Being re-born from mortem was amazing and for some small reason I could never put my finger on, seemed to happen annually. I’d waded in new waters it was as scary as it was fascinating since I walked. When that paint matched it could only be interpreted as a sign from god. I’d run a candy business already I’d been a small side bookie in the fall, dealing football cards and like my dad understood math. I almost couldn’t to be angry with my parents that long first night under that hot lamp. I knew if the roles were reversed and the odds were calculated verbatim I wouldn’t have believed me. No fucking way. I’d of said paint just doesn’t “match” like that, I’d of said, there are a thousand “reds” out there bunky, don’t give me that crap, how dumb can you possibly be?
But it wasn’t me and they’d gone all in, the police. I’d been exonerated by the very hippies I’d curse in raps. Back then I was a young republican. I’d even joined the Young Republicans club my friend Damon Schmidt started. They bloodied the statue of the man that captained the American rebels and led our nation into the first battle of our American revolution. Kuwait oil and British taxes back in the 1700’s had more in common historically then I possibly could’ve processed back then at fourteen years of age.
And they made their point, and the panic left my throat. I concluded the quickest way to get national TV attention was to vandalize a national treasure. It brought more attention more eyes more looks more faces, scowls, noses blighted, lifted everyone had in opinion about me, and I loved it the attention made me not feel alone.
I don’t wanna cry
The fact it went away so authoritative and frank unwound any lingering anger, I was born again, again. It’s great. Silver linings always it brought me closer to god 2 Jesus. It’s whom my mother taught me to pray to. He’d helped her at her scariest moments, I was happy to hear that.
She’d always prayed and told me she never stopped believing and that’s why she thought she and to a lesser degree, me were never allowed to fall, off the cliff and just die. Naturally it’s whom I begged for help underneath that lawnmower. And during my intensive care stay my church and town prayed, in large numbers, for my life 4 my arm.
Academia: Nearing the end of my freshman high school campaign and I was crawling to the finish line. All of us except Wells were under a 2.0 GPA going from party to panic back and forth high action. It had begun to wear on me and school this time of the year is when I usually threw in the towel. “Fail me please I can’t rally out of it anyway. I’m chilling.” I’d tell myself as a dirty smile enveloped my face not believing that grades like this might have mattered.
Incident #8 1 week after Red Paint
So after school on this particular day I walked home down the bike path with Jay, B-Dawg and Neil whom were all involved in a highly competitive wiffle ball league I’d recently created. We talked shit kept stats loved the game of wiffle ball in a backyard that touted our very own green monster. All walks down bike paths together these days were now celebrations of our high-ranking status in our big gang now in its sixth month, UNLV. We were the runnen rebels of Astori and the fact that UNLV by now had become the trendiest inner city gang name in all of America made being on the right side of the race card all the more rewarding. At that time it was impossible to see who’d take the suspension title, go to real jail, get a PHD or write a book. All’s we knew is that we’d been forcing it lately incidentally our passion.
Wiffle ball was a big part of my life and camouflaged the fact I should’ve been playing baseball for the freshmen team with Santo, Scully and Wells instead of running now with these fools. I kept detailed statistics on our back yard games that I entered religiously into my word processor. My back yard was perfect for Wiffle ball and since I started the league and lived off the high school’s bike path, it’s where we played. The backyard had a fifteen-foot high green hedge that insulated our field. Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Yaz and now me, left field, the hedge. It’s what we used to determine home runs. The yard also was equipped with a sprawling new deck that easily sat seven loungen peeps. There was once a massive weeping willow tree in the yard that obstructed everything. It also covered a detestable screened in porch that should have been repossessed in good taste many moons since past. Thankfully that porch had met its death a year earlier in the midst of slight hurricane.
I can remember that glorious day like it was now. A massive weeping willow was badly damaged in a hurricane and we all decided it was a good idea to cut it down. So Brooke’s twenty two year old boyfriend came over to anchor the operation at his fourteen year old girlfriends house. He even floated me the end cut. It was to be the final chop and I fired a bullet hack into the center seam of the sap. Stepping back I watched this tired legend meet her fate as it reminded me of the super cruiser going down in Jedi. Titling to one side a little more momentum and then as soon as it makes that undeniable piercing creek, she’s cracked herself in two. And in two seconds she would rise no more. That morning my mother filed an insurance claim. Two months later we had the ultimate in high tech, spacious outdoor decking. For us four high caliber and marketable youths playing wiffle ball against this backdrop of seasoned allure with a Fenway theme was indeed a privilege.
