1 and 2 of a contemporary novel about one man’s life-long search for
the women of his dreams.
This is my first time writing in my diareuh. Grandpa got me one for
Christmas. He says that lots of smart peeple like Been Franklin and
other guys his age kept diareuhs. Grandpa says that it helps to make you
great when you write down what you think. He tolled me that you cood
write down anything you want. Which is better than the writing we half
to do for Sister Mary Ellen my second grade teecher. Gramps says
diareuhs can help you see patturns in your life.
He says if I write for an hour a week he wood by me a bike for my
birthday. He made me promiss that Id try. And I will cuz I love Grandpa.
I also love Annette. I cant wait until the MICKEY MOUSE CLUB show comes
on every day to see her. Its like she is looking write at me threw the
TV. Sumtimes, I preetend that she is with me, and I can put my arm
around her like grone ups do. She
looks at me and smiles and Im so proud.
I wood bring her to my freind Billys house and Chucky wood come over but
she woodnt even pay attenshun to those 2 booger eaters. She wood just
stair at me and smile and laff at evrything I say. And she wood krinkel
her nose up and walk away when my show off brothers Kevin an Eddy try to
be funny and steel her from me like they do with all my freinds.
Annette wood come by me at night and put her arm around me when my Mom
and Dad are havin those nastee fights. Like to night. Mom said Dad had 2
much 2 drink. He was yelling reel loud and Mom started to cry and I got
scared. But I made Mom laff when she came in my room and asked me why I
wasnt asleep. I tolled her that I was writing in my diareuh like Grandpa
tolled me to. Then I asked why they named these books after somthing
disgusting like diareuh. She laffed and I was glad I made her feel
better. But she didnt anser me. May be Grandpa will tell me.
I wish Annette was hear with
me now anyways. I wood feel better. But I can just preetend.
March 7, 1963
Grandpa tolled me I how to spell diary write. Somtimes Im not the best speller.
Mom and Dad havnt ben talking much since the other day. Its funny. Dad is
like a bully when hese ben drinking beer and yelling at Mom. But after
that hese like are old dog Dazey whooz 13 years old. He just walks slow
and looks at his feet alot.
And beer makes Dads breth smells like Eddys sock drawr. I think beer is
And we half to clean everything in the house since Mom likes it that way
and Dad is trying too make up with her. Butt I dont like it after theese
beer fites. It sorta like when I play army with Kevin an Eddy and Im in
jale and cant talk or move or thell stick me in the ribs with thare
Some times when I want to make things better Ill sit with Mom when she is
cooking. She watches this cooking show where a man tells everyone about
what this lady cook is doing. I preetend that Im on TV doing the same
thing as the man and Mom Is the lady cook. Mom always smiles when I do
that and I don’t want her to be mad anymore. Then Kevin and Eddy snuk
up and saw me and made fun of me for it.
Kevin an Eddy saw me wen I was sposed to be sweepin the basemeant today
and I preetended that I waz dansing with Annette. Thell probly stop
teesing me in 20 or 30 yeers. Butt I dont care becuz wen thare not
arownd Annette stil looks at me like Im the ony thing she can see and I
feel like Superman. My bruthers mosely make me feel stupid. And Mom an
Dad are two buzy fiting and cleening and looking at thare feet right
Antie Hell came over today with Grandpa for Eddys birthday. Its alwaze
fun wen she comes over. Antie Hell is Eddys godmother. I wish she was
mine becuz Eddy always gets lots of money from her for his birthday.
When I asked why she is called Antie Hell she yelled CUZ IM HELL ON WEELS.
What ever that meens. But Mom says her real name is Hellin. Im not sure
thats much better.
Antie Hell swares alot. She walks into our house and says things like
HAVE ONE OF THEZE LITTLE BASSTURDS TAKE MY COAT. We all think its funny
exsept for Dad. He duznt like her calling us names but we dont mind. She
duznt meen it. Mom says that Antie Hell pulled all the hair out of her
head. Twice. Id probly
sware alot if I did that.
When Antie Hell and Grandpa come over Mom tells them alot about Eddy and
Kevin and me. She tells them how we do good in school an sports an stuff
an how i can read third grade books. But Antie Hell says things like YUR
FULLA SHIT JENNY THARE JUST A BUNCHA BEAR ASSD BABUNES. Mom and Grandpa
just kinda smile when she says stuff like that. Dad looks like he wants
to murdalize her.
Mom and Dad arnt fiting anymore. Not reely. I like it bettur this way but
Mom always comeplanes about Dad. She says he messes things up and wares
good shirts to ficks the car and stuff. But sumtimes I like Dad more
then Mom. He plays with us. He lissens. He even waches cartoons with us
on Satrdays sumtimes. But Dad has to work a ton so he cant wach Tv two
much. Mom never waches tv with us. She eether yells at us. Or brags
abowt us. I wish she waz more like Dad. Or Grandpa.
I showed Grandpa all the writing I had in my diary. He smiled an aksed me
what colur bike i wanted. I
tolled him green. I also tolled him about Annette. Sort of. I just said
GRANDPA ID LIKE YOU TO MEET ANNETTE. Just like a grone up. He shuk her
hand. And said PLEASE TO MEET YOU and smiled. And she smiled back at him
and looked at me and smiled bigger. Not really. Just preetend. But it
almost felt reel for a second.
