I would appreciate any advice, notes, comments ect. I am a very amateur writer working on autobiographical fiction collection of stories. I don’t need up-votes. I just want a little help. Yes, I know my sentence structure, grammar the such sucks. I’m looking more for advice on the story and is it worth keeping going?
Losing. – Best Fight Story People always love to tell the stories about the fights they been in and won. A lot of the time it’s the only fight they’ve ever been involved in for their entire life. I on the other hand have been in a lot of fights, more than I should have and really I’m not proud of it. Many of them even as a young child. Kicking ass, taking names, busting heads, dominating….but no one likes to talk about the times they lost. It is humiliating to lose. Who wants to talk about that? Me. Getting your own ass kicked just sucks and I am an expert in the area. As the saying goes you win some and you lose some. There’s not a lot of things more shaming than stepping up to your opponent with every intention to crush them under your boot and failing. Standing toe to toe with someone that you for the moment loathe, looking them straight in the eye with all the confidence in the world that you will end them and they drop you like a bag of bricks. My first fights were with my neighborhood best friend Timmy. Yes that’s right my best friend. At least monthly, sometimes more, we would end up swinging our tiny fists at each other and usually it went something like this: Tim and I would argue about our meaningless childhood who-cares-what. One time it was an argument about what happened to The Garden of Eden. I said Satan probably took it and turned it into Hell after Adam and Eve ate the apple. Timmy didn’t like that idea.
Things would get heated and the next thing I knew I had a bloody nose and Timmy was already half the block away running the other direction before I could react. I’ve had to snap my nose back into place more than once as blood streamed from my nostrils and I watched through stinging tears as Timmy’s silhouette disappeared into the distant sunset. His tactics were smart really, cowardly, but smart. I was two of Timmy put together and would have easily been able to break him if I caught him, but he was so damned fast. When we played neighborhood front yard football together I was always furious and jealous that I could never catch or tackle him. Timmy would play running back or wide receiver and I was a blocker…imagine that. Timmy kept his hit and run strategy all the years of our friendship and after our engagements we would both retreat back to our houses and families. The next day we were friends again, my nose was in place and just like in a sitcom when something major happens and everyone wonders how the show will continue, in the next episode everything is back to normal. There was only once that I caught him after he hit me. I grabbed him and put him into a headlock and thought I finally had the upper hand. Like a rabid dog he bit me and tore a quarter sized chunk out of fresh my left palm…yep lost that one too.
I’ve always been that body size and type that make other guys want to puff out their chest and lay down the challenge flag. I’m big, but not too big, 6’1”, I teeter between athletic and kinda fat and I’ve been told I have pretty broad shoulders. When I was in junior high and high school, I was lean and muscular. One afternoon during sophomore lunch period I was sitting in the cafeteria with group of friends at one of those oversized bleacher-chair-like lunch tables. We were just eating our cheese pizza, socializing normally and minding our own business. I was mid-sentence and mid-teen-tale when suddenly I felt a feminine hand on each of my shoulders. Frozen in confusion and hoping it was a cute girl I liked, I slowly turned my head to see who was stroking my ego and upper arms. To my horror I realized the hands were wrinkled and attached to an elderly woman I didn’t and no one else at recognized. The woman was just repeated “Such broad shoulders…I just LOVE broad shoulders…” and then she just walked away leaving me confused and a little afraid. So I guess they’re pretty broad. Yes she was real by the way.
There have been many times when just walking down the street, as an adult, I’ve had other guys literally just look at me and yell “I bet I could fuck you up!” It’s as if they were deciding, sizing me up and having a conversation in their own heads when they see me and decide to yell their internally debated conclusion out loud. I would equate it to a guy seeing an attractive woman while walking down the street and yelling a cat call like “Hey Baby! I’m gunna get all up in that! Yeah….” and then just keep on walking down the street afterwards. I’m not always so lucky that they keep walking though and some of the time I unintentionally antagonize the situation.
