“Repeat after me,” said Billy Weldon. “AAACK!”
“Repeat after me,” I SAID. “AAACK!”
“No! No! You're nor supposed to say, 'repeat after me'....”
Those childhood games confused me.
(They still do.)
Billy Weldon was my best friend in those days.
We climbed trees, caught frogs, built secret forts and sang dirty songs together.
When he was mad at his mother he'd call her “Bean Bag”.
She was none too amused but I always laughed. That joke was pretty funny.
His Dad was a weird, white trash neo-Nazi type
who never wore a shirt and always yelled at me to get out of his yard. I didn't understand that—I didn't
understand a lot of things.
Being friends with Billy was an odd experience.
One minute you'd be laughing and joking, the next he'd turn around and slam a rock into your face.
The subtle nuances of kid life were a a bit of a head-scratcher to me. You had your enemies and they were your enemies. You had your friends and they were also your enemies. Some concepts were never easy to grasp.
Once I was in a fist fight with Billy and he pounded my face in while his grandmother stood on his back porch cheering him on. I wasn't sure why she wasn't cheering me on, since it was obvious to me that I was the Good Guy.
My family moved away and Billy and I fell out of touch.
We met again in our early teens and hung out for an afternoon. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't quite the same.
He played football. I drew pictures.
He liked John Denver. I liked Alice Cooper.
Some differences are just irreconcilable, I guess.
Billy died when we were both in our early twenties;
He was in the Army and he crashed his jeep on base. Very bad form.
I was a dishwasher at the time.
I didn't go to the funeral—I had to work that night, but there wasn't really anything left
that I could relate to.
“Repeat after me. AAACK!” He said.
“Repeat after me. AAACK!” I said.
Copyright 1996 C.F. Roberts, 2015 Molotov Editions