Grandpa is the best.
Nuthin speshal reelly happened today. But Im sposed to write in my diary
for an our a week and I only rote four 30 minits since last Saturday.
Grandpa asked me abowt it to day and I tole him. He just gave me this
side waze look and said I owed him 30 more minits. I tolled him I didnt
no what to write. He said WRITE ANY THING. So hear goze.
My name is Brian Kominski and I live in Chicago with my 2 older bruthers
Kevin and Eddy. Kevin is 10 and Eddy is 12. I aktully like them wen
thare not torchurin me by makin me put a rolld up peese of paper in my
mowth and snappin it out with a dish towl. Kevin I like cuz he is mostly
nice to me and bys me fake sigrets that make reel smoke and stuff. Eddy
I like cuz heze good at evry thing. Id like to be like Eddy wen I get
oldur but he tells me Im a little marshin cuz I do weerd stuff I gess.
And we also have a dog Dazey who is pretty old and kinda looks a giant
orange dust mop with legs.
And than thares my Dad and Mom. Dad
wurks a lot delivring meat to grossry stores. He keeps his truck in are
garage and we can go in and take hot dogs and stuff when ever we want.
Witch my frends Chukkie and Billy think is pretty neet. Mostly I think
that’s why thay come over. Mom is who Kevin and Eddy and me are scared
of. More then Dad. Mom yells at us more but she likes us two I think.
She reelly likes to have the house cleen and she likes us to look neet
and have are shoes shined and are pants pressd for school. She says that
the nuns no yur a Kominski if yur panrs are pressd and yur shoes are
shined. I dont no how. Mom likes to fuss over me a lot and call me THE
BABY OF THE FAMLY and tell peepul how I cood read wen I was 3. Sumtimes
thats why I think Kevin and Eddy like to torchur me.
I dont reelly liked to be calld a baby or that other stuff. But
Mom likes to say that so I gess its ok.
Chukkie and Billy are my frends I gess. Chukkie lives on are block and
Billy lives 1 block over. I play with them sum times but not alwaze. Cuz
I like to play with my brothurs and thare frends. We lissin to the fono
graf. To the Beech Boys and The Dave CLark 5 and stuff and Chukkie and
Billy dont even no who thay are.
I go to school at Saint James School. Weer Cathlics. Some othur kids on
are block are publics and go to Durkin school. We get out of school way
urleeur so Cathlic school is better.
Kevin is better than Eddy in one thing. Fartin. I think Kevin is better
than any one at fartin. Kevin farts all the time. From eatin any thing.
Grapes, hot dogs, cake, korn flakes. But White Cassel hambergers make
him fart the most. Sometimes
after he has a bunch of sliders Kevin can actually fart music, and we
play NAME THAT FART. It’s hillaireeus.
Im not so sure that Im gonna get that bike from Grandpa. Writing is hard.
March 16, 1963
Today was abowt the best day in the histree of the world. Than it turned
in to one of the worst.
We got 2 feet of snow and school was canselled and me and Kevin and Eddy
and Chukkie and Billy and half the kids on our block played outside all
day. After we helped every one in the nayborhood shovel their sidewalks
and stuff. About 5 times. Since we nocked all the snow back on the
The best part was wen we made a sekret BOYS ONLY fort and no girls were a
loud. Espeshally not Mary Beth Hoolihan. She likes me I think cuz she
always sits by me in Music class. And she kept throwin snow balls at me
today insted of Chukkie or Billy or any one else. Then Eddy the
superjerk runed it by saying BETTUR CUT IT OWT BRIAN OR ANNETTE WILL GET
JELLIS. I didnt want anyone to no about or Annette OR to think I liked
Mary Jane so I kinda went spastik and pinned her down and washd her face
out. It wasnt like I punched her or nothin but she went home cryin any
Later wen I got off all my wet close and changed and went downstairs by
my self I asked Annette if she wood be mad if I washed her face owt. And
she said NO and kinda leened her sholder agenst mine. And then I put my
arm arownd her and just stayed thare for a wile. The next thing I new
Kevin was fartin the MAN FROM UNCLE song in my face. He said LET GO A
THAT PILLOW AND GET UP CUZ DAD IS GONNA KILL YOU. MISSUS HOOLIHAN IS ON
THE FONE. Then I herd Dads foot steps cummin down the stares. Dad sounds
like the Jolly Green Giant when he comes down the stares. I was gonna
get killed by the Jolly Green Giant.
That’s when Kevin became my all-time favrit brother. When Dad was
lookin like I he was gonna spank me for 2 hours strate Kevin said that
Mary Beth was bommin me with snowballs all day. Witch was sorta true.
Than Kevin said she hit me in the head with one so I went and washed her
face out cuz she desurved it. Dad lookd kinda happy that he didnt havta
spank me for 2 hours becuz he duznt like to reelly spank us. He said
WELL DONT DO THAT AGAIN but he reelly didnt meen it.
