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last year I started writing novel, though I never followed through. this may or may not be of interest. here we go…
They were free to die like that, screaming their goddamn heads off with no one to save them. No one willing.
One day, growing up, he saw a spider as big as the front foyer window of his parent’s house. By now he was unable to discern if it was a dream or a part of his horrors in waking life. He put it out of his head, hoping he would never see anything like that ever again.
How could a boy grow up without a father, she would ask him, referring to his friend down the street. David was raised by three women – his mother, his aunt, and his grandmother. “You’re lucky, Graham” his mother said, “that you have a father. Every boy needs a male figure in his life.”
He walked through all the damage, parched, worried about what he was to become. He dried his tears the best he knew how, and hardened himself to hide the fear. He grew up with only a few friends, kids he could joke around with, and ride bikes and join in rock throwing wars with around the neighborhood, and yet still feel superior to, something he could not explain in the rare times he felt aware. Poor grades and an awkward shyness would make him an outcast all throughout the grades.
David had consumed himself in channel box games and what appeared to be self taught martial arts. Graham was interested.
They became friends ordering stuff out of comic books, all of the standard ninja paraphernalia: throwing stars, tree climbing spikes, everything. Although Graham’s grades were poor, because he couldn’t see a point in what they were teaching and was much more interested in skateboarding, television, ancient fighting techniques, and comics, he managed to pass every year.
It was always the humiliation that had got to him, the fights, the empty blows, and the not so empty blows. These were the days of social fighting. Later this occurred to David more clearly; in the inner cities it was about spilling blood. Here, crowds took sides more quickly. It was about building up the winner’s ego, so in that case, there was always a winner – even if a fight was broken up early. Lose traction and slip on the hill, you lost that fight. If one kid swung at the other, as long as it was violent and graceful and like something they’d seen before, even if it missed his face completely, or any other body part for that matter, he was deemed the victor for the roaring crowds and he would be remembered for many weeks as a hero.
Of course this was a drag. After all, he only wanted to stay at home, especially after “beat downs.” If this keeps up, David thought, I don’t know. I don’t know what I’ll do.
Graham knew. He watched David, who came out on top in the end, training himself to become a full fledged ninja. No one could say any different, because who there, besides the two of them, knew about these wars from the orient and how those days had passed for real?
On the hot nights of summer, someone dressed all in black would climb through these windows and beat these bratty neighborhood kids to a pulp right in their own beds. Sometimes the two boys would join together and smack up the sides of their houses with tomatoes, or even paint bombs (glass Christmas tree ornaments filled with house paint, a vast array of bright yellows).
“My God!!! Oh my God!!!” Graham’s mother screamed from down the hall, absolutely panicked. One hour, then one half of an hour came chopping along, and it was spiders. Many of the little bastards. Everyone screamed so damn loud, dogs began to bark, and then cower from these eight legged beasts. Military men missed the opportunity for this one a long time ago. They weren’t going to miss it this time. Helicopters flew over dropping tear gas and other poisons causing girlfriends to pass out and boyfriends to forget it all, if just for the rest of this chopped hour. Whatever the spiders were here for, more ninja training was required. David, however, was no where to be found, in fact ever again from that day forward. Within minutes this was blamed on him, as if the devilish heaps of bodies piling up were a formation of his revenge. Mother’s began screaming out from top floors, “Kill the Davids! Get out there everyone, and kill the Davids!” And who knew how long it would last? One half of Graham wanted to go out there and partake in the blood fest, but what if that really was David, what if he were to go out and kill his friend with an axe down into the sidewalk? Unbearable thoughts crossed over like a year’s worth of leeches. The tirade of Davids broke not so gracefully. In the end, the town had vacated and only old folks would decide to retire there, after long periods of deliberation and bravery. David had succeeded in having the joint named after him. A maxim graced the 20 mile marker: “Soon Entering World’s Famous DAVIDSVILLE. 20 miles. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.”
Graham wound up moving away soon enough to fly a few planes and date a few college cheerleaders, activities of the like which will not be permitted for discussion, for the time being. Hay days and lead based paint on the walls, perfumed women consumed up all the beauty products and glazed doughnuts at tremendous speeds, concerning no one else, thank you, thank you very much for keeping your face out it. Question any of it, and you get a drumstick in your eye. Erased was Graham’s poor, sad old memory of a social fight with, yes, a girl of the same age. She bitched at him all the time like one who had yet to find a boyfriend, screaming at him, calling him names in front of everyone and raising a whirlwind of a stink all about. Verbally, his shy speech betrayed him, and he remained quiet, abused like water dumped on a cat with nowhere left to go.
A fine bus ride home had her in a good mood and screaming at him as usual. When it was his time to get off, she grabbed the back of his shirt, pulling him off balance, and started flailing her nails at him and sending the rest of them into absolute hysterics. He fell on top of her, raising not one fist to her. Everyone by now was rolling in the aisle. On top of him flailing away like a true red head, she spat and cursed the gentle boy out until the driver had come to drag her off. It was the social fight of all time, and he was the loser. How would he manage to show his face to the citizens of planet Earth ever again. He had the spiders to thank, who, on the day deemed “Mother’s Panic,” had choose this poor girl among many, and lopped off her head. It was a fancy feast.
From the 8th grade onward, Graham took advantage of low numbered classrooms and closer, personal attention from his teachers, who would all the time tell him how special he was. If only these things were true, he thought. He did not realize himself, at first, in the midst of those tirades as a repellent human being, but it was true. All the monsters appeared to dart around him, at a speed almost as if through him, unharmed. This was the closest thing to being the witch of the town, but without enough people to form lynch mobs. So on second thought, he was special, and had a set of smooth, flowing days upon him, eating fresh corn. Enjoying the ghost town life was too good to be true. David’s violence had freed him from his own. He was a free man.
Gearing up for a new year, Gwendolyn caught his eye. Finally he began throwing paper at her and started up a friendship. Dances were starting up, and he didn’t mind. So he asked her around to them, to which she accepted, and wore high school dance type dresses. Only this year he could really let loose and be himself, because all the humiliation was behind him. Those that did have the guts to remember even the greatest of social fights, then without choice were forced to remember the true devastation of spiders that had the faculties in an uproar. Posters adorning the luncheon walls, arachnid beasts, emblazed with the words “We Will Never Forget.” You know, Quark Xpress junk like that.
A similar red head would split them apart, however, hissing and threatening, and hauling off on Gwen as if she had ripped a tear in the space time fabric and left the kitchen sink full of dishes since the following Tuesday.
“You will have to do the goddamn fucking dishes yourself you bitch,” Gwen often spit back. “I’m not going on no goddamn fucking talk show.”
“Wonderful,” said Graham, laughing in a quick breath. “We’ve got real military type wars in the world, a threatened ozone layer with all kind of holes up in it, freakin’ crop circles showing up out the yin yang – and you two act like it would be more fun killing each other than to stick around and enjoy it. Well I know I’m old when I have to keep reminding everyone they’ve got a true veteran alive and well standing right in front of them.”
Rolling their eyes, as if to say, “This. This again.”
“I know, right?” he laughed, “These veterans are all the same. Give ‘em a few streets of spiders to survive and they get all high and mighty on you. These proud bastards are all the same, right?”
They just stood there and looked at him, not knowing. This was taught as un-knowing, un-knowingly the subject appears depressed but we cannot accurately ascertain the man and his soul on the inside and fit his essence in a form’s check box. Un-knowingly, the filed complaint must be summarized in simplex terms to the best of one’s ability.