Blood and Guts in High School, the Neighborhood, My Country, and the World

Jose Padua, early to mid 70s
Somehow I kept forgetting how my
high school friend sitting behind me
in the back while I rode shotgun in
my other friend’s car thought it would
be funny to take a length of rope that
was on the floor next to him then reach up
with it, throw it around my neck, and pull
like in that scene in the Godfather when
Luca Brasi meets his early end. Maybe
he was mad that I was up front and he
wasn’t, maybe he was mad I got into school
on a scholarship and he didn’t, and he was
the guy who out of the blue one afternoon
said there was nothing I could ever do that
would make me “look like a human being.”
So I reached around behind me, grabbed
his arm and yanked it, pushed the rope
away from my neck and said “what the
fuck is wrong with you?” because I was
young and wanted to think the best of
people and things and still trusted any-
one my school, my neighborhood, my
country, and the world said was my friend.

-Jose Padua

4 responses to “Blood and Guts in High School, the Neighborhood, My Country, and the World

  1. makes me consider how I might have treated my high school “friends”

    • shenandoahbreakdown

      for me, there were friends, “friends,” and then those kids who openly ridiculed my Tourette’s ticks who were definitely not even “friends”!

      • I’d long forgotten you have TS. You do a good job of keeping your comorbids from spoiling your life… something I need to work on.

      • shenandoahbreakdown

        I try to look at them as something that’s helped keep me and my life from being boring (well, on a good day I can do that!)

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