When Dad walkd a way Kevin said YOU HALF TO CLEEN MY ROOM FOR LIFE.
I like Sundaze. Youshelley.
I allways go to 7 oclock mass with Mom. Mass at Saint Johns is reeling
boring. Its not even in Englush an you half to neel until it hurts. Then
Mom stays after mass to long and talks to all of our nayboors. Today
Missus Janopski tolld her wat a good boy I was for bringing her paper
too her wich was in her bushes. Not on hur porch. Mom smiled and tolled
hur how I cood drink milk from a glass wen I was 6 months old. Drinking
milk from a glass is a big thing for Mom. She tells peeple about it all
Dad duznt go to church. I dont no why. He goze to the bakery and bys
coffee cakes and makes eggs and bakin for us wen we get home. I think
Dad has a better deel than Mom.
Mom makes a speshul meel on Sundays. We call it Sunday dinner even tho
its reelly lunch. I dont no why.
Grandpa came over today but he didnt eat much. He just koffed alot. Mom
kinda yelled at him for not eating. I didnt think a kid cood yell at a
Dad. I gess wen yur a grone up you can yell at any body.
After Mom stopped yellin at Grandpa he aksed me how I was doing in
school. I said fine. Eksept Steven Bucher beat me up at recess the other
day. Mom said I DIDNT NO THAT. Even tho I told hur. I think she forgot
becuz my school pants wur ripped. Mom hates it wen yur pants get ripped.
It makes her go crazy. She was so crazy she didnt notis my fat lip.
After dinner Dad went down stares to get the boksing gloves. I hate to
praktis boksing. Kevin and Eddy just wale on me. Then I cry. Then Dad
tells me this is good for me. Then I go crazy and wale on Kevin or Eddy.
Then thay fall down laffing.
Im glad Annette waznt heer.
Today was a weerd day. First, Mary Beth Hoolihan is still reelly mad at
for washin her face out the other day. I can tell cuz she sat next to
Scott Bucher in Music wen she always sits next to me. Scott Bucher
thinks heze cool becuz he komes his hare back and uses lots of Brill
Creem like my bruther Eddy. Than I ansered about 10 questions in class
that no one else new. I youshelly dont anser that much. Sister Mary
Ellen told Mom at the parint teecher confrinse that I day dreem a lot in
school even tho Im kinda smart. Witch is true I gesss. So I thawt I was
doin reelly good anserin a lot. I know Sister Mary Ellen liked it cuz
she said so. But Scott Bucher wisspered for me to quit bein a brown
nose. I thawt that Mary Beth wood notis and like me again. But she didnt
even look at me once. I no cuz I was lookin at her after every anser. I
think she not looked at me on purpus.
Wen we took are labratory brake I was in the bath room. Scott Bucher and
some other guys pushed me in to the yurinall. My tie got wet so I told
Sister Mary Ellen. She wantd me to tell hur hoo did it but my bruthers
told me not to be a skweeler. So I didnt say.
Sister got mad and said the hole class had to stay after if no
one said who did it but no one said anyway becuz Scott Bucher is the
tuffest kid in class and no one wanted to get beet up later. So now
every one hates me.
Then I walkd home by my self. Then I saw some sno men with carrits and
stuff missing from thare faces. Than I figured I wood look kinda like
them wen Scott Bucher was done with me. I was so worried that I almost
missed the Mickey mouse Club wen I got home by. When I turned the TV on,
Annette was in the middle of singing this song with Bobby. I dont even
no what the song was. But Annette was lookin at Bobby with those Is and
smilin like he was the Good Humor Man or sumthin. I cood just feel it.
And then I pretended that Annette was next to me on the cowch an
lookin at me like I was the Good Humor Man. And it was like she was
reelly there. So I didnt here Mom yellin the first time that dinner was
reddy and it was time to set the table. She was mad wen I came upstares
and it was after 5 o clok and the table wasnt set. Being late for dinner
makes Mom nuts. So I set the table as fast as I cood and poored the milk
and all and Mom was sayin what a good boy I was wen Kevin and Eddy came
in. And she yelled at them. So wen I went to wash me hands in the bath
room Eddy teesed me and said I was a Mommas boy. Than he pushed me and I
fell in toylet an got all wet. Which made Mom go nuts and she grownded
Kevin and Eddy for the rest of the week. Kevin didnt do any thing but he
got grownded any way.
Maybe Grandpas right. You can see patterns wen you write in a diary.
Todays pattern was that wen I try to do good peepul dont like it eksept
for grone ups. Than I end up in the toylet. Than the grone ups get mad
at every one else. Than every one gets mad at me.
March 28, 1963
Sum times Kevin and Eddy arent so bad.
Today before school when Scott Beecher started bumping me in line like
always. The next thing I knew his books and papers and stuff were on the
grownd. All of sudden. He
started to yell WHO DID THAT wen Kevin said WHATSA MATTER BEECH BOY.
BOOKS TWO HEVVY FOR YA? Kevin
and Eddy werent even supposed to be at door A with the first graders.
Kevin is in forth grade wich uses Door B and Eddy is in siksth grade
wich uses Door C. When Scott reeched down for his books Eddy steppd on
them with the muddeeist foot you ever seen.
