My Love for Clare vs My Desire to Destroy Benny the Hun, Part 1

My sister Clare is a being of light. Her face is small, and her slight hands are taxed with the continuous chore of smoothing her dark mane of hair. You could thread the eye of a needle with her ego, and somehow this has usually held her above ridicule. If there’s one thing I regret whenever I think about my half-baked efforts to stamp out hope, it’s the impressions I’ve left upon her. I can’t change the way I am, and I’m powerless to view the world any differently than I do (i.e., tons of random, smug, bone-smoking assholes needlessly making everything harder for all the other useless bastards of the world), but I wish she didn’t have to be a party to it.

Clare came back from high school graduation ceremonies the other afternoon. She has more friends in my stupid class than I do by far. She’s a fairly popular sophomore (I guess a junior now, technically), which on one hand makes me proud, and on the other hand drives me up a fucking wall because a lot of her friends end up being complete ass puppets. She one way or another keeps herself elevated above the din of these soul-chomping maggots, and I have to say I am in awe of her abilities, but I don’t know why she would choose to let such tit bugs feed off her like that.

The only reason I’m thinking about all of this is because when she got home, she made me feel like shit. She walked into my room while I spaced out on a Mayhem fan site, sat down on my bed, and said nothing. On my worst days I simply think of Clare as inert, so I have no problems with her hanging around, and thought nothing of it. She says, “I went to the graduation today.” I said oh joy. She asked if I wanted to hear about it, and I said I didn’t really have an interest, but if it keeps your mind off suicide, then gab away. So whatever, she drones on endlessly about a bunch of malevolent fucks that could drop dead today and the world wouldn’t skip a beat, but then she says, “Ben Henderson asked about you.” This made me turn from my computer and look at her. I asked what the fuck that spineless hunk of nasty foam could possibly have to say that I would care to hear. What she said made me more pissed than I have been in about a hundred thousand years.

“He said he bet I was excited to see you get your diploma.” Ha fucking ha. I said wow, you know, he’s a fucking comic GENIUS. I hope I’m there when he finally wins his long deserved Emmy. Fucking putz.

Clare went on: “Yeah, I didn’t play along with his shit at all, though. I told him so what if it’s taking you longer? I told him you have things he could never have, no matter how good he thinks he is.” Yes, I have a plethora of dead ends to choose from.

“And then HE said that the only thing you’ve got going on that he doesn’t is a sister to bang.” WHAT?!? “I said for him to take that sad, sick bullshit back, but he said he would only take it back if YOU had the balls to make him. Then he said if we didn’t like what he’s saying, then we should have never come to his high school to begin with.” HIS high school—what the fuck does THAT mean? That smug son-of-a-bitch has always felt he’s got more of a RIGHT to that fucking piece of shit school than we do. I will fucking KILL him one day in the very near future. I can feel it. OH GOD. My fingers ACHE to wrap around his throat.

I suppose some background at this point would be helpful: Benny the Hun Henderson is a fucking spoiled turd born with a silver spoon full of rancid dogshit in his rotten fucking mouth. His family has lived for a couple of generations in the northern part of this COMPLETELY INCONSEQUENTIAL town, and for whatever reason, they feel that this makes them some kind of half-bred, podunk royalty. What a misbegotten frame on which to drape a legacy. I mean, forget the fact that you’re sadly mistaken about your place in the world, but to do so in a place like THIS? It adds insult to idiocy. If you include the high probability of NEVER being able to explain to these people the sad state of their existence without them completely shutting down in cold denial, bubba, you’ve got a reason to go postal that no jury could fault.

My nerd family hails from the central part of town. Not so nifty—just a bunch of middle-class fuck-faces. Since my parents are a couple of self-loathing jackwads with their hearts set on a social status that they should neither desire or envy, they applied for us all to attend North High School. It was a no-brainer for Matty. He’s a complete brainiac with his head so far up the academic ass that he could never see the pissy looks he got for attending a school for which he was socially ineligible, and he thrived. But for me and Clare it was never so easy. Clare fares better, because she is a chick blessed with grace, but for yours truly there have been constant battles. Pendel the Great and Terrible has fought on the battlefield of the mind with Benny the Hun countless times.

But now Henderson has crossed a major fucking line with me. I mean, what the fuck…who cares what he says about me. I know what I am. The winds of waste are already blowing across my unmarked grave. But Clare is new. Her soul is freshly pressed. And now Benny the Hun is talking shit about HER—nasty, weird shit that can scar a person if they aren’t well equipped to handle the rigors of class warfare—and he is fucking DARING me to step out and take up arms against him.

