Broken teeth scraped the inside of my lip. The slivers of calcite bone recently detached from my head caught in my molars and poked my gums. It turns out that it’s hard not to grit your teeth when in stunning pain.
Oh the pain
What fantastic pleasure
What life-giving fucking ecstasy, sending blood pumping past my ears and to the ball of hate in between. The animal in there snarls and bites but I wipe the blood from my lips and get up. I didn’t as much spit a tooth out as I dribbled shattered head-fragments. All the blood I swallowed wasn’t helping the roiling pit just under my ribcage.
But I got back up.
I fucking got back up.
“You want to see how a pacifist fights?” He was fist bumping his friends like he just pinched the ass of a tired waitress. I staggered slightly
“You want more?” He yelled. His neutered jackals laughed as their Mussolini flexed. “Yeah?” He walked back over to me like his dick scraped the floor.
Oh yes please I wanted more. “If you got it in you”
He has a moment of lovely doubt. I think he sees it in me, that whatever pain I’m in now is pale and wrinkled in comparison to what’s left under my fingernails.
Blood, left long enough, passes well for dirt.
I stare him down a second before his sleeve-lacking lackeys egg him on. I smiled as he walked forward: one half menace, the other creatine.
“Come on!” I motion him forward weakly, “let’s get my dick hard”
“Oh, you like this you freak?” His veiny satellites jeered, he laughed. I was back in the schoolyard, standing up for the first time after years of beatings. I wasn’t invulnerable, but I was unconquerable.
I dribbled out another bloody fragment of tooth, “let’s turn this into a hate crime”
And boy, did we.
Three minutes or an hour went by. He only lasted a few more punches before he resorted to kicking me, curled up on the pavement. Truth be told, I think I took the punches better than he did.
But soon they got bored.
They always do.
The entire world became me, my pain, and a night sky that stretched from the roof of one building to another. Stars outnumbered by blinking planes.
Pain shot up my side, blinding me with these new swimming stars rushing down from the sky to fill my eyes. It took a second before I realized: thats what laughing feels like now.
The moment wasn’t lost on me.
This is my revenge against the world. My first and final act of retribution. This is how I get out of bed, this is how I will myself to live. Bloody and beaten, too tired beyond my years with still too little of my life lived.
But I stood the fuck up.
I stood the fuck up, and walked the fuck away.
I staggered the fuck away.