Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stupid Face

When Stan was 19 he tried to kill his father. It wasn't a capricious, lethal twitch of rage, but an honest go-for-the-throat execution. Only, Stan had failed.
His father, like the rest of our fathers, was an abusive drunk. Except Stan's father still held most of the state's wrestling records for his weight class. After the initial stagger, he quickly reversed his son's choke-hold, pinned him to the living room floor, spit in his face and beat him good. He hadn't a victory in years.
While Stan lay choking on tears and shame, his father quickly went back to the bar and told everybody, everybody being our fathers. So, the next day us guys knew all about it, and once us guys knew about it, our girlfriends knew about it, and shortly thereafter the whole stinking town knew about it.
Stan had been a solid acquaintance of ours. We weren't terribly close, but close enough to know somebody. We all knew how bad his father was, but it wasn't far from our realities. Just different nights of the week, I suppose.
Stan was a good lucking guy, too. But an interesting thing happened to his looks. After the dream of killing his father was pinned and replaced with a town's embarrassment, Stan became ugly. His stature, once strong and straight, slouched remorsefully. And his face, well, it was just hideous. It was as if the demons inside his head, angry with the failed execution, began torturing him with pitchforks. Picking an prodding, scraping and pulling until Stan was no longer Stan.
He dropped out of the JC, and began working full-time as a grocer at Lucky's. He was such a drag to look at that we stopped shopping at Lucky's and went across town to Sam's. In fact, we all possessed a quiet hatred for Stan. He had taken a dream that belonged to us all, and he gave it life. Dreams cannot breathe in this atmosphere. Everybody in this town knows that. Stan's dream, our dream, the dream of killing our fathers was pinned down to Stan's stupid living room carpet and spit on. And now Stan has a stupid face, and we all hate him.


  1. good job, cohn.

  2. can you do a choose your own adventure where stan actually kicks his dads ass and then opens up his own grocery store catty-corner to Sam's called Stan's and only hires good looking strong confident people?


  3. thanks, man. i would love it if you wrote the sequel