Chris jumped off the kitchen table, like it was the top rope, smashing into his stepmom’s china cabinet, a bunch of things shattering. The cabinet. The china. Chris.
Blood and glass was everywhere. The kitchen chair was splintered apart.
His plan had been to land on the big floral couch, but his foot had slipped on the placemat.
It was the first time I met him. We were eight years old, playing inside, watching Wrestlemania VHS tapes and mimicking parts of the matches.
When his dad came in, I remember thinking that Chris’s dad looked like Andre the Giant, as he looked over his son, picking him up by his arm, swinging him in the air.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
My dad and his dad worked together at an auto shop. Periodically, I’d get stuck hanging out with Chris. It was never a good time. The little fucker was psycho.
I remember the update, “Well, Chris is in trouble again.”
“He started a fire.”
I’d melted a bunch of GI Joe’s with him. No big deal. That’s what I was picturing.
“An inferno really,” my dad said, “little fucker lit the entire woods on fire! Ten fire trucks needed to get called in.”
The next time I hung out with Chris, he came over our house. Local police in his town had banned him from the streets, woods, most everything else. On my block, me and the kids in my neighborhood played two hand touch football every night til the streetlights came on. Pretty quick into the game, Chris and this kid John Wully were really getting into it.
They started shoving each other and we all stood there watching. Fights are great.
John Wully shoved Chris pretty hard and he stumbled away, off into the woods.
“Where you going pussy?”
When Chris came out of the woods, he was holding a board with a bunch of leaves stuck to it. He ran out into the street and started beating the shit out of John Wully with the board.
Whap. Whap. Whap.
That was the end of the football game.
Again, I didn’t hear anything else about Chris for a long time. We didn’t hang out at all after that. But he was in the newspaper later.
He’d taken this girl out in his car, right after he’d gotten his license. They were going at it in the car and she told him to stop, but he wouldn’t. He raped her. Beat her up. Dragged her outside and ran her over with his fucking car.
She barely survived.
I have no idea what happened to that fucker. Where he is, what he’s doing. If he’s even still alive.
Life get stranger when you look at it closely.