I got no problem with it.

I told Clare not to worry. Ben will never make another off-color remark to her. I will take care of it. She can make book on it. She then scared me by getting all teary-eyed. “Pendel, don’t do anything, please. I only even told you because Sugar was standing right there and I wanted to tell you before he did so I could make sure you didn’t go all ape-shit about it.” I told her fuck that. He’s a bug. I’m an angry windshield. She got really upset and talked about how sad she is that everything has gone wrong for me, how she knows what’s in me, and how it breaks her heart to see life turn against a person she loves. “I don’t want you getting in more trouble than you are. I’m afraid if you beat up Benny that things are just going to get so much worse.” Then, to my horror, she HUGGED me and said she MISSES me and that she KNOWS I am still inside somewhere and can she please have me back. “It made me so angry not seeing you graduate, and that is YOUR fucking fault, Pendel. If you make it worse by fighting Benny, just know that it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m out of it. It’s just for you to keep fucking up YOU. And I’ll know you LIKE it, too.”

Fucking sisters, right?

She broke my heart with some of that. Clare’s the only person I’ve never wanted to reach out and crush. She’s the only human worth a squirt of piss on this whole radiation-blasted fucking rock, and I’ve hurt her.

And Benny the Hun’s gonna pay for it.

Taco Night

It’s getting to the point that I really can’t tell anymore if I am changing, or if I am beginning to see the world for what it really is: a big steaming pile. Of shit. Hobo shit.

When did I stop loving my mom? Was she always this retarded? I used to cling to her skirt like lint, but now I can’t tolerate her for more than a couple of minutes at a whack. I mean, first of all, she looks like such a first-class she-tool almost all the time. I’ve seen pics of my mom when she was young, and she looks fairly cool…for the era, I guess. But now she wears these dumb jeans with that mom-wash and they all come up over her gut and the zipper is a mile long like a highway to Geekville. And then she wears these goofy, baggy t-shirts that are all like Haines Beefy T’s and tucked in for the love of God with like this ultra-square braided belt that’s all brown and shit, and she wears these thick, sweaty, fisherman socks and her clogs like ALL YEAR. Get some winter shoes, for Christ’s sake. Ugh. And the hair. I guess she just doesn’t care whether or not my dad has any interest in nailing her or not.

It drives me crazy that all these freaky fucks have kids and then like poof! They are dorks. Why must it happen? My buddy Neil’s mom gives me such a boner that I’ve gotta push it aside so I can see anything going on in front of me. How come SHE didn’t dorkify? That MILF’s ass is like a volleyball. And she wears the hottest stuff, and she’s always TRYING, you know? Like she gives a fuck about her place in this craphole world. Oh well. I guess what do I need with my pals (personal ass lickers) jerking off to my mom in their spare time? I have enough to worry about without my dad going apeshit because he catches her rocking the Serta with a 17 year-old. It’s just sad to see a person give up. She has a pretty face, I guess. Sorta.

Anyway, so my mom doesn’t seem to care about her life at all. She’s fucking wrapped up tight in MY life (or so she thinks), and in my sister’s life, and sometimes she even manages to care about the shit my dad has going on. My older brother Matt is in college now and he escaped, but mom calls him EVERY FREAKING DAY to try and insinuate herself from afar, but he only calls her back like once out of every four times. Good for him. I am so jealous of the fact that he doesn’t have to sit through Taco Night anymore, because Taco night, as an institution, is in complete freefall.

The thing is, my mom doesn’t cook GREAT or anything—she’s not a very inventive person—so I always used to look forward to Taco Night because how can you fuck it up, right? You cook the stuff and throw in the powder and mix it up and dump on the cheese from the bag after you stick it in the shell and POW, you’ve got dinner. And when I was younger, it was fun, everyone got to make their own, and since you were a kid making your own was a big thing. When I was a kid, everything made me giggle. Me, my sister, my brother, all of us would have fun doing almost anything. It makes me so sad thinking about it. I never really talk to my sister anymore and nothing ever seems to make me laugh but the mean stuff. And that’s NOT HOW I WANT IT TO BE. But I just can’t seem to help it.