Then he mashed his foot around like his was puttin owt a sigrett
an said KEEP PICKIN ON MY BRUTHER AN THATLL BEE YUR HEAD. Then the bell
rang and every one got in line wile Scott Beecher picked up his muddy
books. He didnt even look at me the rest of the day.
Kevin is reelly pretty nice to me most of the time. Wen Mom takes us to
the HiLo grossery store Kevin always bys me gumballs from the masheens
if Mom wont give me munnee. Witch she mostly duznt. And Kevin helps me
with my homework wen Moms not happy with it. I wood never ask Eddy for
help. Heze two cool. And he wood just make me feel like I shood no how
to do it my self and not reelly help much anyway.
Eddy is good at every thing. Every one likes him. And wants him on thare
team. Sum times I wach him play baseball and he winks at me and then he
hits a homer. Its cool to be Eddys bruther then. But wen heze shaggin me
away cuz all hiz frends are around it not so cool. Then I look for Kevin
or my sumtimes frends Chukkie and Billy.
But mostly I look for Annette.
Im scared. Grandpa is vary sick.
Grandpa hadnt come over to hour house in about 2 weeks. So Mom desided we
wood pop in on him when we were out shopping for sum new school pants
for me. Most of mine had holes in the neese. I dont no how they get
there all the time. Maybe we bawt them that way.
When we saw Grandpa you could tell he wasnt right. He lookd
all skinny and he could barely move. And he didnt have his Grandpa smile
on. Grandpa youshelly has this smile on his face like he just farted and
someone walked into it. Witch he sometimes duz. But not today. Today he
wasn’t smiling at all. He looked skinny and week and bent over. At
first I waznt sure it was reelly him. So I stood behind Mom a little
just in case. He was coffin about evry 2 sekends. And wurst of all, the
hanky he was coffin in was full of blud!!!
went nuts when she saw the blud. She was yelling at Grandpa and asked
him how long he was coffin blud while she called the doktor. Grandpa
didnt talk. He just moved his sholders in a way that ment he didn’t
remember or care or sumthin. Wile Momma was talking on the phone,
Grandpa lookd at me and I could see that it waz reelly Grandpa becuz he
had that sum of his I just
farted smile. A little. He asked HAVE YOU BEEN RIGHTIN IN YOUR DIARY
BRIAN? And I nodded yes. Then he coffed his branes out for a few
seconds. He was breethin vary hevvy. Wen he cawt his breth he said LOOK
IN THE BASEMENT. I walkd down the stares. At the bottom waz the coolest
green Schwinn sting ray bike you ever saw. I just stood there starin at
it when I herd my mother screamin at me so I ran upstares. Mom helped
Grandpa to the car and we took him to the hospittle. Grandpa was coffin
like crazy the hole way and Mom was drivin reel fast and teers were
rolling down her cheeks. I don’t know if I was more scared that
Grandpa was gonna die or that I was.
we got to the hospittle the peepul at the merge-in- see room took him
from the car fast and Mom was holdin Grandpas hand like she duz mine.
Then all of sudden Grandpa lookd at me and smiled a little and said
EVERYTHINGS GONNA BE ALRIGHT BRIAN.
But Im not so sure.
April 17, 1963
Granpa’s dead. Why? How cood he die? Heze my Grandpa? Ever since Mom
and I found him, heze ben in the hopsital. The doctur said that he had
cancer. I don’t know what that is but Grandpa just kepped coffin and
weezin and spittin blud. Every day he kepped getting thinner and than he
cood hardly talk. It was awful and now heze ded and all I have is a
stupid bike and I want Grandpa instead.
We go to church and we learn in school how good God is but why did he
take Grandpa from me? Kevin and Eddy told me that no one lives forever.
Now I no Im gonna die too. Im so scared!
Now Mom’s cryin and Dad’s huggin her and sheze cryin lowder. And
Kevin an Eddy are cryin to and the Docter is just wachin and Granpa is
still dead. And Mom was tryin to hug me and Im just writing. Im not
reelly cryin but my Is are wet. Maybe Grandpa is a goast now and he can
read this. GRANDPA COME BACK. PLEASE.
Why did you die, Grandpa? You always talked to me and played pretend
games. You were my frend. I felt important when I was with you. Hooz
gonna’ make me feel that way now?
When every one left me alone Eddy came up to me, Grandpa. I think he was
tryin to be nice for once. He sat by me and put his arm arownd me kinda
like you did Granpa and said MAYBE YOU SHOULD GIVE ANNETTE A HUG TONITE
BRIAN. And I got reelly
mad. I tried to smash him. I don’t know why. Dad and Kevin pulled me
off Eddy. And I said ANNETTES NOT REEL YOU JERK. ANNETTES NOT REEL!
But I wish she was.
It’s been a long time.
Grandpa would have been 85 if the cancer hadn’t killed him 6 years ago.
I haven’t even written in it since the day he died. In fact, if I hadn’t cleaned my sock drawer today I
probably wouldn’t have ever found it.