Walking to Wiffle ball, bubbling with a surface tension of unrest a very pretty upper class blonde headed, long legged jogged towards us in long, tight spandex. Immediately I checked to see if they were Adidas. Neil looked angry, hitting Jay he screamed “dude look! That’s the bitch from Lexpress yesterday.” I knew the tone out of Neil and loved it, I didn’t know the day before they had been kicked off the Lexpress. And I’m sure as she jogged towards us she rolled her eyes and said in her head, “great freshmen delinquents, please Jesus let them be slightly mature.” But that wasn’t going to happen, We’d been out of school approximately four and a half minutes before the shit hit the fan. Our nature walks had gotten to a point where it wasn’t enjoyable unless someone did something crazy. Like when kids can’t enjoy a happy hour without cocaine it had become a problem. And it happened in a millisecond, “watch this.” And as we parted the sea, which was the center of the bike path Neil reached back violating her vag as she past and suddenly there was a scene. She collapsed. Neil ran, Jay ran, B-Dawg waited for me as I froze. “No!” She was screaming. “Dude, let’s go.” But I couldn’t. “Get away from me!” She screamed, “Look I didn’t know, look I’m sorry, are you OK? Are you OK?”
“Get away fro me!” She emphatically roared. And just then I noticed a pack of after school kids coming up our Lincoln Field rear on the bike path, they were a year older the same kids that got me kicked off the soccer team when I was in the 7th grade. The type of kids that weren’t strong enough to challenge me but would join the collation of the willing the moment it presented itself. I turned left, and I turned back around and looked down at the fallen jogger. I looked up at B-Dawg. “Let’s go.” “Let’s go!” And B-dawg punched my arm and I we took off into hyper speed
We super sprinted home and played a delightful three hours of Wiffle all. That evening the cute jogger in the pink spandex went to the police station and filed rape charges against Neil and me. It wasn’t pretty. Of course just sprung off red paint and feeling good for days and now this. She explained to the police that I too had put my hands on her and was trying to calm her, with the broader agenda of a gangbang. I did put my hands on her in a good way regardless it was something that I would flat out deny. This incident alone brought two out of my top three rules I live by ever since. Which brings me to my three rules of life.
1) you can’t touch people without their consent. 2) You can’t get naked in public 3) fake it til you make it.
Rush, Rush June 3rd, 1991
The next morning Neil paged me, Rush, rush, 911 from his father’s 911 brand new black Porsche just outside of the town police station with the bulletproof windows. “Just deny everything dude.” Neil reciting that to me after getting us into this latest mess on the quick heels of extraordinary exoneration had me steamed. “Shut the fuck up Neil, you don’t think I know that? I’m getting dragged into this thing too fuck face.” “What did you do?” I was flabbergasted which was the most common personal emotion of my entire four years in high school. This whole situation couldn’t have come at a worse time for me but then again rape cases never do. I can see it now, the police will call our house and time bomb.
“You sick little maniac hand molesting girls with Neil on bike paths. Wait until dad hears this one.” Chuckling with a grin she receives a rare moment of happiness however unnatural laying this one on pop. I in the hailing chunks of another personal panic barely deciphered her verbal reaction. To myself this one wasn’t even funny but I also recognized that if any of this and I mean broad strokes bothered me, I’d think about it. And I couldn’t afford to be off. After the Red Paint which I just got off in the most bizarre situation I really felt black. I had zero faith in the legal system after that and realized ultimately if it did go down I couldn’t stop it. And this was the charge they’d been waiting for. And before we even got a call from the police it was def con five scenario in my head. And I’m trying to remember all the names i can think of that begin with the letter "H" between remembering exactly what Neil did. fuck A) I’m with Neil the only kid in my grade that could possibly have a reputation as bad as me. b) I’m no attorney even at this point but I know rape is mad illegal. I run back upstairs to call Neil BACK ON HIS FATHERS CAR PHONE AND BERATE him for his lascivious and lateral movement away from the rules of the lay up stuff that even I knew not to do.
