Man in picture. A morning’s history of night.

The watch looks still to me, it reads five after nine. Everyone else can see the time as they admire it. People comment on it often. If someone asks me the time, I turn my wrist and hold it up or my answer will be a guess. Sometimes they say the time they see out loud as though I’m waiting to hear it.

I am.

If he’s of me, he must own his cowardice. I believe it. I see it in him. Just like me. He’d rather just fuck with me than confront me. He shows me what he can do but he never comes straight at me. A jackal. A pussy. Just like me.

I submitted to a bully once. I was in the sixth grade. I was confused. He wasn’t any bigger, he was simply more evil. Mean. For awhile, I was afraid. I went to ridiculous ends to avoid him. I stole a small hunting knife from a sporting goods store. I would duct tape the leather sheath to my leg before I went to school.

One day the entire student body sat in the gymnasium bleachers for an assembly. A giant red brick structure built in the thirties with an oval roof. Autumn. Cold inside. I sat with my friends and spit Skoal on the floor. All of us had our coats on. We did our best to smear the tobacco juice with our feet.

My friend Lance was next to me. He didn’t chew tobacco. He’s now some sort of nuerological physical therapist.

His last name was Dalton and I could feel him behind me. Everytime the crowd would jeer at the ridiculous film on nuclear attack we were being shown, he’d hit me hard on the back.

It didn’t take long for Lance to clock it, look me in the eye and say “Who is this fuck?”

Dalton had always been a coward. He’d always confront me with his friends around him or never at least in a crowd where there was a chance of me having an ally. I would back down, because my shame was my own. There was no one else to see it.

This was different. He’d grown bold. I don’t think he was very smart. He certainly hadn’t thought far enough ahead to understand the corner he’d backed me into. Fear is a great force multiplier.

I didn’t snap, but my decision came quick. I was humiliated and terrified. I spun around and swung as hard as I could for his head. He turned away in anticipation of the blow and my fist landed solid with a smack on his left ear.

I heard he spent the rest of the afternoon crying in the nurse’s office.

His meat has been under my fist.

It’s time for my fist again.

I am sure. I begin to understand him. It will be easier to lure to him to a mall or a bar instead of an empty field or a park at night. I will kill him. We are the same he and I. I am smarter. I wonder how well he understands that.

I will kill him.

Does he know to look inside to figure me out?

Does he drink wine with his meat?

I’m going to name him Richie Cunningham.

I will kill Richie Cunningham.

Opie is toast.

The night is pleasant. Barely a moon. I’ve been asleep, the fire is embers. The carafe of water is empty and I figure out that I can’t hold until morning.

Something I hate; finding a bathroom in a strange house in the middle of the night.

In a hotel room, I just bounce around until my feet feel cool tile.

Whatever, I’m like a fire hydrant. I feel good. Energy. I throw off the blanket and bounce up. Legs are good. Barely sore. Past the den and there’s a small bathroom with a light on the left just beyond the kitchen. Thoughtful of Carlo.

There’s an actual urinal with a chrome flush, what looks like a quartz puck and one of those low long toilets with a black seat and an identical chrome flush all municipal style. White tile. It’s clean and smells good with an institutional dispenser that spits brown paper when I turn the crank. A wall mounted soap sprinkler vomits pink powder when I push the lever back. I smell pine.

I piss.

I’m back in grade school.

As I’m draining I see the open door leading to the kitchen.

I decide to make my way back through the kitchen. It’s smaller in the dark.

I come around to the couch and sink back into it’s comfort.

I’m thinking I expect what’s next.

Richie smacks his hand on the windows. Running around the deck. Frustrated and in a frenzy. I’m spooked but I know he can’t get in or he’d be in.

I rush the window to challenge him. I bang on it with my knuckles and demand that he look at me. I want to see him. Close. So I do. Carlo’s yard is filled with dark swine and they have fear in their eyes. He doesn’t look at me. A pane of glass divides us.

I yell and flip him off. I mock and tease. I laugh at him. Scream and curse.

He’s sobbing and sucking back drool. He bleeds from all the openings in his head. He’s a mess. He’s in his underwear again.

I press my index finger and face to the glass and tell him I understand. I tell him I understand it’s him or me and that it will be me. I tell him I’ll kill him. He will die. It will be me.

He bounces off the front door. He screams in the yard. He even throws rocks at the windows. He leaves sobbing and sucking.

I stand and watch his retreat. He lights a fagot at one point and I’m able to see his pigs behind him.

He cannot enter.

I go to sleep.

Carlo is upset. It is morning. He bangs and mutters. Shuffles and stomps his feet. But I can smell the food.

I sit up and put my shoes on. I go to the bathroom I used last night, piss, and wash my face and hands. The water is cold and I wish I had a toothbrush. I enter the kitchen from the bathroom.

He is suprised, yet the look on his face takes but a second to fade to furious. I ask what over and over. Finally, I’m able to sputter that fear is a great force multiplier and I couldn’t help but confront that which I fear most.

“Perhaps you are a coward, if so full of bravery and force why did you not open the door?” He says.

5 Responses to “Man in picture. A morning’s history of night.”

  • solstanez visionares:

    While they’r away on holiday, ever notice, how traffic flo’s like blood phlo?

  • dr. zot:

    you are freaking me out with this shit. nice details though. like the bleu cheese/marmalade metaphor from last episode.

  • admin:

    Can’t believe you’re reading. I am pleased and flattered.

  • Dober Kymmie:

    Somebody is going to die, and it ani’t gonna be me!~I’m scared, I’ve caused life to cease in others, just for uttering those words. And we thought you, were the demagague.
    Forgive me father for I can not control my outrage. Idol worship, is muy pellagroso.

  • Dober Kymmie:

    Only by loving one’s self can they then, turn and share the love for others. Today my heart is media d vaso.

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