This node was dyin' for some writin'...


The nick-name that an elderly neighbor of mine gave me when I was about five or six or so. This started a downward spiral of self-delusion that did not end until I was nine and I finally crashed and burned from the drugs, booze, and wanton doctor-playing.

"Hey, Muscles!" my neighbor calls out from his porch, "How ya doin' today?"

"Great!" I cry, flexing my scrawny arms in a ridiculous pantomime of a jar-headed weightlifter.

October 8, 1990 - I wake up in a puddle of my own vomit, in a house I don't recognize. Slowly the vestigial haze of various intoxications creeps from my vision, and I look down at my arms. I mean really look at my arms. For the first time in years... perhaps for the first time ever. The realization hits me like a ton of bricks: I'm not muscular at all. I'm not some buff, pre-teen stud. "Hell, I have freckles! There's no way I can be tough with freckles."

That's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose.

I have a message for all you elderly neighbors out there.

Loose lips sink little boys' self-esteems. Nicknames kill. Just say no.

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