It made me think of Grandpa. I still miss him. I think of him
every time I ride my bike, although
these days my knees almost hit my chin when I pedal. Still, it’s from
Grandpa, and I don’t think I could ever give it up.
Grandpa was right about one thing ---- the diary does make you see
patterns in life. Dad’s been drinking again lately, which leads to
fights with Mom. I think Eddy’s being away at college has something to
do with it.
You can always tell when Dad’s going to come home smashed. A day or two
before, Dad will tell Mom he wants a beer with dinner. Mom gets him the
beer but her teeth are clenched when she does. Everyone gets quiet.
It’s like in the cowboy movies when they say, “Meet me at high
noon.” You know Dad’s going to come home REALLY schnockered in a day
or so ----- and he and Mom are going to have a showdown. My brothers and
I have gotten so we start cleaning the house BEFORE the fight because we
know that Dad will make us do that afterwards to make up with Mom, which
is how I came across my old diary.
It’s funny to read over the stuff I wrote 6 years ago. I was SUCH a
dork. I still don’t understand girls, althought I hardly ever wash
their faces out anymore. Besides, Mary Beth Houlihan has become a major
OINKER. But Kathy Kubek, now THAT’S another story.
Kathy Kubek is a total FOX. She doesn’t act stuck up at all like most
of the popular girls. She walks around in overalls and tee shirts and
doesn’t fix her self all up like Madeleine Tursarello, who is going
steady with a Junior in High School and doing things that you only read
about in the Playboy magazines we steal at my friend Chucky’s house.
One thing I like about Kathy is that she hangs out with the boys as much
as the girls. She jokes
around a lot, doesn’t throw a fit if you tease her, and can actually
talk about sports some since she has 3 brothers. She ‘s kind of “One
of the Guys.” Except for that smile. Kathy has these like perfect
teeth and these great blue eyes, both of which light up like a neon sign
when she smiles. She came to our 8th grade basketball game
today, and I kind of went nuts. I scored 18 points, and caught her eye
after every basket. And
One thing’s for sure ----
it’s hard to run when you got a boner.
Afterwards, Kathy came up to me and punched me in the arm and said,
“Nice game, K-Man” --- “K” for “Kominski. Then she and I and
Chucky hung out outside the school and shot the breeze for a while.
Actually, mostly Chucky and Kathy shot the breeze. When Kathy is around
I usually feel like my Dad parked his truck on my tongue.
Chucky and I walked Kathy home, and they made a big deal out the
good game I had and said that we would probably win the league Catholic
championship this year since I was playing so good. And then Kathy
started teasing me about Peggy Smelter, who had also came to the game.
Kathy said she liked me and stared at me all through the game as if no
one else was playing. But I told Kathy that I didn’t like Peggy. In
fact, I said that I kind of liked someone else. So for the next 3
blocks, Kathy and Chucky interrogated me like a Russian spy. I think
Kathy was hoping I would say I liked her ---- her and Chucky were
smiling at one another like they already knew something. But no way was
I saying anything right to her face!!!!! Maybe I’ll have Chucky tell
You know, this diary thing is kind of fun. It DOES help you think through
March 9, 1969
Eddy called yesterday from school to say he wouldn’t be coming home
this weekend. He’s away at Kendrick College in Wisconsin, and I guess
he’s got a lot of tests coming up. For reasons I don’t understand,
his being gone has really affected Dad. I think he looks up to Eddy,
too. The call set off the chain reaction of Dad-gets-hammered,
Mom-gets-pissed, Brian-stays-out-of-the-way. Which is exactly why I am
sitting in the bathroom with the door locked writing in this diary.
You know, Mom and Dad aren’t really that bad of people. It’s just
that they kinda’ spaz out when things don’t right. I mean, Mom does
everything for us. She cooks. She cleans. She irons our clothes --- even
our underwear, although I wish she’d use less starch. But if things
aren’t just right, she “mounts the broom,” as my brothers like to
say. Mom is really a yeller, which can be embarassing around my friends.
Take the time that Billy was eating over and Mom went psycho because
Kevin snapped me with a dishtowel, causing me to drop the glass of milk
I was holding. She made Kevin and me wash and wax the entire kitchen
floor while Billy ate dinner looking down at his plate the whole time.
My Dad isn’t like my friends’ dads.
First of all, he’s older ---- 61 years old, in fact. But, in
some ways, he’s younger as well. Dad will come out and play running
bases with us, or take us to the roller rink, or chase the dog around
the yard. Inside, he’s still a kid in some ways, which is really
groovy. But Dad seems to let things bother him a lot and when they do he
seems to start drinking too much. Sometimes it seems like Dad drinks on
purpose so he can get angry and yell at Mom. It’s like the only time
he really gets to be the boss.
So when Eddy called home and said he wasn’t coming back this weekend,
Kevin and I knew what was coming. Dad asked Mom for a beer with dinner.
It’s not like Dad drinks all the time. Actually, he hardly drinks at
all. But, when he does….. LOOKOUT. Natually, I began cleaning
Things got so tense that I actually forgot about Eddy being gone myself.
