconductors Professional.

Shere Khan

More Resumes More Professions. Toggle navigation. Mobile Apps Login. Full Profile. Mentions about a name: Chris Shaheen. Lived in:. Department of Justice Attorney Apr - Jun Harvard Law School J. Lehman High School Northwestern University. Work Company:. Awaiting response, he looked right at me. I peeked back up. My teeth are independent; each has its own unique sense of direction.

And my hair, despite backcombing, has grown somewhat thin on top. All my life, even when I was six, males have treated me like The Maiden Aunt. A self-fulfilling trend. But this Buck, he stared straight at not through me. Seemed only he was strong enough to take it. Buck soon bounded clear across north- and southbound lanes, inviting me to his show, for free.

He made the white gravel paths look almost natural, going nowhere, if fast and in four-leaf clovers. Pastors, bleach-blond masseuses, two education-minded Negro couples, and a bunch of mean little boys gathered, plus me. Come one, come all, then. Price is right, if today only. But it was like a starter try for us all. If he tended to ramble, en route Buck charmed, too. He mapped out Amazon rainy seasons, warned of visa requirements, described his sleeping-sickness onsets.

He showed early claw damage to one forearm. Facing certain snakes, he recounted their especially nasty captures. As he grew loud, his creatures got stiller and even beadier-eyed, as if out of guilt. He draped any creature not gator-weighty around his neck. Like leis that flexed, they seemed to like it. When Buck laughed, he gave off a smell like flint, ham, and 3-In-1 motor oil. Active as he was, one of his fingernails was always black-blue, coming and going. He lived in his great-white-hunter gear, jagged khaki collar, epaulets. Pall Malls got buttoned into a customized slot, the Zippo slid snug into its own next door.

This man had a brown face like a very good Italian valise left out in a forest during World War Two and just refound. Weathered, but you could still see how fine its starter materials had been. As with cows, they had whole sides to them. They loved their new lake; they showered in its hourly fountain.

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Huge amounts of lettuce were eaten. Buck had already payolaed the produce clerks from Piggly Wiggly and Winn-Dixie to bring their castoffs here instead of leaving them lonely in trash vats back of stores. I soon noticed grocery trucks over there at all hours, as much for curiosity as delivery. TV stations covered his Grand Opening. By now, the show was charging full admission and Buck let each visiting child feed one gator apiece. The kid would inch out on a diving board wearing rubber gloves to keep from getting lettuce drool on his little paws. Parents took snapshots.

I feared a lethal topple. Smelling chow, gators hissed like gas leaks. Large white mouths opened, a fleet of Studebaker hoods. Seemed it was always time to feed the gators. Loose luncheon meats, crates of limes, you name it—they ate everything. Before Buck and his wives appeared, my afternoons had been somewhat less eventful: the local library open Tuesday afternoons featured only past-due best-sellers stinking of Coppertone.

Come 1 p. But, finally, in the Parnassus Convent vs. Reptile Coliseum battle? No contest. Just to keep up our sense of how my place is classy, scientific, er, whatever. Pretending to listen like you do gives my talks real tone, your being the retired educator. Eyeglasses would be good, even your reading specs.

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Hell, hon, with intellect and class like yours on view, I can charge a dollar more per customer. Oh, he was sly, that Buck. He wore a cap pistol rammed into his holster, had on thigh-high treated boots, double-thick to keep the rattlers from snagging clear through. He would be wading into their humid glass booth, where thirty rattlesnakes curled clicking like seedpods on a binge.

Nobody hates snakes more than snakes do. And yet, even during a heat wave, snakes piled one atop the other like trying to form some sloppy basket. I did not get why. Myself being a single person, myself with typing margins set Maximum Wide, with me needing 13, sq. Sometimes if I saw a crowd of cars I might wander over. First I limited myself to Mondays and Wednesdays—plus, of course, weekends. You forgive their whispering jokes about your. Listen to you, still wheezing from having run around screaming till you sound asthmatic, Esther. Too sensitive for groups. You are one overstimulated young lady.

