Wednesday, August 26, 2015

the last book I ever read (Mat Johnson's Pym, excerpt eight)

from Pym: A Novel by Mat Johnson:

In sixth grade a little effete frog named James Baldwin whupped my ass. He was a foot shorter than me, but he hung with hulking eighth-grade girls, who towered over both of us the entire time, taunting. It was by the bushes in the asphalt driveway of my apartment building and it was because I’d gotten lazy. I had a whole plan for getting home unmolested, it involved shortcuts along the train tracks and alternating building entrances, but it’d been two weeks since the last attack and I let my guard down. I bought a Reggie bar at the drugstore before heading toward my building: they must have monitored the corner, followed me. I didn’t fight back, because if I did the ladies would have really hurt me, and the only thing more humiliating than getting my ass kicked by this little shit would have been getting my ass kicked by a gaggle of girls, even ones as prematurely huge as these postpubescent vultures. I had never even met James Baldwin, but it didn’t matter, he attacked me anyway. I was different. He was puny, weak, but I was weaker. Kids have to feel like they’re more powerful than someone.

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