Eye Matey!– My bobber floated on the surface of the grey waters of the man-made pond as tiny droplets of rain splashed around it. The sky pissed down a misty, cold, drizzle while I sat on a rock near the shoreline. The beads of water made my oversized thick rimmed glasses harder and harder to see through. Chilled droplets of water dripped and spilled down my neck from the curly black hair that stuck out from under my brown, damp, stocking cap. They slid down my back and under the blue snowmobile suit down giving me a shiver as I watched the orange and white plastic. It was early morning in late fall somewhere in suburban Minnesota. My Aunt Joyce and I were at her best friend Tina’s new town house development. I was 11, maybe 12 and to entertain myself while the adults did adult things, I had suited up in Tina’s son’s cold weather gear and clomped down the hill fishing pole in hand and too, too big semi-waterproof snow boots on my feet to catch the one possible bass that was living in murky cold water. Sniffling and casting my day away, I now sat by the water’s edge. It was very late in the season for fishing, but occasionally I was able to pull a small sunfish with tiny rusted hook in its mouth from the not so deep wetness. Careful and calculated I stroked down its needle-like fins, but inevitably would be stung on my pruny, cold palm as I removed it from the curved barb hoof from its cheek. My hands shivered as I wiped the slimy fish goo off my palm and onto the snowsuit pant leg. I placed a kernel of bright yellow corn back on the hooked point just before tossing the line back into the water. A ripple circled outward from the point of where the plastic float splashed and made the only other sound that broke up the monotonous, distant echo of beeping sounds of alarms from the construction trucks backing up over and over. I pined internally about my miserable situation, but it was still better than being inside with nothing to do. The half-complete construction zone set a less than appealing stage for the events around me. I was wet, cold, bored and frustrated.
The rain stopped and the sun tried to break out from behind the drab overhanging clouds, giving me a chance to ring out my wet thick gloves and let my fingers dry in a bit breeze. It still wasn’t comfortable, but it added a bit of respite to my dreary fishing hole. I took my hat off and set it next to my stony seat. It wasn’t long after that I started to hear the clamoring voices of other children slowly approaching. They were all boys around my age give or take a year. I was bigger than all of them, I was always bigger than most kids around my age, but there more than six of them. They rode up on their bicycles in a cacophony of pre-adolescent clamor and dropped the BMXs, Huffys and Schwinns to their feet by the pond about 15 yards away from me. I didn’t pay them much attention, but they immediately pain attention to me. “What are you doing here loser?” their not so bright leader shrieked out in a taunting, child tone. “Ugh you stink!” He pinched his nose and made a sour face at the fictitious odor. “Ewwww!! Awwe Gross!!” The impish cub scout troop all joined in the undeserving ridicule and waved their hands in front of their noses wafting away the fictitious odor. “I’m fishing” I answered in a flat tone trying ignoring their unwarranted mockery.
“Whatever loser. Don’t touch our bikes!” The tiny clan leader snapped back.
“I wasn’t going to.” I was annoyed and offended. “I don’t care about your bikes.” I really didn’t and I didn’t even look in their direction or acknowledge them beyond that. “You better not touch ‘em!” His immature vocal chords screeched back. “I don’t want to see a scratch on them when we get back!” “Yeah!” The rest of the boys backed up their puny chieftain with a mocking jeer toward me. They all marched away to their make believe duties and frog poking or whatever the hell they were up to. I still don’t know why they all had the impression that I would be so interested in their bipedal transportation or why they didn’t just set their bikes down elsewhere. They did ride over to me after all. Apparently this was their territory and I had invaded.
Twenty minutes, give or take, had passed since the boys parted from my presence and I still had no luck with catching my elusive bass. I was almost ready to give up with my angling ambitions for the day, when the familiar tumult of garish youthful voices returned to the region of my stony waterside perch. The lot of them were all chomping and chawing on an armful of varies sugary snacks and slurping on sodas. Their endeavors appeared to have composed of knocking over a Seven Eleven candy counter or maybe they had defeated the Witch of the Wood from Hansel and Gretel and were enjoying their spoils.
I kept my attention on my bobber and tried to ignore the irksome pint-sized squad of pipsqueaks. They were being obnoxiously loud as children hopped up on goofballs normally are and were telling each other how awesome their blah blah blah was and how blah blah blah was so stupid. I really didn’t care, I just wanted them to move on and leave me be. Then the bike inspections began.
Soda still in hand, the not so mighty leader squatted down with a Twizzler hanging from his mouth, his cheek full of confectionary and started examining his bike. The other boys followed suit all started doing the same.
“Ahh What! There’s a scratch here!” One of them called out “This wasn’t here before!” “Hey there’s mud on mine!” Another proclaimed from their huddle. “My chain is off!” A third voice chimed in. “He musta messed with our bikes!!” The leader stood up and pointed in my direction the liquorish twist still dangling out of his teeth. “I knew he was gunna mess with ‘em!”
The troop made their way over to my direction still munching on their candy, their hands were dirty and sticky from all the sugar and mud stuck to their fingers. They looked like the white-trash Little Rascals on their way to a diabetes problem.
“I thought told you not to mess with our bikes!” The Mini-Captain of the crew accused chopping on his wad of sugar.
