This is where I'm at, right now. 8th grade. Fucking like a rabbit. Chicks throwing themselves at me like I was a rock star. Discovering pot. 1968. 13 years old. Got fired from my first job for fucking on the 'period couch' in the women's bathroom. Got turned in by the jealous daughter whose dad was in charge of the kitchen, where I was absolute King of the Dishwasher.
Here's a complete copy of Hush, that puts in the wolf calls from the beginning of the track.
This is the time period of the Ziggurat, first edition, and where I begin to become me. I got kicked out of church school for punching a teacher in the head, and knocking him into a heap, over the ornamental hedge, onto the lawn.
For my sins, I was sent to public school, where I was beaten by a group of hoodlums every day, 'new fish', dontcha know. Well for a week or two, until I got tired of it, and spent a weekend learning karate techniques from a Bruce Tegner book, and went to the shoe store, and bought a pair of pointy-toed cowboy boots, and went back to school Monday, and began to shatter shins and kneecaps as best I could. I still got my ass whipped, but I did a lot of damage. Hey, you get surrounded by twenty teenage boys...report back to me how well you did.
One day, the girl I had been fired for fucking's Senior boyfriend showed up with his gang around my locker. I thought I was dead. These guys were giants. Freshmen would throw themselves over the hedges to get out of the way of these guys. They would beat you, and then put the boots to you, and kick pieces off of you. Worst beat down I ever saw was when a teacher got between one of these JDAM's and his victim. He beat the man to his knees, and then kicked him in the face, and his chin flew off and away like a bloody hockey puck.
They all got sentenced to Viet Nam eventually, and died there, or came back so shot up they couldn't feed themselves, but today, I was staring at my death down the barrel.
"Bane, I hear some little assholes have been fucking with you...I like your style...take us to them."
And, lo and behold, the ringleader of my tormentors appeared upon the scene, and came at me like a guided missile. I just pointed at him.
Years later, I took my own children to my old high school, and showed them my locker, still with the head dent in the center of it. That fucking giant grabbed that asshole by the back of his pants with one hand, bunched his hair in his other hand, and slammed his head into that locker. Once. And dropped him on his face like a wet sack of shit, turned to me, and said "Let's go..."
They spent the entire morning squiring me around, hunting down my tormentors. Sometimes they beat them like a gunny sack of tomatoes. But I got to fight all of the big ones, one on one. One guy, as big as any of them, they tracked down in a restroom, and the leader (gosh, I wish I could remember his name) told me "slap him." I said 'huh?' and he gave me that 'you fucking heard me' look, plus, the asshole had it coming, so, while he was blubbering and crying, I slapped him all around the place, and then the Seniors upended him in a toilet. There may have been some pissing.
I learned everything I know now, on that day. Somebody fucks with you, hurt them, and terrify them so badly, that they never even think about doing it again.
I know I've written about this before, here, but I'd like to imagine I've done a better job this time. Anyway...
An interesting (to me) denouement to this tale...well, it still needs a preface...
Many of these people from my Freshman year attempted to kill me, here and there. Bullets would spack into walls, and engines would rev away. They knew me, and did their best, and scampered away. I'm lucky to be alive, because all of them were hunters, only they got nervous, and thought about it. I left the state, ahead of both my ex, and a bullet from any number of people who had made my acquaintance. Over time.
One day, I came back. Life conspired, and brought me back, even though I didn't live in that town, I had remarried my ex, and had kids. So, I went up the mountain to my favorite bar, and lo and behold, my favorite bartender still worked there. I ordered, and settled into the contentment that being in an old haunt brings.
I have no idea how they knew I was there. But the main door opened, and a look into the mirror showed me my two worst enemies, ever. Coming towards me. I had been driving around town, before I stopped here, but...
I slipped my .45 from my belt, and prepared to kill them. Shit, now I know I've written about this before. Deja vu all over again. Oh well.
They kept their hands out, and empty, one of them took a bar stool to my left, and the other went to go behind me and bracketed me. I was comfortable with that. Just push your stool over with one hand, and fire as you fall. Shoot the gun empty, and reload.
The guy whose skull would fit the dent in my locker like it was custom made just for him, spoke: " Man, we have families, and we don't want any trouble. We're sorry, that shit was a long time ago..."
I brought my .45 out, snapped the safety on, and laid it in my lap, cocked, and locked. There was not much eye buggage. Not much. I had a reputation, of a sort.
"Buy me a fuckin drink, and we'll forget all this..."
They did. They lived. No one moved quickly. Nobody died.