26 October 2015

Halloween 1992, Part I

9:08 pm, 26 October 1992“Buuuuuhhhhpp,” the man belched.

If I was to explain it I would say that the things that happened to me was never what I had fear of.

The man raised a large hairy hand to his face and wiped a thin film of sweat from his brow. “Hoddin here,” he muttered. He painstakingly tugged at his sweat-dampened T-shirt. With a great lethargic effort, he freed one arm and managed to get half the shirt over his head, then he had to stop and take a break from his labor. “Too hod,” he muttered.

The man sat there for several seconds, watching the TV through the neck hole of his shirt. And then: 

“SONUVABITS.”

Brother it was always there. The fear. Not of what would happen to me but of what I would do. Nothing I could do about it which they can never understand. I never did grow much but the other was a giant.

The man exploded from his chair. He stomped and cursed. He ripped the T-shirt off and swung it rabidly through the air. “COCKSUGGERS. COGSUCKERS.” The T-shirt whipped against an open can of Busch sitting atop a cheap end table. The can fell to the floor. The man cursed the TV until the growing beer puddle reached his bare foot. Aware of a cold, wet sensation, the man looked down. Naked to the waist, covered on back, chest and overhanging beer belly with thick tufts of reddish-brown hair, the man stared at the beer reservoir dammed at his foot. “Buuuuuhhhhpp.” He turned his bleary gaze to the TV. “Fugg. . .fuckers.” He looked again at the beer puddle. “Stupit bits. Stew. . .pid.Whyzit so HOT?. HEY. HEY!” He dropped his T-shirt on the beer puddle. He pressed his bare foot onto the shirt. “I SAID ‘HEY!’”

A fat woman dressed in bulging jeans and an XXL white sweatshirt with “MOM” printed in red across the front wearily and heavily trekked into the room. She stopped about ten feet from the man. She saw the man’s hard look. She winced. She spoke in a soft voice. “Yes, dear?”

She was always fat which you know is a crime. I have a lot of time to think so I see that she ate a lot and grew fat. I never did grow much because what I would do in the future took all the nutrition.

The man flung the beer-soaked shirt at the woman. She tried to cover her face with her flabby arms, but her muscles, weighed down by fat, could not respond quickly enough to the motor commands of her brain. The T-shirt, the sweaty T-shirt, the shirt soaked in beer, the shirt ground into the beer puddle with the man’s sweating, stinking foot, slapped hard into the fat woman’s face. The stench of beer, the stench of a beer drinker’s armpits and the stench of a beer drinker’s fetid human foot violated the woman’s nostrils. She gagged as she peeled the shirt from her triple-chinned face. Her fat cheeks burned red. She blinked furiously. She opened her mouth. She was about to speak, then saw again the man’s hard look. She closed her mouth.

She was always scared but she was always scared of what would happen to her. But I was never scared of what happened to me of course I did not like it. I did not like it one bit but it was what I would do that scared me.

“Is too hoddin here. Look what. . .look what you did, look what you made me did, you stupit bits. Bits. Bitch. Turn down de heat, bitch. And clean my sh, and clean my shirt. Bits. Buuuuuhhhhpp.”

The woman trudged into a small, cramped kitchen. While working away at a sink full of dirty dishes, she quietly sobbed, wiping tears from her eyes with her fat soapy hands. After the last chipped plate was set in the plastic dish rack to dry, the woman took two plodding steps to the scratched-up refrigerator, opened the freezer door and removed a tub of Breyer’s Vanilla Marble.

After the fat woman had exited, the man dropped back into his sagging easy chair. He stared at the TV for a few seconds, then turned his head. A boy is sitting cross-legged on the floor.

“Whuddye mizz while yer mudder wass boddering me?”

The boy trembles.

He’d start on me then. First the old lady then me but I was never scared of it. I didn’t like it who would? But I wasn’t scared of it because all along I knew what I would do.

“The B-b-bills got the b-ball and then K-k-kelly—”

The man sighs violently.

“Fergeddid.”

He drums his fingers on the arm of the chair.

I couldn’t talk right. I never did grow properly. What it was was that the first thing I can remember of my life is knowing what I would do and that is what did all the growing.