“I’m fishing! I told you I don’t care about your stupid bikes!” I snapped back annoyed still watching my bobber. “Well they’re mess up! It musta been you!” He quipped back “Yeah!” The others all chimed in. “You know what?! You still stink…I think you need a shower!” The boy said menacingly. A low, sticky trickle of sugary liquid started to stream into my curly black hair, down my neck and into the back of my snowmobile suit as his can emptied above me. The little leader’s Lord of the Flies justice was being served for a crime I didn’t commit. The rest of the pigmy platoon found me guilty as their new pariah and began to bathe me soda and backwash. I hung my head in shame. I was humiliated, but I didn’t want to escalate the situation any more than they already had. All I wanted was to be left alone and to catch that fish.
A single empty can bounced off the side of my head and then the hailstorm of aluminum began as the other boys wound up and pitched their metals vessels at me.
“What’s wrong?! Are you stupid?” The leader was getting frustrated at my lack of physical response from his sucrose soaking sentencing. “Just leave me alone!” I yelled out. “I didn’t mess with your bikes!” I crouched my head down between my knees and tried to wring the soda from my hair with my fingers and protect myself from any further flying fizzy drink receptacles. The metal monsoon changed to a flesh and bone maelstrom of prepubescent fists bombarding me. Every time I tried to stand to fight back I was struck or pushed down from another side. My glasses were knocked from my face making the world a blurred and distorted myriad of color. There was pummeling pain coming from every direction and sticky syrup stung my eyes. I was in my very own scene from Gulliver’s Travels as the mini mob overtook me with their numbers and forced me helpless to the ground.
Sitting up on my knees, I blindly and wildly swung my arms around trying to defend myself from the assault. I fell forward and reached out for the nearest adolescent assaulter within my arm’s length. Like a kraken dragging a ship to its watery demise I wrapped my arms and legs around him and made my best attempted to squeeze the breath from his lungs. Cries of “Let him go!” started to echo around me as my beating intensified. My grappling maneuvers and hopes of deterring the attacks only further incited their rage. The boy wriggled and squirmed, whimpering in my arms as his comrades tried to pry him from my grip and hammered on my upper back and skull with rocks in hand, like apes trying to crack open a coconut.
Desperate instinct took over. The only training I had in any sort of self-defense came from my one-sided exchanges with Timmy and watching pro-wrestling on television. There was no chance now of performing a flying elbow or a body slam like the goliaths in the ring, so I did the only other move I knew. My thumb plunged deep into the boy’s eye socket like a bowler gripping his ball. I twisted as I pressed against the boy’s squishy eyeball and a piercing screaming shriek rang from his throat. All the boys stopped dead in their tracks and stared in horror as the boy squirmed and squealed like a dying hog in my grip. His screamed startled even me and I released him and pushed his body away. The distant beeping of the trucks was the only other sound besides his sobs. He scrambled to his feet holding his hand over his eye, a bit of blood smeared on his cheek. All the boys scurried around him and dragged him to his feet. “Oh my god! Let’s get out of here!” their shrill voices illustrated the extent of the terror they were feeling from what they had just witnessed. “Your eye!” “Come on! Come on!” The boys mounted their bikes and started waving their arms scooping the air to pull the group together. Yelling insults over their shoulders in my direction, they retreated back to wherever they came from. I sat on my knees whimpering and crying to myself from both pain and disbelief of what had just happened while wiping the newly forged cyclops’ goopy eye slime from my thumb. My head throbbed and vision swam as I blindly crawled around on all fours feeling for my glasses in the wet sand and grasses. My fingers felt familiar glass and plastic and I raised the twisted, broken frames to my face bringing the world back into full focus. Bent and crooked the nosepiece cut the bridge of my own nose as I adjusted mangled spectacles. I began to sob to myself in fear of how my Grandmother would react to them needing to replace them. Slowly I collected my fishing pole, and hat before trudging back up the hill to Tina’s townhome. The entire way back I replayed what had just happened and asked myself why they had needlessly chosen to target and attack me. My Aunt and Tina both met me inside and swooped over to help me like a pair of mother hens. I peeled off the wet, sticky, snowsuit revealing the dark bruising on my skin underneath and bawled as I recounted the tale, leaving out the portion of the story where I may have permanently blinded a boy my age. They helped me to the bathroom and Tina started a shower for me. I winced and clenched my teeth as I washed the sand, blood and soda from my new wounds and thick now matted hair. The warm steam and hot water felt like thousands of stinging needles against my cold bruised skin. I thought more about the boy and wondered how badly I had hurt him and got sick to my stomach of the idea of me having literally poked his eye out. To this day I have no clue as to what that boy’s ocular fate was. I don’t know which boy he even was. Was he the instigator? Was he just someone’s brother that decided to tag along? Did he enjoy attacking another boy his age? Was he the one that was just watching and felt bad for me while everyone else took part in the cruelty? All I do know about the outcome is we both lost that day.