Corny as it sounds, Eddy is my hero. He’s always been the star. He
always has the best-looking girlfriend. I don’t know the details, but
Eddy and Kevin always chuckling this dirty little chortle they talk
about college girls. They never say anything, they just chortle. He must
be screwing his brains out!
You know, I love my Dad and all …… but I really look up to Eddy.
Well, got to go. Kevin has to take a dump.
March 10, 1969
It all started in Miss Jenkins English class.
I’m pretty much convinced that Mrs. Jenkins is, in fact, a VULCAN. She
might possibly be Spock’s mother. The reason I think this is that
nothing on her is real!
Take her eyebrows. There’s nothing but skin where her real ones are
supposed to be. Instead, she draws fake ones in with a pencil which
half-moon way up into the middle of her forehead. Then there’s her
hair. It is definitely NOT hers because I saw her push it back one
time…. I mean, all of it …. when it was starting to droop
down to the level of her fake eyebrows. Finally, there’s her teeth. At
least 4 of her top front teeth are false. I know because I saw her catch
them with her bottom lip once when Mary Dugan made her laugh in class.
Her wig actually covers the tops of her ears, but if I could see them, I
know they’d be pointed.
But what really convinces me that she’s an alien is that she has no
clue of what’s happening on Earth.
She was calling on Chucky in class today, since it was his turn to read
Beowulf out loud, when he responded, “Wa-Wa-WAAAADDDD did you say,
I could believe it! I buried my head in my book. Without a doubt, he was
going to die, probably by way of the Vulcan death grip. But Mrs. Jenkins
simply replied, “I SAID, please begin reading, Charles.”
Chucky got cockier. “Wa-Wa-WAAAADDDDD page was that, Mrs. Jenkins?”
Half that room was snickering.
“Page 274, Mr. Slopczak.” Jenkins was pissed, but she still didn’t
seem to get it. Unbelievable!
Always one to play to the crowd, Chucky kept pushing. “Wa-Wa-WAAADDDD
Mrs. Jenkins bit down hard on her false teeth, trying desperately to move
her circus-clown eyebrows into a menacing position. She glared icilily
over her bifocals, and I saw Chucky’s life pass before my eyes.
Surely, she had to know that a WAD is a DICK! She MUST
have finally gotten it. But after 10 seconds of threatening silence, she
merely growled, “Paragraph 3, Charles.”
Chucky began reading enthusiasitically as the rest of the class let out a
collective hiss of laughter, faces jammed into our books. Needless to
say, the remainder of the day became an all-out WADfest.
“WA-WA-WAAADDD a beautiful day it is, Sister!”
“Wa-Wa-WAAAADDDD time is it, Peggy?”
“Wa-Wa-WAAAADDDD a nice dress you have on, Kathy!”
And so on.
But the clincher was when Chucky asked me, “Kominski, who’s your
“Why, Henry Wa-Wa-WAAAADDDDDSSSSworth…LONGFELLOW,
We laughed so hard it hurt!
Kathy Kubek is a GODDESS!
school basketball team played our arch-enemies from St. Michael’s. St.
Mike’s --- or St. Dyke’s, as we like to call them --- is our
neighboring parish to the east. In Chicago, parishes are like towns with
constant border skirmishes, generally taking the form of; a.) vandalism,
or b.) sporting events. In fact, the two often go together, as
demonstrated by our newly-decorated visitors locker room. Those St.
Mike’s Dykes can’t shoot so well, but they sure can draw!
Like most rivalries, competition with St. Mike’s usually involves a lot
of emotion, punctuated by knees and elbows. I had a feeling that
today’s contest might be especially physical when I noticed that Matt
Roark, our school’s best forward (as well as star fullback) was not
wearing his customary knee pads. When I asked him why, he responded,
“Softens the blow.”
With 120 pounds of meat thinly spread over my 5 foot 9 inch frame, I
consider the lane to be the territory of Matt Roark and the rest of the
troglydites. The rest of the court is MINE. I tend to be a long-range
bomber, which is kind of a hit-or-miss proposition. Today was definitely
a “hit.” As Chucky put it, “You were fucking UNCONSCIOUS out
there, Brian!” And he was right. I was. Everything I threw up went in.
I ended up scoring 19 points, and we beat the Dyke’s from St. Mike’s
But, here’s the good part.
As always, we went out to Homer’s Foot Long Hot Dog Palace after the
game. When I came in, Chucky was yelling above the crowd, saying,
“WA-WA-WAAADDDD WERE YOU DOIN’ OUT THERE, K-MAN? TRYIN’ TO BE
JERRY-FUCKIN’-WEST OR SUMTHIN’?”
“WA-WA-WAAADDD DO YOU MEAN?” I said. It was the only appropriate
People were yelling my name, slapping me on the back, and
“WA-WA-WAAADDDDING” me from all angles. Someone plopped a foot-long
hot dog in front of me, which would get my undivided attention under
normal circumstances. But at that particular moment, I pretty much had
my own foot-long going, and the object of its affection was sitting
right across from me ---- KATHY KUBEK.
was sitting next to Chucky, smiling that knee-buckling smile of hers.
