Al Swearengen: My Favorite Television Character
Al Swearengen is a character in my favorite television series Deadwood. When Al Swearengen walked into a room people not only paid attention, but they feared for their lives. Depending on what kind of mood he was in, Al could compliment a stranger, violently curse out a friend, or slit a man’s throat. It was hard to tell which one he was leaning towards based on the icy glare he always sported.
Physically there was nothing extraordinary about Al. He was average height, maybe a little broader through the shoulders than most, but nothing too unusual. What was unusual were his eyes, they were so dark they were almost black. When he focused those dark eyes on someone who had wronged him, it sent shivers through the most hardened man’s spine. The eyes were forbidding enough on their own, but he had this ruddy complexion to his face that let anyone who could see it know that he was not a man to be crossed. Along with the dark, forbidding eyes and the ruddy complexion, he had this oily, jet black hair that he wore neatly slicked back. Sometimes when he was getting particularly animated in the act of denigrating an underling or committing an act of violence on some poor soul, his slicked back hair would fall down into his face and he would impossibly, become even more imposing than normal.
Al would use all of these menacing aspects of his appearance in his social and business life to intimidate potential business competitors, employees, and women. He lived in a time and a place where a man had to be hard to even survive, but only the hardest thrived like Al did. He owned and managed a bar/dancehall/whorehouse. When he came down from his office/living quarters above the bar meticulously dressed in the same gray suit that he wore every day, and he called someone in his office to talk, needless to say that person would be very intimidated. They were not just intimidated by his appearance, for when someone went...