Tuesday, July 2
Spoon hated everything, especially himself, but he liked biking. Spoon woke up around 7:00 only to actually get out of bed at 7:30. He slipped into a pair of thrice worn Levis and tightly tucked in his loose t-shirt. His leather Chuck Taylor’s felt like cinder blocks as he trudged into the bathroom. Spoon peered into the mirror at his face and scowled; it was dumb. He turned on the taps and brought the water to his face with his cupped hands. No need to brush his teeth, who was he going to talk to? Finally, he went down into the garage, rolled his bike out, smiled, and took to pedaling.
Saturday, July 6
“Don’t ride ‘round here again, unless you want your head turned into a chunky puddle!”
“What kind of parent names their stupid kid after a utensil anyway?”
“The same kind that’ll raise ‘em to get their teeth kicked in and sit there crying their eyes out.”
Spoon lay on the blistering asphalt, his blood and saliva flooding its cracks and crannies. Spoon hated everything. He hated how much his face hurt. He hated his stupid left eye and how couldn’t stay open. He hated the way their bike chains rattled as they rode away. He hated the way his blood felt on his face. The hot sticky fluid dripped from his nose like chocolate syrup.
Spoon rolled to his back, saturating his white shirt in blood. He lay there staring at the sky, while the asphalt seared his calloused elbows. He hated the sky. Spoon rose to his feet and wiped away the river of blood from beneath his nose. He looked around for his bike and spotted it half submerged in the creek. He waddled timidly to the creek’s edge and took hold of a wheel that was poking out from atop the water. The soles of his sneakers dug into the muddy bank as he threw all his weight backward. The bike shot from beneath the water and he stumbled backward. He hated how weak he was.
Spoon walked his bike back up to the street and examined it. The paint was scratched in all the same places and the handlebars were just as crooked as before. He knelt down and felt the front tire, there was a 3-inch slash across it. His eyes focused blankly upon the gash. A cramp formed in his throat, as if he had just swallowed a cork. Spoon stood up and began to walk his bike home, while his eyelids shelved his tears. The sunlight turned to starbursts as his tears refracted its rays. Spoon hated crying.
Monday, July 8
Spoon woke up at 7:00 but didn’t get up until 7:50. He sat up on his bed and felt the bridge of his nose. It was still broken. What did he expect? He stumbled half drunkenly to his closet and by some miracle, a pair of jeans made their way onto his legs and a shirt onto his back. He slipped his chucks on and found his way to the bathroom. He stared, with his one good eye, at himself in the mirror. As if he couldn’t get any uglier. He didn’t bother to brush his teeth, and god knows a washing wouldn’t help his face. Spoon went into his garage and rolled out his bike, the tire was still slashed, why wouldn’t it be? So he put his bike back and set out walking. Spoon hated walking, mostly because he hated who he was walking with: himself. He deserved that beating, it was right for as someone as worthless as he to be put in his place. Yet he hated himself for just letting it happen, even if he deserved it. He wished it would happen again and this time they really would turn his brains into a smoothie.
“Wow, someone really did you in good,” droned a semi-amused voice.
Spoon spun around, just about breaking his neck. There stood a girl. She wore in baggy jeans and an old military jacket. A sarcastic grin sneered at him through a forest of long hair, the color of dead grass. Her eyes were the color of upholstery in a well-loved vintage car. He went into a state of a mental Charlie horse.
“Yeah,” he mustered out. Spoon wished he had brushed his teeth.
“Yeah?” She uttered, confused.
Then silence. Spoon just stared, he felt like his brains were going to run out of his ears.
“Well if you’re just gonna stand there, can you at least do it on the walkway and not the lawn?”
Spoon looked down and saw his feet planted firmly in the middle of her lawn. He quickly shuffled unto the concrete, never taking his eyes off his feet.
“You got a name, or should I just name you?”
“Well Spoon, my name’s Samantha and it’d be just peachy if you took your semi-mutilated face anywhere else.”
So Spoon did just that, for now. But every time he went out walking for the next week he made sure to go by her house. And the funny thing was he didn’t hate walking anymore, in fact, he loved it. Where Spoon had before seen cracked asphalt and liter filled gutters, he now saw well-groomed lawns and flower-filled gardens.
That week of going by Samantha’s house turned into weeks and those weeks into months. By midsummer, Spoon’s face was more or less back to normal. And surprisingly, he didn’t hate it anymore. By the time the June Bugs came around, Spoon had saved enough money to have his tire replaced and had nearly forgotten about the guys who slashed it in the first place. He didn’t hate them anymore. How can you hate someone you don’t even remember? And when he and Samantha went stargazing in the park, he realized he didn’t hate the sky either. When he was with her he didn’t hate himself.
Photo Credits: Aaron Almeida