Motto: See no evil
Hear no evil
Speak no evil
“You think people will eat you alive, boy, but they can’t hurt you unless you let them.”
My dead granddad speaks to me while I sprint through the empty park. I really don’t need his crap today. I'm already worried sick, cause this morning I noticed my shirt collar was emerald green. Green! I was scared shitless, absolutely convinced I got attacked by a mutated fungus that’ll end up clotting my retina and I’d go blind. I’d have to get that stupid white stick and a dog. I hate dogs.
I remember him standing on that bench, the very image of respectable old age, shouting wrong directions whenever some poor blind dude happened to pass nearby. And then he’d smack me on the back and laugh with this infectious evil cackle that made me feel like I was part of his dumb jokes. He had this theory that masturbation leads to blindness, but only if you do it the wrong way. "You gotta rub it clockwise, boy!" And he'd be pestering me with it to this day if he hadn't started demonstrating his theory to some kids on a bench while yelling at the passing pigeons.
“Whattaya lookin’ at, stupid birds? I’m teaching the young.”
I always wondered about those pigeons, they seem to be less and less every day. Maybe they were afraid, like I was and so they kept on flying. Only natural, everyone runs from that moment when every organ fails and you’re nothing but a puppet, handed from hand to hand, cause no one wants to ruin his perfect little existence with the living reminder that there’s an end to it all and that end isn’t pretty.
“I didn’t let them get me, boy!” He had shouted at me before jumping in front of that car getting away from the white men that had come to take him.
“There’s no point in running, boy!” he said. “Not even after women. There’s always one waiting around the corner.”
I bet you’re thinking I’m running from the old man, but that’s not true, cause he’s dead and I’m not crazy. Nah, I’m running with a purpose and I don’t care what he says about it, so I cover my ears but it isn’t working.
“You run like a duck, boy. You waddle.”
He doesn’t understand; I have to run as fast as I can to get away from that steroid enhanced guy behind me. I have a pretty good head start and if I keep the rhythm, I may just be able to lose him through the narrow back-alleys. Cause I bet his fist would hurt. I can feel it hitting me dead in the nose, the bullet-like pain traveling through my nerves – “Gotcha, boy, gotcha!” – drilling deep into my brain, making me lose balance and slam my head into the filthy wall. Man, the old geezer would laugh himself silly for sure.
“For fuck’s sake, stop it already!” I turn my head and stick my tongue out. His white coat is flapping around him. Look who’s running like a duck! And then he’s the one who stops, panting. Way behind me.
And then I’m on the main street.
“Screw you, I’m not a loser.” I yell back laughing, right before bumping into an old paper-skinned lady. What’s she doing in my way? And why is she hitting me with her huge bag? What is it with people today?
“Stupid crackhead, you want my purse, is that it?” Bam, she hits me over the right ear and then the left. Who knew she had it in her? Skinny little thing barely reaches my elbow. Whatdayaknow, she was waiting around the corner.
“Sorry, lady!” I stammer politely.
“Don’t lady me, I saw you running from that man.” Her words come through a shrilling blur. I think I’m bleeding from my ears, since her bag is changing color with each slap. I’m out of options.
“If you want a woman, you gotta act like a man, boy!” So I kiss her, a passionate kiss on her painted lips, bending her backward like a genuine Valentino. I even slip her the tongue by mistake.
Next I know, I’m curving in a ball in midair, falling on the sidewalk and the pain, ohmygodthathurtssobadlyIneverknewitcouldbesobad. It hurts so badly, I can’t even moan so I’m gasping, choking on my own saliva.
And she keeps striking, this time with her high heels straight into my ankles. OhmygodImagonnafaintthepain, THE PAIN!
So I just lay there, half unconscious, the old man’s evil cackle swirling in my ears, and I ponder whether his queer theory is correct, as for a second there I saw only blackness and I was almost sure the fungus had gotten me. I don’t even try to get up, I assume the pain is big enough for me to simply bleed on the pavement. I suppose the crazy old lady’s still hitting me.
“Lady, stop beating up that poor boy.”
A rescuer, who would have thought?
“He tried to steal my purse. What did he do to you, I saw you running after him.”
“Leave him be, the poor fellow.”
Is that my granddad speaking? Nah. “The granny pounded you good, boy.” He’d snort.
“Stand still, I’ll take care of you”, says the white steroid guy. “Are you hurt bad?”
Of course I’m hurt, you stupid guy!
I try to summon the old man’s cackle and spit some sort of laughter through my broken teeth. Come one, bastard, help me, come on, I have to say something, he wants to take me back, but I see nothing, I hear nothing, I feel nothing, where’s the pain?
“Is he mad, why is he laughing?” says the lady.
Why not? The old man was right; I want to tell them that.
But I can’t run anymore, so I let them have their way with me. Sometimes I wish I were a pigeon.