The boy sits motionless. He is pale and red-haired and skinny. He has twig arms and a peanut brittle torso.

“Gedme a can.”

The boy springs from the floor and darts quickly into the kitchen. His mother sits at a small, wobbly table, methodically spooning Vanilla Marble into her mouth.

“Would you like two scoops, Joey?”

She was always eating. Chewing chewing chewing. Always something had to be in her mouth and you know she was a pig because it didn’t matter what was in her mouth. There wasn’t a thing that was too filthy to go in her mouth.

The boy opens the refrigerator and takes out a can of Busch.

“Joey, two scoops?”

I couldn’t talk right and I think it has effected me to this day because I can’t find the right words to tell about what I knew I would do because it was not that I hated them. No brother, hate is for the unbelievers.

The boy turns his back on the ice-cream eating fat woman in the XXL “MOM” sweatshirt and leaves the kitchen. He hands the man the can of beer, then sits on the floor and stares at the TV. The man pops the tab on the can, brings it to his mouth, tilts it, drains away half the beer.

“Buuuuuhhhhpp.” The man wipes his mouth. “Lissen, it omost, it’s om’smost hafftime. Then me and you haff to haff a liddle man-to-man.”

The unbelievers hate and it is a small thing and you and I know it is a small thing because they are not afraid of it. They laugh and brag about it and sometimes they do small misdeeds which they are proud of. Too bad for them.

“Because I worg my ass off all day fer you and yer sag of shid mudder. Why’re you so luggy and me so fuckin unluggy I don’t even fuggin know. But waydill hafftime an den we talg some more. Monday nide fudball.”

The man drains the rest of the can.

“Can.”

Again the boy springs from the floor and darts into the kitchen. The fat woman is standing over the little wobbly table. She is opening a loaf of white bread. A knife, a roll of Saran Wrap, a package of Oscar Meyer ham and a jar of French’s mustard also sit atop the table.

“I’m fixing your lunch for tomorrow. Would you like an apple or a pear with your sandwich?”

The boy opens the refrigerator and takes out a can of Busch.

“An apple or a pear, Joey?”

“C-can you please tell dad I have to go to b-bed right now?”

The fat woman tenses. She bites her thumbnail.

“Don’t you want to watch your football with your father?”

“He w-wants to talk to me.”

“Well what’s wrong with that, Joey?” the fat woman asks in a strained voice.

“P-please! Please! P-P-PLEASE!”

So you see that I tried. You see that it is true that I knew what I would do and that I tried to kill this giant that I would become but the unbelievers always pretend.

“Don’t be so silly, Joey,” the fat woman says in the strained voice, the voice of a poor actress, as she busies herself with the bread and the ham and the mustard. She assembles the sandwich and then starts to cut it in half.

“Wh-wh-why won’t you—”

“CAN! CAN! CAN!”

The fat woman jumps. She cries as the knife slices into her fat stubby fingers. The boy watches as she bleeds into tomorrow’s lunch.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Good. The bitch. That is what I thought. Ha ha ha. So you see how the giant grew.

The boy leaves the kitchen. He hands the man the can of beer, then sits down on the floor and stares at the TV. It is halftime. The man pops open the tab on the can, brings it to his mouth, tilts its, drains away half the beer.

“Buuuuuhhhhpp.” The man wipes his mouth. “Lissen, you godda stop talging lige a baby. To gedahead in dis worl, a man hasta talg lige a man, nodda baby. You hear me?”

The boy nods.

“Good. Now I wan you to say ‘my dad iss the bess dad a luggy liddle boy lige me could effer haff.’ You say dat until you can say id ride.”

I knew that one day I would say it right.

“Star talging.”

“M-m-my d-d-dad is the best d-d—”

“Stardover. Do id ride.”

The boy takes a deep breath, closes his eyes.

“C’mon! Diss ain some fuggin skydivin! Jus talg! TALG!”

“M-m-m-m-my—”

“Ten years ole an you talg lige a fuggin baby.” The man mutters to himself, swallows the rest of the Busch in a long gulp. He sighs. “Stardover. ‘My dad iss the bess dad a luggy liddle boy lige me could effer haff.’”

“M-m-m-m-m—”

“Stardover.”