How could the ladies tell? You mostly recognized different reptiles by their size and how much of that the others had chewed off. Stumps never learned. And he paid dearly with his limbs, his tail mass, and, finally, his life. God bless his stubborn appetite. I usually asked him what Hemingway was really like.

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  • Sore loser. Sooner bite you than look at you. Now, ahead on our left. But, with this level of poison around, considering his German Luger and hooked stick, no one ever did ask Buck for refunds, repetitions, or corrections. Buck had been married four times, and three-quarters of his troubles were still with him.

    Each gal kept her sleek identical trailer parked behind the backmost palms. I heard tell Buck visited a different lady every night. I kept the central fans of all twelve suites going, just in case. He plainly had no sleeping place not already warmed by a previous nesting wife. But that sounds like any of the hundred rumors that made his stint here on our highway so lively during those glory years of latest Ike-Mamie, earliest Jack-Jackie.

    Of all ages, his gals were either very young now or had been even better-looking pretty recently. Each still appeared sunbaked with strong ceramic traces of her starter glamour. Working the concession trailer, they were supposed to sell the tourists food and souvenirs; they mostly drank small Cokes and ate the merchandise. They said funny if cutting things about the paying customers. He liked them spirited. Of my outfits, he preferred me in the lilac-covered hat and the white patent-leather shoes with matching bag.

    He wanted his wives to lounge out front in halters, waving at the cars, bringing in considerable business. Truth is, the girls looked a little better from sixty-five m. Come drink time, the former wives changed into beautifully ironed off-the-shoulder Gypsy blouses. They sported pounds of Navajo silver and turquoise squash-blossom necklaces that would bring a fortune today.

    You felt their tensions crest only at the sound of the final blanks Buck fired to end his show. His exes were intelligent girls who had not enjoyed my educational advantages. Christmas and Easter, I had the whole crew over to Los Parnassus Palms for my turkey, dressing, pies.

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    The wives arrived in drop earrings, evening gowns. Slinky and powdered, they unfolded from matching Caddies. Buck would wear a crumpled tux that looked like Errol Flynn at the end. Beloved fellow snake farmers seemed most impressed by my owning countless solid-silver napkin rings from Mother. His wives had each been in or near the Show Business. Not him, too! Later, some local yahoo tried telling me Buck had never married those three girls, said that they were just part of his roadside attraction, that their separate trailers made nightly cash admissions possible.

    They adored him. That was all. I saw their Cadillac scratch off around three, and at four I notice Buck, waving a big white hanky to make cars stop, looking sick as he comes staggering across four lanes of traffic toward my Parnassus Palms. But not in crisis, not owing to illness. When I opened my screen door, he frowned, head wedged against one shoulder, and his face was all but black. He handed me a razor blade. Either Kong or Lothar snagged me a good one in the back. Here, cut an X. Then pour ammonia on it. Go in an inch at least.

    He whipped off his shirt. Face down, he fell across my rattan lounger. I now stood behind him. I dashed to get a towel and the ammonia. I splashed cold water in my face. I cut far deeper than I wanted, then blotted at least two pints into a large white beach towel. Feels I. I might sound funny if I tell you my thin legs nearly buckled. I fought then not to faint. Blame my seeing his dark blood or my viewing his entire back. More than once I had pictured him across the road there being worked on by his full swarm of wives. With Buck in the lounger, I could not bend forward far enough to help.

    He was only half conscious and the weight of him was wonderful and tested my full sudden Esther strength. I helped him stretch out there, face down. God, how he trusted me! I settled on the floor beside his ribs. Finally, breathing for two, I rose up on my knees.


    My own low-cost form of fixing them has always been to make a joke before others get the chance. But now, knowing I might finally be useful to someone, I managed to say nothing. No Esther jokes today, Esther! I tottered on my knees, then pulled the hair back off my forehead. My eyes wet, I drew closer to his snake holes.