“Neil?” “Carl don’t say anything dude.” “Hey Neil are you kidding me here?” “just deny it dude, UNLV.” “Fuck you.” I hang up the phone and walk down stairs. My father was home and my mother was laughing. He looks tired, worn out and just plain frustrated. “Let’s go again kiddo. Jesus Christ.” Walking out at least he’s not laughing like Mr. Savage. “Those god dam pricks.” I mutter angrily thinking he’s finally in on this god dam conspiracy before, whack! “Watch it mouth the only prick around here is yours.” Voice rising to a scream “I’m going absolutely insane” “Me too!” My mother sits quietly unsure of anything to say. My dad lightly tapped me on the head, signaling it was time to go. That’s where we were at, just a tired smack in the back of the head, this is the pits. The car ride was silent and felt cold. Once back at the station whose novelty was wearing off to again face the latest charge. No cops, jail cells and home calls here. Rather private rooms, suits and court room like demeanor. “Jesus Christ.” The private room for our special offense unit, the suit and the sight of Neil leaving before we entered claimed responsibility for the surreal.
Jesus Christ Panicked I whisper inside to myself.
But it wasn't the "read Paint" so it wasn't like that. This was some basic police on the bike path out of bounds kids stuff. I was relieved to see the regular patrol uniform and shield.
The cops furious body language put up my guard. Officer Gabbenelli was out to make a point. This is some sort of cops instinct I imagined Gabbenelli thought he was tapping into. I could see from the jump this officer was excited to have a crack at me. “Carl why don’t you sit down kid, dad you can stand.” “Thanks.” My dad sarcastically answers peering sardonically at him as the copper laser beamed into my eyes. “you know what this is about don’t you? Don’t you? You know what this is about” “of course not.” Looking down I say low brow confused and tired. “That’s not the right answer Carl!” My dad now a bit facially creased due to Gabbenellis tone and demeanor says, “Officer hey take it easy, what are you charging him with, what are you saying he did.”
“See this is where he gets it from, a girl was touched by multiple boys how should we say this, irregularly last night on a bike path Carl, she came in here and said that his best buddy Neil and him” pointing at me “ and the other psycho’s Jimmy Brennan and probably Steve Lee grabbed her inappropriately too, they wanted to try a um a gang bang.” “That’s not true!” I stood up and stomped as survival mechanisms kicked in. This was getting out of hand. It was the first time I’d ever thought we should’ve stayed in Wareham. “That’s a lie, you guys always try to do this stuff to me!’
My dad rolled his eyes over my dramatic TV league like denouncement. “Shh Carl settle down, Jesus Christ shut up.” He’s simply heard too much of me for too long not be heard on this point. “Officer unless your charging him we’re leaving. It’s Saturday.” My dad already privy to Astori cop retardation after the red paint incident had simply seen enough. “Guilt by association, better get an attorney, you’ll be hearing from us Carl, you and your buddy Neil is going down will be seeing more of us.” Walking out and bolstered by my fathers back heeding I look back disgusted at Gabbenelli and say, “I was just trying to help her.” “So you do know something!” “Shh!” But it was too late as my dad pushed me out of the door. “That guy was an asshole.” “And you never know when to shut up.” My dad had made a valid point. “That cop was a jerk a real waste of good tax dollars.” Shaking his head with blood shot eyes shaking his head, “guilt by association, I told you, keep hanging out with some of these guys and your not going to make it.” It was a jolt, and a big point for the adults to find out that, I could be charged criminally for we I hung out with?
Later in the week charges were dropped but not against Neil. And he took a plea, and the victim didn’t want to drag it out but still contended I was in the wrong to police who conveniently conveyed this to my parents. Neil would deny it but then cop the plea when he realized what a guilty verdict carried, c-ya. And part of that plea was to remove the ugly wording of the charge from his permanent record. And juvenile records are sealed all until you’re a recovered addict clean for six years trying to get your first born daughter back into the country sixteen years later, crazy. And on record I denied ever touching her believing Jay and B-dawg would not only lie but be excited about it. I’d built up the coolness of dressing up for court with UNLV after my fireworks pinch. And that’s how I thought. It never even dawned on me that I hadn’t done anything wrong. Rather ritual took over and I pictured it in my head how I wanted it to be and that was it. I preached and practiced strong denial regarding everything. Summer was right around the corner and in a few weeks my freshman year would be in the books, literally.
And it’s worth noting in a trophy generation of modern day suburban children, you have to keep careful. Ands not everything is going to be OK. You can make one little mistake as a kid and it can cost you more than you’d ever realize as an adult. It’s real in the field, not everyone get’s a trophy everything’s not going to be OK. It’s largely up to you and the decisions you make. Juvenile records are sealed until their not. Thank god those hippes turned themselves saved my family from tearing apart.
cross your toes if you have to lie on the stand