I don’t laugh anymore on Taco Night. I usually make a couple and then carry them into my room and watch TV there, or blast FUCKING AWESOME MAYHEM, or look on the internet at gang stuff. Sometimes I read gun mags cause they make me think about big things. I know this hurts my mom and my dad and maybe to a lesser extent Clare (my sister), but it just irks me to no end to have to talk to any of them more than I absolutely have to. We’re all just too damn sad about everything. Well, not Clare quite yet, but she’s gonna be soon, make book on it.

So last night I my dad knocks on my door while I’m checking out some fucking boss Faces of Death clips on YouTube and he cracks the door without me saying ‘come in’ because I NEVER say ‘come in’ in the hopes that whoever wants to come in will stop wanting to come in and just go the hell away. My dad knows this and so he just comes in and it pisses me off to no end BUT ANYWAY. “Hey Sport, your mom made tacos. Make her feel good and come out and eat some, huh? Fiesta time.” I tell him I’m fine, cause I am. “Just get your ass out to the kitchen and eat a damn taco. Jesus, Pendel.” My dad only ever gives diplomacy one shot at working and then he says fuck it, which I guess I understand. I don’t even try that hard. So I say okay, whatever, and then I go to get up, but I make it nice and slow so he’s already out to the table before I’m even in the hallway (after I grab my iPod so I can rock Mayhem on my endless taco misadventure without having to hear any of them say a word…so obvious but I could care less about THAT), and I drag my tired butt out there and slam a couple of tacos together, and I can just FEEL my mom’s eyes all fucking sad and big on my back just waiting for me to say anything at all to her, with her sensible hair and her big, baggy t-shirt and her glass of wine and her lack of defining characteristics. My dad doesn’t give a shit, persay. He just thinks this is a ‘tricky time’ for me and he’s got enough going on in his life to sit back and let things pass and little does he know that things aren’t going to JUST PASS—my brain is a freight train lately and I don’t foresee it STOPPING dad, I don’t think there’s going to be any relief anytime SOON, dad—a storm is coming, FATHER, and it’s just going to keep growing until the fucking roof is torn off the unhappy home you worked so so hard to build.

My tacos are made so I head immediately back to my room, but a hand is on my elbow turning me, and it’s what I dreaded all along, and I tried not to make a misstep, I tried not to give anyone any reason at all to stop me, but it didn’t work. I tried to just keep walking like I didn’t feel, but the hand won’t give up, the hand keeps turning me. And then I’m face to face with those big sad eyes, and it makes me so frustrated and impatient but it hurts too because I don’t know how else to feel—and what, like I want to be a dick? But just LOOK AT HER. She pulls the buds out of my ears (ANNOYING) and says to me, “You forgot tomatoes. They’re your favorite. Take some, or they’ll go bad.”

Go bad. I’ve gone bad, and she knows it. I tell her I don’t eat tomatoes, and she’s like “Yes you do, you’ve always loved them.” And I try to just blow it off and head back to my hole, but she stops me still, even though she KNOWS I want out of the room, and she’s like, “You’ll make me feel better if you at least take a few, you used to love them so much, they made you happy..” They did then, they don’t now. And I hate it that she’s so wrapped up in my happiness, and I hate it that she still keeps tabs on my likes and dislikes, and maybe it would be different if she would just ONCE lose herself in something SHE likes and be a PERSON about it and have to ask me a question about me instead of THINKING she knows it all, and I look down at her empty hands because she’s always always ALWAYS the last person to get herself food, she ALWAYS waits until the rest of us have gotten ours, our greedy little paws grabbing up all we want, crumbs flying, drinks spilling, and she pretends to be so patient while inside isn’t she screaming? Doesn’t she want something? Something for herself? ANYTHING? My god, isn’t she even HUMAN?

I say to her that I don’t eat them now, because my stomach hurts a lot now, all the time, and the tomatoes make it worse. YOU eat them, I tell her. She looks at me like I’ve stabbed her. I ask her how long she’s going to wait before she eats, and she finally turns away and says some bullshit about how it doesn’t matter when she eats, cause no one wants to eat with her anyway, and that just makes me nuts. Crazed. I hate self pity in anyone but me. And I turn HER around, and I put my plate in her hands, and I say take this, eat it, I’m not hungry and I’m sick of watching you wait. She tries to push it back on me, saying don’t be ridiculous, and I’m like, no, YOU don’t be ridiculous, you’ve always been ridiculous, and I push the plate back at her, and her back at me, saying no, and ME saying no much, much louder, and of course by this point in my life I am the stronger of the two, and though I don’t mean it to happen (I hope?) the plate goes right into her chest, the food sliding everywhere, the plate crashing in the ground, and by now my dad has finally sat his ultra-idiotic Fortune magazine down and is racing over saying, “Are you out of your MIND, Pendel?”

