the fuck-ups

1 Dec

i took part in the beating they gave Mikey Gaydos. i hit him in the ribs like the rest of them, even though Mikey Gaydos was a good friend. before the summer when he went away to virginia beach and i fell in with the fuck-ups. became one of them. i hit him like my grandpa hit his animals. viciously and heartlessly. i learned how to strike like that from both men in my life–my da and my grandpa. i took it from them and learned it. i hit Mikey Gaydos. because i wanted to fit in. because the rest of them called Mikey Gaydos a fag and i wanted to believe it. to have an excuse for hitting him. because where i grew up, gay people were not human beings. it’s what i was taught. and so i whaled on him. and he sat there looking up at me and cried. i was his friend. and i think now, thirty years later, that Mikey Gaydos cried because his friend betrayed him, not because he got his ribs broken and his nose busted and his shoulder dislocated and his fingers bent and his ears pulled. his friend didn’t save him. it was despicable. what they did to him was despicable. what we did. after we were done, Corey Boland pissed on him. and Mikey Gaydos just cried and looked at me. i let them do that to him. he was on the ground, wet from urine and tears. it was despicable. and i did it. to fit in. to fit in with the american kids. to please them all. all of them. my mum. my da.

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15 Responses to “the fuck-ups”

  1. Janet 02/12/2008 at 12:35 AM #

    Just reading this is painful. You painted this very well.

  2. Veda 02/12/2008 at 3:07 AM #

    Masterfully done? How or why so? hm…

    Yes.

    Is there a balancing piece?

  3. Geoff 02/12/2008 at 9:12 AM #

    Just wondering if Mikey will still eat the cereal.

    Of course, now I am in a completely different universe.

  4. Kairol Rosenthal 02/12/2008 at 2:52 PM #

    I noticed your response on the well-blog too and wanted to ask if you had any particular secret for avoiding medical professionals like the plague? If so pass them my way. We young cancer patients can use all the techniques we can get.

    I plaster my world with non-fiction; your blog is such a treat to read.

  5. (S)wine 02/12/2008 at 3:02 PM #

    Kairol, so far it has been luck, I suppose. Though cancer seems to run in my family–it’s on my mom’s side, so I’m not sure how that figures into my DNA. I was/am particularly interested in that “human experiment” with eating nothing but organic food because my mom severely altered her diet (though not to organic, just mostly fruits and veggies) after her diagnosis, 11 years ago. She seems to have benefited from that change, but now I’m interested in (avoiding) the possible toxic effects pesticides used in treating food supply have on our chemistry.

    Thanks for coming here to read fiction, though. And much good luck in your struggle.

  6. Picky Picky 02/12/2008 at 4:23 PM #

    The writing is fantastic. However, what you did was *whale* on him, not “wail” on him.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/whale

  7. Matt 03/12/2008 at 3:07 AM #

    goddamn great. Each word hinges and lives on its partner. Love it.

  8. (S)wine 03/12/2008 at 7:57 AM #

    Thanks Matt.

  9. Erin O'Brien 03/12/2008 at 9:17 AM #

    You kick my ass. You really kick my ass.

  10. Slyboots 03/12/2008 at 11:24 AM #

    You know I had a hard time with this one. Take that as a compliment. It means that you hit a very honest place. And I don’t want to go there. But I did. Hell, son.

  11. Geoff 03/12/2008 at 10:44 PM #

    “i took part in the beating they gave Mikey Gaydos.”

    *

    I have to write again, Alex, because your first line is so damn good — it tells a thousand or more stories all on its own. It’s a 10-word novel. Keep this one line, please, whatever you do with the rest.

  12. Josh 04/12/2008 at 11:31 AM #

    Damn. Just damn.

  13. (S)wine 04/12/2008 at 1:51 PM #

    Thanks all. Interesting how this one resonated with so many.

  14. Josh 04/12/2008 at 2:13 PM #

    Hmmm . . . maybe it put us in touch with a part of us that we had long since buried.

    Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself.

    Regardless, it is powerful stuff.

  15. (S)wine 08/12/2008 at 1:22 PM #

    Picky, thanks. Got it. Made it. Your comment was marked as spam, strangely. But there you go; you’re online now. And yes, I need an editor.

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