Much Less

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Yeah…so there he was.

He wasn’t much. Much more than a boy…and barely that. He had been beaten badly the week before. A dozen had fed him shoe leather. All busted the hell up. Them that did it weren’t but boys. He was high and it was just a blur. Only snatches remained in his mind. Blood. Flashes of blinding light. Blood. Lots of it. His shirt black with his own blood.

In the street.

Left for dead, and treated worse.

There them boys was…two of ‘em, anyway.

It was the Theatre Gallery in Deep Ellum. 1986. Dallas. A shitbox venue owned by a mealy mouthed hippie. Three or five dollars got them into the club with kegs of PBR free for unlimited refreshment. He had been over served with the blare of the band in the background which was all there was. Background. Screaming Blue Messiahs. Who the fuck ever. Broken face, swollen mind.

He began with a tap on the shoulder. Like them boys done the week before. Just a nod to the classics, he reckoned. As the boy turned, he grabbed him by the ears and went in for the headbutt. Drunken headbutt. Headbutt in black red rage. Facebutt pummel…oh well. The shock of a broken nose to the boy made him glad. He smiled through the blood and his own newly re-broken nose, like a dog in a fight he wants badly. Twisting the grip of the boy’s ears ever tighter, he wheeled him around twisting their bloody faces together like lovers in a longing kiss, flattening their noses, forcing each one’s blood into the other. His right hand released the boy’s ear to ball itself into a hammer further splattering the boy’s features. He dropped the boy like a wet rag. The movement and spray of warm blood turned the boy’s companion toward him. The sight of the enraged figure with smashed countenance pouring blood as he had in the street the week before made something snap in the other boy.

The taste of his and the boy’s blood’s iron made him feel alive.

The glare from the bar’s backmirror left a shape burned into his mind’s eye…

“It’s common knowledge there’s always one exception
Not quite a part of the crowd
He tries so hard, just to laugh in the right places
But he knows it’s just not funny
He has this feeling, he just knows it
They don’t like him ‘cos he’s different
He knew all about the no-go areas
But he went there just the same

He was washed up and left for dead
Nobody told him he was just not wanted
It got so cold after midnight
Oh yeah

Don’t want the money
He just wants the fame
There’s something driving him inside

His friends don’t like him
‘cos they think that he’s so stupid
So he just goes out on his own
He saw a movie that night and it moved him
It was just like his life story
But he got jumped by some thugs
On the way home
No-one came to his rescue

He was washed up and left for dead
Nobody told him he was just not wanted
It gets so cold after midnight
Oh yeah

Night after night he’s out biting the pavement
Hurt his hands clapping for the group
He can’t dance, but he can certainly cause trouble
Yeah, ah -ooh

He was washed up and left for dead
Nobody told him he was just not wanted
It gets so cold after midnight
Oh yeah”

“Washed up and left for Dead” The Selecter

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