Not knowing what else to do, I launched into the Homer dog, but under
the intensity of Kathy’s gaze, I smiled back. Suddenly, I was forcibly
reminded that, in my haste to get to Homer’s I was wearing basketball
shorts under my jeans, and a jock strap under my shorts. But Chucky, in
his infinite Chuckydom, delivered both embarassment along with a certain
measure of relief when he said, “WA-WA-WAAADDDS THAT IN YOUR TEETH,
K-MAN? A POP-POP-POPPY SEED?” Which, of course, it was, courtesy of
Homer’s deluxe hot dog bun.
Kathy saved me from death-by-embarassment as she elbowed Chuck Roast in
the ribs and quickly countered with, “That’s not a poppy seed,
Chuck. That’s your brain.” Then she smiled her best
“Miss-America-In-Bib-Overalls” smile at me. I fought off the impulse
to flash her my “Homer’s-Hot-Dog-Bun-Poppy-Seed” smile in return.
Kathy, Chucky, and I hung out at Homer’s for about an hour or so until
we WADDED her into submission. Then she added a roll of her eyes to her
dazzling smile, and I became dizzy. Before I could recover, she said
goodbye, snagged the ever-present Peggy Smelter, and was out the door.
Being the mature young men that we are, Chucky and I left Homer’s
shortly thereafter and followed the girls at a discreet yet obnoxiously
noticeable distance. We did what anyone in our situation would do. When
they crossed the street ---we crossed the street. When they crossed back
--- we crossed back. When they laughed --- we laughed LOUDER. And when
Kathy and Peggy reached their houses, Kathy looked back and winked at
And my boner actually touched my heart. I think I’m in LOVE!
whole idea of drinking is an absolute mystery to me.
and Billy, have been on my giving me crap about drinking. We go to
parties and everyone who’s in the “cool group ” is starting to
drink. Being in the cool group is, well, cool. Everyone who plays any
sport at St. Jame’s is automatically a candidate for the cool group,
although it doesn’t necessarily guarantee membership. And every foxy
looking girl in 8th grade is in the girl cool group,
including Kathy Kubek.
don’t know how it is actually decided that you are in, but everyone
seems to know if you ar “in” or “out.” Chucky seems to be the
designated herald of the group and, in so many words, has explained that
to be in it’s pretty much expected that you drink. Still, given
what’s been happening at home, it kind of tough to see the glamour in
This weekend has all the makings of a total disaster.
We’re playng our championship game against the dreaded Spooks
from St. Luke's tomorrow. It seems to be all anyone is thinking of. My
classmates bring it up in every conversation. Teachers mention it in
every class. But Coach Gutauskas ----- he’s gone completely wacko.
Coach Gut is taking his usual fanatacism to higher level. Sure,
he’s meeting the team outside the school doors in the morning. Of
course, he’s sitting with us at our lunch table, giving us coaching
tips. We expect that of the Gut-man. He's a maniac. He has no life.
What I didn't expect was the constant stalking. Wherever I went, he
appeared, ready to force-feed me coaching tips.
- In the hallways:
"K-Man, Number 15's got no left
hand. Force him that way."
- In the Principal's office, after being I was summoned over the
"Brian, remember to flash to the
middle against their press."
- At the urinal, when I was taking a wizz:
"Kominski, this is our year. Your outside
shot's gonna' take 'em right outa' that 1-3-1 zone."
When it finally appeared that I had escaped him leaving school
today, I felt the grip of a hand on shoulder. Coach spun me around and,
with a rabid look in his eye, growled in my face and said, “Special K,
you ready for those Spook’s tomorrow?” I know that the proper
response would have been to head-butt him and scream, “YOU
BETCHERASS I AM.”
Instead, I just ran. The pressure’s getting to me, I guess.
You see, the Gutster had designed our entire game plan around me.
St. Luke's always plays this trapping press, falling back into a 1-3-1
zone on the rare occasions that they don’t steal the ball and ram
through your chest for a lay-up. To
counter their press, Coach wants me handling the ball in the middle,
avoiding traps on the sidelines, but forcing me to make quick decisions
in heavy traffic.
No problem………. I’m a good ball-handler.
Then, when we got into our half-court offense, I am his designated
zone-breaker. "No one shoots but Special K (his own pet name for
me) unless it's a lay-up," Coach Gut told us.
OK………fine….. I like to shoot.
In the rare moments when Coach Gutauskas isn’t putting the
basketball world on my shoulders, Chucky and Kathy are destroying the
rest of it. Chucky by himself is bad enough. Whenever he has an
audience, he’s either telling people how many gallons of barf I
spewed, or cupping his hand to show how big Kathy’s boobs are. Both
are exagerations. And he is taking EVERY possible opportunity to drape
himself on her in public. Kathy, to her credit, is usually quick to push
his arm off of her, but that didn’t mean she isn’t getting to me. In
fact, she’s worse.
Kathy is killing me with PITY. She must have finally realized that
I had a thing for her. During lunch she just gives me this, “I’m
sorry” look whenever we make eye contact. She’s especially
unaffectionate with Chucky whenever I’m around, pushing him away
forcefully when he’s pawing at her, which is pretty much all the time.
And she had her friend Irene Murphy deliver a note to me that said stuff
like, “I hope we’ll always be friends …… I’m sorry if I hurt
you….. you’re such a nice guy.”