And I tried to tell her. I did. “I tried to tell you!” I yelled back. “My stomach hurts! Jesus!”

But it’s too late. Clare is kind of crying a little. She doesn’t understand why I don’t sit around with her anymore. I don’t play. I can’t.

I wonder what we’re all going to do next week, come Taco Night?

A Science Teacher and a Dick

Mr. Hanson is a dried-up prick and I hate him with everything I’ve got. His fucking hair is like some sad-ass page boy, he’s got a crumb-filled cock broom on his nasty lip, and he’s ruining the only thing that’s cool about school, which is my science class, which I like because (1) I get to kill things and cut them up, and (2) I keep finding out how weird and endless everything is, and that makes me feel good because it reminds me that the big assholes who keep fucking up my life are really very small in the scheme of things.

I guess I should give some background. So it’s no big secret that I like to swim. I pretty much try to spend like the WHOLE SUMMER in the water because I get to forget about all the bullshit and just get washed away in bubbles and be in a different world and it’s great. Whatever. I like to swim. So what. Me and everybody else on the goddamned planet, right? My dad likes to think he’s doing humanity a favor by keeping me from exploding, so he gets me this yearly thing to the YMCA so he can say he’s keeping me interested in crap I like when it’s really just a great way to keep my stupid mopey ass out of the house and to keep me from reading up on pipe bombs.

Anyway, Mr. Hanson is the swim team coach at school. I guess he must go to the Y to swim too, or to take exercise classes, or maybe his dumb loser ass teaches something there. I don’t know. I hear if you can’t get your shit together you can always live at the Y, so maybe that’s it. My dad was dropping me off cause he was totally sick of me blasting Mayhem (who completely fucking rock balls and are so evil, I love them), and I run into Queer Hanson who says to me, “Hey Pendel, I’ve been seeing you in the pool lately and you’re pretty good, so let’s talk Monday about the swim team.”

OK. First of all, GROSS. This prick’s been watching me at the pool? WTF?!? He’s got to be hard up as shit, then, cause I don’t even wear those little fucking trunk things—fucking speedos or whatever you assholes out there call them—I wear the big baggy shit and this douche bomb’s still looking at me? I am skeeved +1000 forever.

So I’m like, whatever. But then that Monday comes and I am sitting in Science listening to Manson Hanson drone on ENDLESSLY about molecular bonds and then out of nowhere he’s like, “So maybe Mr. Haight, the swim team’s newest star, can answer our question. Pendel?” I must have sat there for like 10 seconds until what he said finally soaked in, and then I was like, is there another Pendel Haight in here, cause that sure as hell doesn’t sound like ME. And then he was all like, “Well, we’ll have to talk about that after class.” And then I was all like, yeah, whatever, Corporal Cock.

And then after the bell, I tried to slink out under the radar, but he nabs me and is all in my shit. He’s all, “Hey, what gives?” I just told him it’s cool he thinks I swim well and everything, but it creeps me out to think anyone is watching me do it, and maybe he needs new hobbies. Then this square-ass bozo proceeds to talk to me about how I am DRIFTING, and that maybe getting INVOLVED in something BIGGER than myself might HELP ME become more GROUNDED (I am capitalizing the ‘barf’ words). I said, “Hey, that’s great stuff, you should write a book.” Then he wonders why I’m being so resistive to the ‘life-line’ he’s throwing me. HA. I said, yeah, you’re throwing me a fucking LINE alright, you pervert. Wow. He got super, super-pissed at that, and started ranting about carelessness, and reputations, and all sorts of shit, so I was like, “Hey man, truly, I am just not interested in helping out, ok?” I mean, I am just not a team player. I hate my high school, I hate the people who think they run it, I hate the teachers that beat their heads against the walls inside of it, and I TRULY, TRULY DESPISE any of the dick weed students who feed off the culture and thrive on it. Sleeping with the enemy, bubba.

Long story short, I get my grades for the semester a couple of days later, and my grade in science drops from an A (the ONLY goddamned A that I have EVER gotten, by the way) to a B-. Coincidence? I THINK NOT. You are on my list, Hanson. Make book on it.

Is it me? Did I do something so fucking wrong here? What am I supposed to do now? Fuck.