I wish I was a better man than the one I pretend not to be.
But I am this terrible, or great, depending on what day of the week you meet me in. Sometimes I curse lies at those who mean the most to me, and other weeks don’t leave much besides second hand friendships that are nice enough to leave you with the lighter.
“You’re a pain my ass,” My father said. “But fuck. You’ll be a fighter.”
Sometime near Spring in college I liked to go out and fuck my life up when there was no getting over those math classes in a Criminal Justice Major. And when I told that asshole of a professor “THERE’S EXCEL FORMULAS THAT DO THIS FOR US,”
He pretended he didn’t hear me.
And no judgment here.
Because I do the same.
Not much to show for the boys who grew up the way I did. Juveniles only in it for the thrills, no arrest record, money piles or illegitimate children this side east of the Hudson. All we’ve got to show for broken windows and slammed doors are vague drug-laced memories and Instagram photos. (Profile private, because we did it for us, not the for the likes.)
Ivan’s doing pretty alright last I checked. Moved in with a thick thighed prize this past Spring. I could tell he was in love because the club pics started coming in less and less, replaced with vacation snaps with Lo-Fi filters and her big hair on that thin body waving like the palm trees behind them. I like to see my people doing well, even if it isn’t with me. The last time I tried to get Ive on a plane he called out broke, then bought the Pathfinder he’s been shining on ever since. Caught an attitude when me and the boys mentioned all the Island-Girls he missed. Said a bunch of guys going overseas is some…well, let’s just say he didn’t agree.
I think it takes a woman to make a man do all the things he’s afraid to. Peer pressure has never put someone they don’t want to be. We’re cowards, really. Crowded around a blunt, six pack, video game or sports bullshit. Children wrestling in verbal warfare with manhood and ourselves. Too silly to be serious. It takes a woman to make a man do things he isn’t prepared to. Crimes of passion are just another way of saying Her-Sex-Was-Good-Enough-To-Make-Him-Do-That.
Joe’s struggling with a baby and a mortgage, same man that swore any girl trying to tie him down better have some strong ass rope. I like his son, David, for weird reasons. Nothing special about the little herb, but he’s the first born of our generation. When I see him chasing fireworks I wonder if he’ll chase lows the way we did. Monkey room looming with too much hookah in our system. Fistfights and Miller Lights coursing through our blood. Dangerous as bulls, hungry, like wolves. Amsterdam avenue thugging, but not really. The college boys were afraid of us being the darkest thing besides the sofas or bouncers. We just needed somewhere to wander until the night or some girls bed could cool our blood.
Not much to show for the boys who grew up the way I did. Just pockets full of memories and the good kind of regret.