Confessions of an Anarchist
A TRUE STORY: friday night in a bar in a small town I used to call my home
toronto maple leafs cap at the bar: "Are you a fucking faggot?"
first thought: self defense
I want to tell him about my girlfriend. About all the times growing up that I laughed at jokes about fags and queers and other perverts. Tell him about going to the high school prom, getting drunk and getting laid, just like i was supposed to. Tell him about every girl i've fucked.
second thought: education
I want to sit him down and explain to him about hate. About how ignorance and the fear of everything different is tearing the world apart at the seams. try to explain just once that being a white christian heterosexual male does not make hatred all right. i want to repeat all the things that my third grade teacher and those like him have tried to tell us about how every person is equal and deserves to be treated with respect.
third thought: anger
fuck him. i want to grab him by the throat and tell him all about how cum tastes a little salty, but not that bad at all. tell him about the way a cock that's not your own feels in your hand. warm. firm. reassuring. fuck him.
You see the problem is that about a second and a half has passed, and I haven't said anything yet. He can't see me think. What he can see is my purple hair. He can see the chains, and sure enough he has noticed the eyeshadow. I'm pretty sure that sealed the deal. But, I've got to say something. might as well go with trusty thought number three. I wink at him, "Why are you?"
I'm not exactly sure what happened next, but I remember that it involved yelling and it involved me laughing far more loudly than the situation warranted. Soon enough there were some bouncers and some dragging into the parking lot.
Suddenly there I am with my fists swinging and my face bleeding. My stomach sinks as it always does and then the adrenaline kicks in full force and I remember every one of the dozens of other fights I've been in over the years in this little hockey town. Remembering the old fights doesn't help you any when you have to deal with the fight right NOW. There are a lot more of them than there are of me.
Friends coming to my side. More than i could possible have expected from them. It's not their fight, and they aren't even really my friends, but my sister's.
When I was thirteen, I sat behind a Dungeon Master's screen and somehow managed to evoke in the minds of my friends an image, a scene. A battleground where the heroes, outnumbered ten to four valiantly fought and won the day, exchanging clever banter all the while.
That's not how it goes here. No clever banter and in the end twenty fists always win over eight. And with those twenty fists come twenty Nike-clad feet that aren't at all ashamed to kick you in the face as soon as you hit the ground. Really it's just a blur of red and black. I remember knocking one attacker to the ground with my forearm. I remember jumping a guy from behind who was repeatedly kicking my sister's boyfriend, Dave, in the stomach. I think Dave was spitting up blood. I remember tightening my arm around his neck until he was limp, unconscious, on the pavement. I vaguely remember getting kicked in the side of the head. What I remember very clearly though is being dragged to my feet by a group of four corn-fed white boys in leafs jerseys and denim jackets. i remember being surrounded and told to "Get against the fucking wall!". I remember looking desperately around for a way out, for a friend. "Can you hear me? Get against the fucking wall, faggot!". Visions of execution running over and over in my head.
Tripped from behind. I fall on my back and my head hits the pavement. A leafs jersey with a denim jacket straddles me in a way that would be sexual if he wasn't holding my head against the ground and drawing back his giant meaty right fist. My head explodes in a bloom of impossibly bright white sparks. I stare death in the eyes as I lose consciousness.
I can hear screaming voices. girls. two of them. I know those voices. I've got it now. Kristin, my sister. Alice, my girlfriend. i can't quite make out the words though. there is a much more pressing voice much closer, and it's saying my name. "Franko. Franko. Franko. Can you hear me Franko." I don't know if i managed to say something or if i just shook my head and blinked my eyes in a particularily convincing manner, but the voice continued, "Franko, get the fuck out of here, before they fucking kill you. Just get out of here."
I'm dragged to my feet once again and given a preliminary shove. The world slowly comes back into focus, soft focus mind you, and i find my feet. I risk a glance over my shoulder and there are still bodies surging back and forth. That's a brawl, I've seen those before and somewhere in there someone responsible for dragging me out is getting their head kicked in. But i don't go back. I know that I'm holding onto consciousness only by luck right now. I go forward. Towards the yellow light. I'm terrified that one of the leafs jerseys has seen me and is following me, my stagger becomes a crooked run.
Suddenly I'm through the glass door and safe at last. In Tim Hortons, under the watchful eye of the soup menu, where I cannot come to harm. I have found my sanctuary in this corporate hell-hole where they sell coffee hand-picked in colombia by better men than me. Men who work 12 hour days for wages that just barely allow them to convince themselves that they aren't slaves. Just like the poor pregnant girl behind the counter. About five months in it looks like, bulge tucked neatly under the pinstripe shirt. Only 23 I'd guess, but already the type where you would say "She must have been pretty once."
I can't read her expression. Is it shock or fear or what? But I must look a mess, and let's not forget I'm already the freak here. "Call the fucking cops! Call the cops, they're going to kill my friends!"
I've hated cops before. And soon enough I'll hate them again. Tidy little fascists with their hats and clubs. Oh, I'll hate them all right. But not now, now I'm scared and I just want the police to come help me like my teachers always told me they would. I am an anarchist.