The boy begins to rock back and forth on the floor. The man leans his naked hairy upper body over the worn arm of his chair and slaps the boy in the head.


“Stobb dat roggin! Sidd still an agg lige a man. Talg lige a man.”

It was not that I was scared of what was happening to me it was that maybe now was when I would do what I would do.

“Talg.”

“M-m-m-m-m-m—”

“YOU FUGGIN SIZZY!”

The man grabs the boy by his hair, yanks him off the floor. The boy sees a large hand covered with thick red hair ball into a fist, the fist trembles, then the hand opens, then the hand smashes against his mouth. In the kitchen, upon hearing the blow, the fat woman dressed in the XXL “MOM” sweatshirt opens the refrigerator door.

The force of the blow knocks the boy to the floor. His lips are torn against his teeth. The boy gets to his knees. He hyperventilates. Blood collects in his mouth. The man stands over the boy. He is sweating heavily, his face beet red.

“WHY YOU SUCH A SIZZY? I. . .I. . .I DO THE BESS FOR YOU! I. . .I. . .I”

The man’s nostrils flare, his bleary eyes now wide open. He grunts like a beast of the field and then kicks at the boy as hard as he can. The man’s bare foot stubs against the old thin brown carpet. He staggers forward as his foot continues into the boy’s back. The boy groans and falls face down to the floor. The man nearly trips over the boy. He stumbles and hops in a crazy circle, an alcoholic chasing his own drunken tail. He regains his footing. Dizzy and exhausted, he sways back to his chair.

“An. . .you. . .you. . .bedder nod wed yer. . .wed yer bed,” the man says, huffing and puffing. “Ha-huh, ha-huh,” he tries to laugh while catching his breath. “Piss. . .piss boy. A studdererer an a piss boy. Daz my boy. Sumbuddy else musdda poked yer mudder. Sum haffa sizzy musdda dribble sum jizm in yer mudder’s stangy hole. Hahahahaha. Gedme a can.”

The boy tries to rise from the floor. He slowly eases up. He walks stiffly, bent to one side, into the kitchen.

The unbeliever is afraid of what will happen to him and is not afraid of what he will be.

“Joey, what was that noise I heard?” the fat woman dressed in the XXL “MOM” sweatshirt asks in a strained voice. “Were you and your father roughhousing again? You boys and your football,” the fat woman says in her poor actress’ voice as she plunges a fork deep into an apple pie.

The boy’s teeth clench. His eyelids are tinged with red. He stands in a broken heap in front of the refrigerator. It’s an old model with a humming motor. The boy opens the refrigerator door. The cold light shines on his face.

“All that fuss over a silly game,” the fat woman recites her lines.

The cold light shines on the boy’s face. He stares into the light.

Hate is a puny thing fit only for the unbelievers. To become a man of FAITH, brother, a GIANT OF FAITH you must YOU MUST take the LEAP.

The boy licks the drying blood from his lips, grabs a Busch. He hobbles out of the kitchen and hands the man the can of beer. The man slaps his hairy hand hard against the boy’s ear. The boy totters and falls to the floor.

“You hustle when I ass fer a can!”

The man pops the tab on the can, brings it to his mouth, tilts it, drains all the beer.

“Ged my. . .buuuuuhhhhpp. . .ged my .38”

The boy struggles from the floor, stands crookedly, drags his bent frame to a closet by the front door to the apartment. From here the boy can hear sounds from other apartments. . .other homes. Hysterical laughter. Music. A crying baby. A man and woman shouting.

The boy opens the closet door, leans his scrawny, bowed body inside. He sifts through a tangle of discards: a half-filled photo album, a deflated basketball, hats, gloves, cardboard boxes and tin cans stuffed with useless junk. Then he opens a wooden box and removes a .38. In his small hand, the gun appears enormous. He creaks back like a broken wind-up toy and hands the gun to the man. He crinkles to the floor.

“You and yer mudder kill me,” the man says as he points the .38 at his own head.

The boy stares at water stains on the ceiling.

“You’d be happy if I pulled de trigger.”

The unbelievers want to be happy.

"But I won’t. Because I am. . .a man. I’m nodda pizzboy studdererer or a fat sag of shid cund. Cunt. I’m a man who can dring twenny canzabeer a night an when I geddup my bed sheeds are as dry as yer mudder’s crag. You hear me?”

