Renata had said something about the kids killed at Santana, the other kids shot in El Cajon. You’re not really surprised it happened there, in El Cajon and Santee. People call it “Klantee,” and while they laugh, they’re not really joking.
“Just that … it was different when we … I dunno.”
On my back, with my head in her lap, she exhaled straight above me. Like a locomotive, the smoke dissipating and disappearing. She was considerate enough to turn her head each time she took a drag, so as to not crackle the ashes down into my face. My eyes are bad enough as it is.
I thought of fighting as a kid, always dreading it beforehand but never really minding it once it started. The adrenal rush, the battle to survive and avoid embarrassment. As I got older, the whole business – while occasionally necessary, I’ll admit – makes me kinda sad.
What, I dunno, maybe brass knuckles? Some kid had a knife. The guy in the Maiden shirt. Jason Hickey, his name was. He was in my shop class the day I cut my finger, and never gave me shit about anything. Everyone was afraid of him. He told me that he had a clock radio with an alarm that woke him up each morning playing the Vincent Price monologue at the beginning of Number of the Beast. To this day I still haven’t been able to find a clock-radio that does that.
He might’ve had a knife. Maybe someone else did, but there were also probably kids who did coke, too.
All I wanted to do was chase the girls.