House, Part Three
November 2, 2011 § 1 Comment
Edit: Holy moly that was my hundredth post. Interesting? Maybe!
I hope this will do for the night. I admit that I wasn’t quite in the mood for it after the long day I had, but I’ve got something for you all the same. This story is hard to write, so you punks better appreciate all the work I do for you.
In other news, this part of the story is a little more swearing-filled than the others. I wanted to accurately capture what annoying high school kids sound like when they’re on the streetcar, and that required a lot of swearing. Not sure how much I like it, but I’ve not yet been so blatant so I’d thought I’d give it a try.
I got on the streetcar to go home. I like the streetcar, because it’s red. And it goes fast. I can watch the people go by and it reminds me of being on the train. I like the subway too, but it doesn’t go outside, so I can’t see the people. I don’t like that as much, and the noise hurts my ears.
My ear hurts a lot today, but Mom will get me my medicine. She’ll tuck me in bed and turn on wrestling before she goes to the store. I like wrestling because the wrestlers are strong. I want to be strong too, like them, when I grow up.
I’m thirty-four years old. Thirty. Four. That’s more than I can count on my hands, but I’ll grow up soon. Then I’ll be as strong as the Hulk. I don’t like the modern wrestlers as much as the older ones. Michael Cena was mean for no reason, and the Rock is too loud. The Rock talks a lot but he doesn’t wrestle as much as he used to. He would get more respect if he threw down more, the announcer says, and I agree. “You have to earn it” is what my Dad used to say. According to my Mom.
I like the Hulk because he’s tough and American. Mom and me aren’t American, but Hulk likes it so much we pretend to be whenever we watch tapes of him wrestling. I salute when they wave the American flag, but sometimes Mom tells me not to.
The streetcar rattles on the street and the bell went ding. I giggle, because I like the bell. It sounds happy, even when the driver doesn’t look happy. We rolled near West Park school. I went to Earl Haig. I didn’t like that name because “Haig” is hard for me to say. I like saying Earl though.
Earl. It sounds like “ear”, but it isn’t. Earl.
A bunch of kids get on, but not nice kids like I like. I like small kids, because they smile a lot and sometimes they like to play. I like playing, especially with small kids. We can both smile and laugh and run and have fun, but my heart isn’t very strong and I get tired quickly. But big kids can be loud and sharp. I don’t want them to be loud right now.
“Hey dude. DUDE. Check it. Text Brenna, is she coming?”
“Shut up faggot. I’m doing it.”
“Fuck you dude. Just check if she’s coming, ok?”
The first kid is wearing a baseball hat. It’s the New York Yankees. I don’t like them because they can’t hit the ball for less than 2 million dollars, Mom says. They are only a little better than the Blue Jays, but they are just rich and buy expensive players. Also, the batting average of their hitters and Ayala’s WHIP isn’t very good, but they still made it into the finals and everyone said how good they were. The Jays had good stats too. Except for wins, but Mom says “heart matters too”.
“You guys! We forgot Cindy!” One of the girls yells. I cringe and cover my ear. It hurts.
“Fuck Cindy. She’s just a little bitch. She’s probably fucking Mark.”
“What! You’re such a dick, Tom! She wouldn’t do that!”
The girl yells again. I try and look out the window and hope it doesn’t hurt anymore. They just get louder and louder. The girl is mad at the kid in the Yankees hat. The other one is tall and looks like he wants to fall down. The streetcar dings, but this time it just hurts my head.
“Just because she wouldn’t go out with you last week doesn’t mean you have to be a dick, Tom!” The girl yells, and punches him. She’s wearing sweatpants. So am I! I like sweatpants, but my head hurts too much to think about it.
“Wait, shut up. I just got a text.”
“From who?” Asked the taller boy. He looked scared. So did I.
“Brenna. She says she isn’t going.”
“Shit. Lemme see your phone.” The taller boy grabbed for it. The other boy tried to hide it from them and they wrestled in the seat. My ear really started to hurt and I hoped they would stop. I hoped they would stop and get off the streetcar so I could enjoy the dings and my ear wouldn’t hurt and my head wouldn’t hurt and my heart wouldn’t pound in my chest.
“Loud.” I said, but to myself.
The small boy dropped the phone and it fell near my feet. I closed my eyes and hoped they would go away. Mom would sometimes go into her room and tell me to be quiet. She said she was “praying”, but she would cry sometimes. I was close to crying too. Maybe I was praying too.
“You fucking asshole! You dropped my phone! If that shit is broken, I’m going to rape you!”
“Shut up, dude. I got it.” But the tall boy sounded nervous. I hoped it wasn’t broken so that he wouldn’t be more mad. I didn’t want him to be more mad. I wanted to be home soon.
I was three stops away. I felt the tall boy scrabble at my feet for the phone.
“I got it. It’s fine. Take it.”
“Dude, give it back. What if the retard got it? He’d probably try to eat it or something.” Said Yankee-boy. I stiffened. He used a bad word.
“Shut up, Tom. He can hear you.” The tall boy said.
“I don’t care. He’s a retard. A TARD.” He yelled that a little louder. I kept my eyes closed. Two more stops.
“He might use his retard strength!” The girl cackled like a witch. One more stop.
“Just shut up you guys.” Said the tall boy. “Did Brenna say why she wasn’t going? I don’t know if I want to go now.”
“Dude, just come! Brenna can suck your dick next week.” The tall boy hit Yankee-boy. “What the fuck, man?”
“Shut up you asshole!”
It was my stop. I rung the bell and when the doors opened, I ran off the streetcar as fast as I could. My heart was pounding a lot and my ear was pounding a lot, but it was better now. The cars and trucks were loud, but it was a better kind of loud. It wasn’t as sharp.
I felt a little better when I got closer to home. A few firetrucks screamed by, but I waved as they went. Firemen were our friends who help us when we’re hurt, Mom said, and we should always thank our friends.
It was only a little closer to my building now, when I saw the ambulance. It was parked outside the loop where the cars park and Mr. Afiz always leaves his car running and makes the landlord mad. His car wasn’t there. Instead, there were lots of firetrucks and firemen walking around. A policeman was talking with an ambulance-man. They looked unhappy. Mr. Thorpe was there. He was my landlord, and I liked him. He looked unhappy too.
“There. That’s him. His name is John.” Mr. Thorpe pointed at me. I waved at him and tried to smile. It wasn’t much of a smile, but Mom told me always to smile when we could. It would make us happy. I hurt and was tired and wanted my medicine and to see the Hulk beat Andre the Giant again. I wanted to be happy again.
The policeman walked over. He was tall and old, with a big mustache and a big gun. “Hi John, my name is Officer Randall. Are you John Gerret?”
“Yes, Mr. Officer Randall.” I said. I stuck out my hand. “I’m very pleased to meet you.”
He shook it and looked at me with a smile that was very sad. “I’m awfully sorry to tell you this, but something bad happened to your mother. Very bad.” He paused for a second and his smile disappeared. I kept smiling. I wanted to be happy.
“She’s dead, John. She slipped and fell, and she couldn’t call anyone for help until it was too late. I’m…real sorry about it. Really sorry”
I kept smiling. I wanted to be happy. But it wasn’t working.