This was the night I saw the Blood for the first time. But I could not understand because I did not know who it came from.

“You hear me? You bedder nod wed yer bed tonight. I kill you.”

The Blood was everywhere but I saw “MOM” running over and licking it up. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. The giant knew who the Blood came from. My brain absorbed the giant’s lies.

The man stares blankly at the TV screen. The boy stares blankly at the water stains on the ceiling. Minutes pass.

“Huh? Wha? O dey gott good cheerleaderers. O I’d fugg dat cund. O! Hey. HEY!”

The boy shifts his gaze from the ceiling to the man.

“You go bed now. Keepid dry. An sen yer mudder in here.”

Again the boy fights a hard battle to gain his feet. He slowly, carefully transports his sore body into the kitchen.

The fat woman dressed in the XXL “MOM” sweatshirt is sitting at the table, reading Globe. She does not look at the boy.

“Is your football over already?” she asks in the strained, poor actress’ voice from behind the Globe.

“He w-wants you in there.”

She drops the magazine, stares in fright.

“What does he want?” she asks with genuine alarm.

You see this? It’s just as I told you. The unbeliever is only scared of what will happen to them. Everything about them is small even when they are as fat as she was fat. They are small with their little hate and their selfishness their fear only of what will happen to them. Selfish selfish selfish. A Self Fish. Not a Fisher of Men but a Fisher of Self.

The boy turns his back on the fat woman and limps into his bedroom. He takes off his pants, his shoes, his socks. In shorts and T-shirt, he gingerly lays on the mattress. The bed creaks as he tries to find the least painful position to sleep in, the he pulls the covers to his chin. Through the thin wall, he can still hear the TV. And the man and the fat woman.

“You sug id. You geddown dere and sug id. You sug id or you sug dis.” A thud as the fat woman drops to her knees. “Yer so fad de whole house shages.” The clink of a belt buckle. The rustle of pants being pulled down. The burps and grunts of the man. The semi-thuds of a fat body moving from point A to point B to point C. “Geddid in yer mouth already!” “Doan blogg de fuggin TV!” “More!” “G’mon, geddid all!” The triple-chinned gagging of a fat woman. Quiet for one minute, two minutes, three minutes. The drone of the television. “Fergeddid.” “I SAID ‘FERGEDDID!”

The boy pulls the covers over his head.

“How gan I when yer so fuggin fad? So fuggin ugly. Krize, gant you lose sum wade? Stobb eading so goddam much. I SAID ‘FERGEDDID!’ Ged yer fad azz oudda my faze an gedme a can before I shoot yer fad azz.” The rustle of pants being pulled up. The huffing and puffing of a fat woman trying to get off her knees. The clink of a belt buckle. “Only anudder pig could ged eggzided by yer fad body.” The heavy trudge of a fat woman on her way to the kitchen. The drone of the television.

Now I can rest. Tired.

“Joey.”

It’s tiring.

“Joey.”

I’m sleeping.

“Joey.”

Free. Free. I am fr—

“Joey,” in a hushed voice, “Joey, wake up.”

The boy’s eyes open. The fat woman dressed in the XXL “MOM” sweatshirt is standing over him.

“Joey, your father is not feeling well. He needs our bedroom to himself. It’s best if I sleep with you tonight.”

Fish.

The fat woman pulls off the XXL “MOM” sweatshirt. Her fat drooping breasts are barely restrained by her old, dirty, stretched-out bra. The multiple folds of stomach fat fall like water over Niagara as she wrestles off her jeans. Tufts of thick, greasy hair appear at the edges of her old, dirty, stretched-out pink panties.

The bed sags as the woman settles her fat body around the boy. Her obscene weight crushes the boy’s already-battered peanut brittle torso. She opens her two huge blubber thighs and closes them around one of the boy’s stick legs. He feels a warm damp spot through the woman’s thin pink panties. The tufts of hair scratch his flesh as she grinds against his stick leg. The bed’s box springs creak a wild tune. A foul odor drifts up from under the covers and fills the boy’s nostrils. He hears, as from a faraway land, the drone of a football game, and then a “buuuuuhhhhpp.”

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