Friday, April 22, 2011

SOFT-FACED




SOFT-FACED 

We decided to have a son, the whole goddamn pack of us, standing outside the pool hall, all of us between seventeen and twenty, quite young ourselves. It’s late night and there’s a big moon in the sky. We didn’t exactly say it out loud, but a consensus over the having a son thing was reached, decided as these usually are though the mutual recognition of stirrings deep inside us all, passed around without comment by some sort of silent network.

And how does a group of us have a son? Sure there are methods like gang rape. We’ve thought about it.  Or kidnap. But tonight, maybe it was the moon, or the combination of shooters and what was up our nose, but we stood outside the pool hall waiting, smoking, knowing something would happen. We didn’t have to do anything. It would come to us.

A soft-faced boy walks out of the side door with a girl. He looked like us, except for the soft face. He wasn’t hiding it. “Hey, fuckface,” we say. “We heard what you said to her. She’s our friend.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“You sure as fuck did. You asked her for a hand-job, you fuck.”
“I fucking did not. I was just asking about her baby.“
“You fucking asked for a hand-job, dickhead.”
“Did fucking not. We were in Grade 8 together. I was asking how she was.”
“Fucking liar.”
“Screw off, you dickwads. Fuck yourselves. I fucking said nothing.”

And then we pulled his jacket over his head and began punching him in the head until he fell down. We kicked him with our twelve right feet, with a few left kicks mixed in for variety. He made a bunch of sounds that weren’t really words then rolled over to face the ground. We kicked his head. End of round one.

Then he got up. He wasn’t big but it I could tell he worked out.
“Fucking assholes.”
He punched me right in the nose. Then again in the jaw. It was like a strike of lightning in the face. Everything dark except for the bright bolt where he hit him. I got him in the side then connected with his jaw. My knee went into his gut and his fist slammed the side of my head. We both fell to the ground. My ear and then my nose again. He had me by the hair and pulled my head up and then hard down against the pavement. Kaleidoscopes out both my eyes and then all of my boys began kicking him hard in the head, the legs, the gut. A hundred hoofs into his body. His nose bleeds, his teeth are  broken. The moon is over the parking lot but it’s behind clouds, the fucking chicken. End of round two.

“OK, asshole. Round three.” He has staggered to his feet again. We’re in a circle now.
“Ready to fight some more, you fuck?” There are big welts over his forehead. One of his eyes is swollen. Some blood out the corner of his lip. He spits stuff from his mouth.
“Fucking round three. You too much of a pussy? Need your mommy and her big tits?”
He walks away down the sidewalk.
“Pussy,” we call after him. “Chickenshit.”

So now we have a son. The whole goddamn pack of us. We’re fathers. 

That’s how it’s done.

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