MONDAY — Today was a day off from working, and from zining. Slept late. Ate greasy food. Walked around the block. Took a nap. Ate more greasy food. Typed this, and now it's bedtime. Good night.

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TUESDAY — What with my move to Berkeley and Sarah-Katherine's visit, I'm just starting to read through the June issue of the zine, editing out the more pointless parts (it's all pointless, so it's hard choosing), making up phony names to put real people behind, inserting punctuation, and so on. It's plain it's going to be plain, a lousy and uninteresting issue, but that's happened before and never yet slowed me down.

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A guy with forearms like Popeye and tattoos on his tattoos walked past the fish stand. He looked like a thoroughbred Marine, and he had his little son with him, maybe six or seven years old. They stopped right in front of the fish stand, but didn't look at the fish. The kid was clearly distressed about something, holding back tears. What he was distressed about, I don't know.

"What did I tell you about crying?" said Daddy, in a voice too severe for Berkeley. Too severe for anyone to speak to a child that's loved.

"Big boys don't cry," the little boy sniffled.

This pissed me off, and I wanted to say something, but I come from a long line of cowards so I hesitated. I don't know anything about raising children, but I can guess how to do it wrong, and this was so wrong.

Then I calculated things. It was a sunny day, so all the vendors were out, and tables were lined up tight against each other. That big spinach-eating ape would nave to topple my table or crawl under it to get me, so I decided to be brave and stupid.

"Hey, kid," I said softly, loud enough for the kid but I was hoping not loud enough for his asshole father to hear. The little guy looked up at me, eyes red, and I said, "Big boys do cry. Men cry. Everybody cries, and it's OK to cry."

The kid looked at me for only a moment, then looked down at the ground, so I don't know if my words got through to him. Probably not. Something got through to his father, though. He took the kid's hand and marched away without saying anything. Last thing I heard was his son hollering, "You're holding my hand too tight, Daddy, it hurts!"

Dumbshit Doug. I shouldn't have said anything.

From Pathetic Life #14
Monday & Tuesday, July 24-25, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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