Time for your pills, Andy, Part 9
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“What the fuck is wrong with you,” said Tony fairly calmly as he drove me home from the police station Monday morning.
It wasn’t even a rhetorical question. Or even a statement really. Just him venting I suppose. Maybe he was right. Something the fuck probably was wrong with me.
I flashed back to the age of 14. Riding in the passenger seat of my dad’s SUV as he mutters, “What the fuck is wrong with you.”
I had been arrested for spray painting a mural on the alley-side brick wall of a grocery store. Charged with vandalism and so on.
“It was art, asshole,” I responded.
“Painting anarchist shit is not art.”
My friends, who had run when they heard the sirens, had painted a 12-foot anarchist symbol. I painted this kickass mural around it demonstrating elements of utopia. As the sirens got closer and closer, I painted quicker determined to finish my work. I knew I’d get arrested and the next day they’d paint over the wall. Didn’t matter.
Naturally, all they saw was the anarchist symbol. Maybe I’ll make the local news, I had thought.
Upon arriving home, my face fought a battle with my father’s strong fist.
It was 8 a.m. on a Monday morning and Tony was driving me home from a police station. I guess very little was right about that. I shouldn’t have even been alive after the accident.
I remained silent.
“Fucking talk,” he said. Tony hardly ever yelled. I think he was too damn arrogant to yell. He acted as though he shouldn’t be wasting his phenomenal, powerful vocal cords on your pathetic ass.
We then arrived at my house. He pulled over. I got out. I said, “I’m sorry. Thanks for picking me up.”
He said. Nothing. He drove off in his stupid SUV. I then sat on the front steps of my house smoking a cigarette in my blood-stained cargo pants and ripped t-shirt for hours. I think.
As I traced the cracks in the sidewalk with my eyes I smelled her scent. A mixture of pot and this orange body splash. Kate.
“I just came to see if you were alive,” she said. “That’s all”
“Here I fucking am.”
“I’m going away for a while Andy. I need to get away from all this shit. These fucked up little parties and our fucked up little friends. And us. And, nothing makes sense anymore. You need to pick up things. You need to fix all this shit. So, goodbye.”
She had rehearsed this on the drive over, however, she spit out these words hesitating every once in a while, waiting for me to jump in. But I had nothing to say.
“Bye Kate. I’m sorry,” I muttered.
“It doesn’t matter. I hate you for fucking up my life.”
I looked up from the sidewalk cracks and she had vanished.
Kate had an unsatisfactory family life. We all did in my little circle of friends.
Marty’s dad did coke. Tony’s dad is in jail. Jim’s mom was hooked on vicadin. Josh’s mom’s various boyfriends beat the shit out of him. The sad list goes on. God bless fucking suburbia.
Kate was brilliant. I’ve already explained this some. She was the smart one, the one that kept us all on track and out of trouble for the most part. She got good grades, but she knew that grades didn’t matter. She was down to earth. She was warm and beautiful and perfect at times.
Her mom had died of breast cancer when she was seven. Her dad, an alcoholic, was left with Kate and had no clue what to do with a seven-year-old girl. He sent Kate off to live with her grandmother who then died a few years later. As Kate’s Dad was living in a rehab clinic at the time, Kate then moved in with her aunt who possessed no desire to raise a child. Despite her numerous attempts to go live with her Dad, Kate was stuck at her aunt’s “for her own good”. And that’s where she lives now.
So how did Kate maintain such a great personality despite all this shit? I once asked her.
Her response: “I could blame so many people for a lot of things in my life, but what’s the point? Ultimately, I guess it’s made me pretty strong and grateful for what I do have. Andy, go to the housing projects 40 minutes away in the city, go to lower Wacker Drive and see the homeless, go to a battered women’s shelter. There’s plenty of people with far more fucked up lives than us. So why remain pissed about ours? Just try to fix it. Move on. And live.”
Ame Rainey hopes Ben Brown feels better! For the entire text of Andy visit the <a href="http://www.amerainey.com/documents/do.cgi/20020921">Andy</A> page of amerainey.com.