Such a NICE GUY. I HATE THAT!!!!!! Don’t you know I COULDA’
PAWED YOU JUST LIKE CHUCKY-THE-ALL-TIME-BEAT-OFF?!?!?!
To make matters even worse, I was greeted by none other than my
brother Eddy when I finished running home today. He had come home from
college for the weekend. At first, I was thrilled to see him. After
finishing our ceremonial shoulder-punching ritual, he wanted to shoot
around in the driveway, saying he heard how good I had gotten since he
left. Just to show me who the boss was, he kicked my ass in HORSE five
times. I never got passed “H”. He then set off to see his old high
I need a shower to get the tire marks off my back.
All I can say is ----- FUCK EVERYBODY!
I began today’s championship game at an all-time low. Setting up
for the jump ball, I scanned the crowd, picking out Chucky ------- with
his arm around the ever-luscious Kathy; my brother Eddy ------ big man
on campus with his old girlfriend in tow; and Coach Gutauskas ------ his
stomache, eyes, and neck veins all competing for the “Most Unnatural
Bodily Protrusion” award.
And I went brain-dead.
My first shot ended up in the 3rd row. I dribbled off of
my feet 4 times, and Number 15 went right on me whenever he damn well
pleased. At halftime, we were down 29-18, mostly because Matt Roark had
hit some of the most amazing, flat-footed 20-foot shots ever recorded. I
had scored 2 points. I couldn’t have played much worse.
Coach Gut was beside himself at halftime. He got right in my face
for about 5 minutes saying God-knows-what while I carefully studied my
shoes. And then I snapped. I just lost it. I looked up and said
menacingly, “Would you SHUT the FUCK UP?” Everyone’s jaw dropped,
including Coach Gutauskus’. Before he could recover, I grabbed a ball,
walked out of the locker room, and went out to warm up for the second
half. Coach G. and the rest of the team didn’t join me for about 5
minutes, but I didn’t even care. It all came home. Coach Gut, putting
HIS dreams on MY shoulders. Eddy ---- Mr. Superstar, showing up to
reclaim the family spotlight. And Kathy Kubek, the girl of my dreams,
going with Chucky the Caveman, while I’m a “Nice Guy.”
Things must have looked a little awkward because the normally shy
Irene Murphy ---- who is one of our better-looking cheerleaders when
she’s not delivering secret notes for Kathy Kubek ---- approached me
and asked, “Brian, is everything all right?” I wanted to tell her
that things were fucked up beyond belief, but Irene is pretty nice. So,
I smiled at her and said, “It can only get better.”
Despite my outburt, I started the second half. St. Luke’s scored
right off the tip off, and clamped on their usual full-court press.
Roark got me the ball in the middle, and I as I dribbled I saw Billy
work himself open on the sideline. Right when I was about to pass him
the ball, I caught a glimpse of Chuckster in his front row seat, in
direct line with the streaking Billy.
Without hesitation, I gunned the pass as hard as I could, sending
it just behind my target. The ball revealed itself to Chucky only
fractions after Billy had run by, leaving him too little time to react.
I’m sure his nose will be fine in a few days but, jeez, that boy is a
From that point on, I was on fire. Number 15, couldn’t take a
step without me in his shirt. Everything I shot went in. I handled their
press as if St. Luke’s defenders were in slow motion. I mean. I’ve
had some good games before, but never one like this. Everything just
flowed. With 2 seconds left in the game, we went up 45-44 left on a
patented, Special-K Zone Buster bomb from the corner. Their coach
immediately called time-out, glaring at his team furiously as they
trudged to the bench. Mr. Gutauskas was already celebrating wildly, but
I was still as possessed as Linda Blair. “IT’S NOT OVER. IT’S NOT
OVER,” I screamed to my teammates. Unfortunately, Coach was too busy
jumping around and hugging people to give us any meaningful
instructions, so we returned to the court without any idea of how to
defend their in-bounds play. But I had a plan of my own.
Although Stanley Puckett, Number 15, was their best player, I had
guessed that they would use him as a decoy and go inside to Rory
Johnson, their 6’3” center. Rumor has it that Rory shaves twice a
day, and can dunk with both hands from a standing jump. Physically,
he’s from another dimension. So when the ref handed them the ball at
half-court, I made a quick move to cover Puckett, then dropped off to
play the field. Sure enough, they heaved a football-style pass right to
the basket just as Johnson peeled off of a backside pick. He reached for
the ball just as I cut in front and snatched it out of the air, wrapping
it up in both arms for safe-keeping. The clock moved 2 ticks before any
Spooks could react.
The game was over. We had WON!
Pandemonium broke lose, but I never let go of Mr. Wilson. That ball
meant something special to me but, although I wasn’t sure what. Coach
Gut, accompanied by the entire bench, piled on top of me and my new best
friend. I hung onto that ball for dear life, even though it was the
source of some serious abdominal discomfort. Once we had unpiled, I ran
out of the gym, turned around, and launched the ball on top of the
Mr. Wilson. And good-bye Brian “Back-Seat” Kominski.