Gobble Dee Boop

John was rough. Some nights he picked fights. Others, he smashed a glass bottle against his neighbors wall shouting ‘fuck’ at the top of his lungs. One time he smashed a bottle against a man’s head and hurt him real bad. The man bled out of the top of his head like a volcano- got driven to the hospital and stitched up, and that was that. John never apologized. He said, apologies never stick. I went with him to the baseball game one night, and we sat in the nose bleeds. The crowd was quiet. It was 0-1 us at the bottom of the sixth, and I heard the peanut vendor behind me give a good yell to a man sitting by himself. The man looked beaten up, like a bum. He wore a marlins cap, and we didn’t even play the marlins. He chucked a dollar at the vendor and gestured for his peanut bag. All around us were empty seats. I wanted to ask him if he wanted to sit with us, but I knew that would make John upset. John didn’t like many people, except for a few. He liked me, and Jenny, but that was it. Jenny was his girlfriend. She had dark brown hair and really pretty eyes, like looking at a tiger or a hyena or something. She worked at the mini mart down the street. People liked her, especially John. They were probably gonna get married. I couldn’t say for sure, but something told me that John was in some deep trouble. The past few nights he wasn’t his normal self. He just sat there fidgeting, while we watched tv and joked around. Sometimes Jenny would look over but he just sat there staring off into outer space. I wonder what he was thinking about. Probably nothing at all. John was good at figuring people out, but he wasn’t some genius or something. I said good night to John and drove Jenny home. The car was freezing cold when we got in, outside it was 40 or so. There was frost on the windshield, and Jennys breath turned snow white when she coughed. I wanted to ask her about John, but it was too cold and I was too tired. Jenny lived with her folks in a condo by the park. Her room had a view of the playground. I stayed there one night, after she threw a party when her folks left for hawaii. John didn’t go. That was back when they didn’t always get along that well, and John was always getting jealous of her other guy friends. Not me, because I’m too young. But Jenny was always popular with the opposite sex. John just stayed in his room punching his bag those nights. I pulled up to the door and let her out. she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said see you later. She didn’t usually kiss me on the cheek. She seemed awfully cheerful lately, even with John an all. The school year was coming to an end. Jenny didn’t have any college plans. Neither did John. They were probably just gonna stick around like everyone else in town except for maybe two people who made it into state.


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