Christina, the ungrateful
“You fucking whore,” Carrie said to Christina. Christina was an ex-girlfriend who burned me not once but twice, humiliating me in front of my middle school posse. I wasn’t quite 13, and was still looking to win Christina’s approval. And here was Carrie, this mall rat gangsta bitch, moments away from beating her to a pulp for kissing her boyfriend, Squirrel. I should have let nature take its course, but I’m terminally stupid and stuck on women who are beyond my reach. So I stepped in front of this wily 15-year-old.
Why is it that women get so much bigger so much faster? I barely came up to Carrie’s chest and she scared the living shit out of me. Confronting people who have nothing to lose is always ill advised; it’s way worse when they’re teenagers with thug friends who sell acid and PCP.
“Leave her alone,” I said, trying my best to be brave. Inside I was shaking, but, for whatever reason, my voice and hands remained steady. It’s a rare trait, I’ve heard, and it’s gotten me through a number of ugly interrogations throughout the years.
“Oh, you wanna go?” Carrie said, incredulously. One of her teeth was black already. All that crystal meth. And of course I didn’t want to go. But this was my chance to show what I was made of to Christina, the girl who made all of us boys feel so under-aged, who had double D breasts, who dated older dudes, who snorted cocaine in high school bathrooms and was allowed into downtown bars.
“Bring it, skank,” I said.
What followed was horrible and embarrassing. Not only did she knee me in the balls twice, she also nailed me with an uppercut, splitting open my lip. Then she dragged me all over the Bagel Depot parking lot, tearing clumps of my fashionably Kurt Cobain haircut from my skull. When the business owner, Mr. Katz, wrenched that crazed banshee from my wounded and feeble body, I just stood there stunned. Christina looked at me with a look I’d never seen before but would see many times thereafter – shame, pride and astonishment.
“What the fuck was that?” Christina asked me 10 years later, when I ran into her at a Greyhound bus station. She never did say thank you for my efforts.
Having years to think of a comeback, I said, “Sometimes you gotta stand in front of tanks, despite all the rest.” Even that night, Christina went home with some doofus with a whispy beard at that lame co-op in Berkeley called Casa Zimbabwe. I should have let Carrie pound her into the dirt.
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