Chapter 15

Two Kinds of People

Despite what Sammie had said, life had been better when I’d been the most invisible kid in high school. I felt too miserable to do anything but write. I had journaled since Mother paid three dollars for the portable Remington a couple of years ago at a garage sale, and today I just wanted to sit at the typewriter and pour out everything that had happened at school. 

“Chickenshit.” Biggy slapped the back of my head. 

The machine made so much noise, I hadn’t heard him come into our room. “I’m not going to fight you.”

“Because you’re a chickenshit.” Biggy flicked off an imaginary chip off my shoulder. “You just stood there and let Pickle kick you.”

So, you watched. And did nothing? There were three of them.

“You know, there are two kinds of people. People who won’t fight, like you . . . ”

“And assholes, like you, who divide the world into kinds of people. Fighting is wrong. Martin Luther King says we have to end the cycle of hatred and violence.’”

“Yeah, well, you know what Martin Luther King is, and your girlfriend is just as black as his ass.” 

My brother’s two years older, but he isn’t two years smarter. Mother always wondered why I don’t like Biggy. Before he was born, the Nazis had brainwashed him with Hitler Youth propaganda.

“Not a smart move, Einstein. Everyone says you’re never gonna get a white girlfriend now.” He patted both my cheeks, as if he were slapping sense into me.

“I’m not going to fight you,” I insisted.

“Then I’m gonna keep slapping you. LOOK! I’m the man of this house, and I’m telling you, you have to fight. Hell, since you’re too queer to do it yourself, I’m gonna to screw your other girlfriend. Will you fight me then?”


“That little blonde from the wrong side of Eleventh Street. She’ll do it with anybody who’s got a car.”

“Shut up. She’s not like that.” I hope.

“I gave her a ride last Saturday. She was walking home from the Junior-Senior Banquet. She asked if I was Cutie’s brother. She knew I had a red Honda Super 90. She loves my Mustang.”

“Please. Leave her alone.”

“Awww! Are you begging?”

“Wendy will find out.”

“You threatening me? Besides, we broke up.”

Yeah, she told me. “Nobody really gets away with anything. Everyone eventually finds out what you hide.”

“You tell Wendy and I’ll kick your ass.”

“Wendy’ll kick yours. And Scooter Andersen will yank your face off.”

“Phwt! He fights girls.” He grabbed my hair.

“Let go, damn it.”

“Com’on. I’ll teach you how to fight. Fight me, puss.” 

I shook my head.

“Then I’ll buttface you until you do.” He tossed me onto the bed and splatted onto my mouth and nose. 

It was as if a thousand-pound bull were riding my face. I couldn’t lift him off. I twisted and kicked my legs in panic. “I can’t breathe!”

“Then hit me!” He was an immovable object. 

I pounded his thighs and back.

He shifted his weight and allowed me to wrench out from under him. “See what happens when you fight for yourself? Gotta go to work. See ya.”

Now would be an excellent time to kill myself.

Published by garybob309yahoocom

Gary Robert Pinnell is a career journalist who retired in 2017. He has written a novel, To Daddy, Who I Never Loved, about 1967, when he ran away from Duncan, Oklahoma, hitchhiked to California, and lived in a communal restaurant in Palo Alto until he found his father. He is now working on The Women of Oklahoma!, a true story of the behind-the-stage women who helped make the history with the 1943 musical.

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