    They were like twin tears in cloth. At last I pressed my lips down onto those warm slots black with blood, then, slow, I pulled the poison out of Buck. Into myself. The poison was bitter with a foamy peroxide kick to it. But blood seemed only salty and, by contrast to the venom, almost sweet. Get all that out of you. I cannot have you harmed, not for a sec. Bless your soul for this. I spewed it out then, just as he told me. I was stooped here over him, him flexed out below me, star-shaped, Buck. I fought wanting to cry like some little girl would then.

    Crying not from horror, not even from gratitude, but more from simply knowing: This is my life that I am living. Takes acid to counteract snake acid. Yeeks, burns so good. You sure did it, though. You got it all or most, and I can tell, dear. But let me sleep, oh, twenty minutes tops. I will need to do something when I come to. Need to have you walk me around. This has happened maybe ten other times, so I know.

    But when I do feel stronger and can roll over, I am going to thank you, Esther. More civil. And now this. You be thinking if there is anything whatever I can do for you, girl. Then, at once, he passed out or slept. Had myself a cigarette. Then I realized: here, the only time a man had ever told me in advance I could expect something memorable and I was making my big mouth smell like an ashtray. I only waked him because I felt scared that being out too long might give Buck brain damage or such. I stooped beside my davenport again. Facing downward, he just yawned, then aimed his elbows out, as if nothing much had happened.

    My couch had a new hibiscus print on it, maroon. Whatever blood he shed, it would blend in. But I wished that some might stay there, permanent. It did not prove so repulsive as it always looked when you suspected two movie actors were sneaking doing it. Said how his liking me so, it had nothing to do with my First Aid just now. Not simple tit for tat. He told me to go pull the blinds shut, and I did. He got himself to sitting, woozy still. Then he patted the cushion right beside him. I, dutiful, feeling frail as if I had been snakebitten, settled just where he showed me. No breakage, Esther.

    Just one thing I want to do. I am too weak for offering up everything right now. I would black out. But this I know I want. He knew I could not have borne to let him see me all undressed. It was just too late for that much. Too late to do everything. There was no false start, none of the snaky seeking I had feared. His tongue was there all at once, its own bloodhound locator system, and it could have been a hundred and sixty degrees hot. I had no idea. It, his tongue, soon seemed to be a teacher of infinite patience, then like a sizzling skillet, a little pen flashlight, now featherweight, now flapjack, then just a single birthday candle that—in time, strengthened by doing lap after lap—becomes the forest fire.

    I had no notion I would ever respond like this, way below where Language ever even gets to start. In brief, certain sounds were made. Snake-farmish sounds, only it was me. He was regular as a clock and I was always knowing where he would have been as I allowed myself and just went off again and again and off again, my calves St. Vitus, my feet dancing spasms. The first time was sort of a sea green, the second time more a bronzy blue—there came a red moment but it ended all steamed in hard-baked stone-washed sunflower yellow.

    It ended only because I was too proud to let it go on as long as it wanted to. I felt dignified. I never understood that this was possible. Having another person here, it was less shaming. It was more a way of knowing we are all alike in this. It was beautiful. It was once but it was beautiful. Instead I would eat a meal with a man who had just taken my knickers off and he would know that, while we ate. He stayed right on till seven-thirty-six. I asked if he wanted my help to get him back across the highway. I love that in you, Esther. I helped refasten Buck into his blood-soaked safari top.

    We had eaten as he sat there in the half-light with the white hair tangled on his chest and the swelling already going down. He was that healthy, it was cause and effect, once I had hoovered most of the bad stuff out. Fact is, I could still taste him or the poison or probably the mix in my mouth.

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    A blend: walnut, allspice, penny metal, black licorice, lamb medium-well. I watched him go. The traffic parted, like for Moses. She was not in residence. Her suit tipped him into bankruptcy. I hate that kind of selfishness in women. In anybody. He gave so much. Then she had to claim his car and wallet. The sheriff served a summons mid-show. Flashing lights, sirens, horrible for Buck. What else shut him down?