Becoming a Man
I nearly killed a boy named Jonathan Pilby when I was fifteen. If that nosy jogger hadn’t found his busted bloody body under the bridge where I left him, then he might not have made it. But unfortunately the jogger had to be a hero. Jonathan Pilby. I’d kill him again if I got the chance. Some days I think the meaning of life is to one day find him and hold him underwater till the bubbles stop. Jonathan Pilby. All because he took me to see a woman. Said she’d introduce me to my manhood. I borrowed Father’s Buick and we drove to Loveland, to a trailer park on a hill. “Here,” he said, “is where you’ll find your bliss.” It was filthier than anything I’d ever seen on television. Grubby, grimy, snot-nosed kids running rampant on the gravel roads. The whole place ripe like a pig farm. Hollowed car shells, engine parts, broken toys and lawnmowers, snow blowers, bicycles, broken diesel trucks splayed across a front yard. Alley cats with mange hissing viciously from trash heaps. “She’s inside,” he said. Little varmint-faced Jonathan Pilby, with his mullet, smiling like he’d farted. I went up alone. He said she liked to play a little game. “Act like you’re there to talk about Jesus,” he said. “That’s what she likes to play.” I nodded my head, felt for the condoms in my pocket, adjusted my tie, then went up the walkway and knocked on her door.