First off, I would like to apologize to Clare. I think she’s completely right. My desire to jump on Benny the Hun’s head was completely for my own fulfillment, and seeing as she feels worse about things now than she ever did before I KICKED BEN’S WRETCHED ASS from one side of the fucking WORLD to another…well, sorry Clare. Some things in life you simply cannot change. I feel to the very depths of my tepid soul that I was meant to pound Ben Henderson into the ground, and then, as soon as he regains his tiny feet, beat him right back down again.
Benny the Hun has yet to get back up. I will be there when he does. I have cold inside that threatens to drown me, and so I must let it swallow Ben so that I may live on another day. Even you, Clare, would agree that I deserve more time on this lonesome earth than he.
Most of you know how this saga started. If you don’t, click here. Anyway, it continues along these lines: I ended up going to church again for the first time since I fingered that sad pie-hole Camile in the back pews several months ago—check that pointless day out here. It was one of the best freaking moves I have ever made in my life; since that glorious Sunday morning, I have never been asked to accompany my ridiculatory parents back to that heinous pit of hell-spawned ninnies again. Fucking loser jerk-wad tit fucking assholes. Every last one of them. They could all receive better guidance from an Ikea instruction manual, yet they choose to follow the word of an imaginary, celestial tick. BAH! Best of luck to them all as they spiral uncontrollably towards the sun. I had one reason and one reason ONLY to go back, and it wasn’t because my spirit needed a colonic. It was the only place I knew I could find Ben.
You see, my parents not only make me and my sister go to a school where we are not wanted, they themselves go to a CHURCH where THEY are not recognized. Yes, the church they attend (that I USED to attend) is in the same northern neighborhood as the fucking high school. The Church of the Slightly Affluent. The ceilings are gabled, the pews are padded, the ministers are young (so handsome!), and the collection plate has a felt bottom. Fancy fancy. Opulence on a budget, electroplated in Christ. Anyone looking can find the Hun’s family there, knee deep in worship, on every day of rest.
You could have knocked my mom over with a feather when I walked out of my room on Sunday morning and announced my intentions to accompany the family to church. I said, hey man, don’t question shit, or I’m back in my room like a flash. My mom was beaming with elation (am I an asshole or what?), and was like, “I’m not saying a word, I’m just going to enjoy this.” My dad looked at me like I was a used car salesman, but said nothing. Clare GLARED at me. When I passed by her to go outside she grabbed my arm and asked, “What are you doing, Pendel?” I told her I was on my way to say hey to the Lord and to get off my fucking back about it, because I was self-conscious about my beliefs anyway, and she was just making it worse. She fretted; she’s smart.
So let me go on record right now by saying that I am in no way some great fighter. I’ve only been in a few in my whole life. I don’t know if I can say I won these conflicts, but trust me when I say I left my mark. And I planned on leaving one FUCK of a mark on Benny the Hun that morning. I had in my pocket a roll of quarters that I had exchanged from a ten spot the day before on the way back from Dr. Douchenheimer (who had interestingly useless things to say about the whole Clare/Benny run-in, but more on THAT later), and I planned on introducing Benny’s nose to it in just a few minutes.
As the Dorkmobile steadily edged down the street towards destiny, my whole body sang with voltage. I honestly had no clue if I would win or lose, but I wanted to get my shot in. I had to let him know I heard him; I wanted him to know I had an answer. My dad drives like old people fuck, and it was making my scalp itch. I was getting so hot that my eyes felt like liquid-filled balls of fancy soap, the electrolytes were building in my armpits like Mayans. We had only gotten half-way there and I was ready to jump out the window and run the rest of the way. I imagined a long line of insanely enraged drivers pulling up beside us, horns blaring and fists shaking, spittle and curses spewing from their lips like chewed tumors as they told my dad what a fucking pussy he is. I wanted these daydreams to soothe me, but they did not. I wanted Ben Henderson. I wanted to see his lip split. I wanted to see his eye swell. I wanted to watch as he lurched crookedly away from my fury, arms wrapped around his cracked ribs. Man, I wanted to see this fucker cry like a goddamned baby. How DARE he fuck with me? How DARE he fucking SPEAK my NAME when I am MILES AWAY and shrouded in darkness?
Hell hath no fury like a Pendel scorned.
We reached the parking lot. My mom hooted merrily: “Here we are!” I was already out of the car and scanning the parking lot. My dad was like, “Pendel, for God’s sake, let me get the damn car stopped!” Fuck that. Blood.
I saw him. Halfway between me and the church. I was off like a shot, running to meet him before he was able to get through the big oak doors. Clare screamed my name—she had seen Ben too—and heads craned to see what the fuck. Benny the Hun heard it too, and he turned to look just as I was 50 paces from him. He saw me coming, and I swear to fucking god, the surprise on his face alone was almost worth the price of admission. I mean, here it was, the DAY AFTER he says shit about me, and already here I come. Clint-fucking-Eastwood, mother fucker. A falling hammer. A swinging chain. A thrown brick. Then the glass of his shock shattered, and he turned to get the hell out of my way, but baby I was already there. He was almost to the steps of the church when I connected with him. BAM. I used my shoulder to slam into his body (my collar bone still fucking kills), and just as my body stopped freaking cold, his shot forward, and he was off his feet and flying into the bushes planted under the windows of the church foyer. I was jarred to the bone, my head already aching from violent contact, but I knew there was no time at all to think about what I’d done or the consequences. He could still really mess me up deeply if I didn’t take advantage of the situation.
I grabbed him by his smug ankle, noticing—crazily—his shoe; an expensive and maturely square-looking sandal, so on a whim I took it off his foot and threw it into the nearby trees. I then drug him by the foot out into the parking lot and quickly sat on his chest. I slapped him once meatilty with my left hand as I searched out the roll of quarters with my right.
Shouts now, some calling my name, some Ben’s, others asking what in the name of hell did I think I was doing. I could hear Clare above it all, or at least I imagined I did, but then before I knew it, the roll of quarters was sitting squarely in my right fist and I brought down the whole fucking farm right there on his nose. It splatted. That’s the best way I can explain it. Finally I looked into his eyes, and they were fucking HUGE and PANICKED, and for a brief moment there was cool relief to flood my tired mind.
And then the hands clamped onto my shoulders and drug me off. Mystery hands. I still don’t know who did it, but as they did it, I lashed a foot out and connected with Ben’s knee, and he cried out. Sweet ear candy. I screamed out and wrenched free of the hands that held me, and without looking back, ran for the trees and the alleyways between the lawns of the surrounding neighborhoods. The cries were at my back, “Are you crazy?” “Come back here!” Probably some woman cried out little Benny boy’s name, but I was past hearing distinctly. The blood thundered in my head as I jumped this fence and that until I was able to climb a heavily shaded tree, and I sat there like a child who is scared senseless of the neighborhood German Sheppard, loose from the yard again, and sniffing me out.
Two hours or so later, I climbed down from the tree, stopped in at a Kwik Shop for a hunk of jerky and a Mountain Dew, and wandered home. I noticed my knuckles were swollen to about twice their normal size, and I smiled to myself.