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At 10 years old, he was more eloquent than his parents’ friends. They would say, “God, how eloquent! How well informed!” But he was just repeating what he read in Newsweek. And look, now, what it’s all come to.

***

Sympathy and schadenfreude for the ex-teenage savant. They get what they deserve, these next Einsteins and Beethovens. But that can’t be right.

***

His parents wanted him socialized, and socialized in a way that they could understand. They would not send him to a school that served quiche, for they said, rightly, that there was no way that their son would eat quiche for lunch.

***

One morning, when his grandmother was staying to keep an eye on him, he vomited into a bucket in the basement, a bucket that his best friend (who had slept over the night before) had already vomited into. His grandmother had to smell it on them: the mingled puke, the Canadian Club. But she never said a word as she served them pancakes and bacon.

***

They gave intelligence tests at his school. When he asked them what it might mean that he had attained what was listed as the “maximum score” they changed the subject. Earlier that day he had put away the folding chairs and folding tables from Bingo the night before, and still smelled of the lingering smoke during the meeting about his scores on the test.

***

Once he blew a no-hitter (albeit against a black school, a Newark school) with two outs in the seventh inning. His future wife didn’t understand why he was so upset. Someone had finally hit the slider.

***

He recently described himself to someone as “too eloquent for [his] own good.” And then wanted to explain, in detail, just what he meant.

***

He would make his friend lose track meets. They would drink and he would lose, come in tenth or eleventh. He keeps people late; that is another one of his skills.

***

One of the things that he is most ashamed of is breaking a beer bottle in a children’s playground. He wonders if toddlers ended up with glass in their hands and feet. His friends shook their heads, and one told her parents. It was graduation and they were bound for different high schools in the fall.

***

Eloquence can be harnessed into lying, but not without loss of consonance on other occasions.

***

Years later, someone (just back from Iraq, Marine infantry) told him that he had fingerfucked Liz in the backseat of a car. There were only seventeen kids in his graduating class. It was a dying Catholic primary school, at least back then.

***

Fantasies of return. But he’d only give his little speech and then go home. No one would stay after to talk.

***

The only way he could imagine himself on television is making a grand apology for a grand sin.

***

Even now, his grandmother defers to him. She knows his type, and keeps her distance, conversationally. She also fixed his coat with needle and thread. The pockets, the buttons…

***

At confession, rather than admitting to masturbation, he would tell the priest that he said mean things to his mother. Which was a lie.

***

The cats miss him. They purr and fleece against him when he comes around.

***

Depending on the specific circumstances, rationalization of his behavior can take up almost all of his mental energy. Nothing, or almost nothing, left for work or care.

***

On a Florida highway, on the first day of a new decade, his father apologized to him for how he brought him up. “I always wanted you to be the best, at everything, but I did it wrong. I know that now.”

***

Just now, while smoking outside, he decided he would write “Last night while smoking he saw a fox on the street and thought ‘I am hungrier and faster than him.'” But as he finished the thought about what he would write, a fox ambled by, perhaps the same, but definitely fatter and slower than the night before.

Written by adswithoutproducts

January 12, 2010 at 3:56 am

3 Responses

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  1. Not sure what’s wrong with eating quiche for lunch. Pretty questionable value judgement there. Just what is an acceptable meal for lunch then?

    DavidAA

    January 12, 2010 at 9:49 am

    • Ask his parents.

      adswithoutproducts

      January 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

  2. “Every time you wank, boy, you commit an insult against your dear mother. Do you understand? Stop insulting your mother and your life will be blessed eternally.”

    DavidAA

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm


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