Ginsanity; Part 4 - August 2, 2008

(Reconditioning Batteries)

The dark street in front of Rob's grandmother's house was desolate, save for me menacingly marching towards Jimmy and Jimmy attempting to be menacing while stumbling towards me. We were fifteen feet apart. The fact that he swung at Timmy was just an excuse. I knew I wasn't saving the day, and I knew I wasn't about to fuck some random kid up to temporarily make myself feel better about my life - emotionally, I wanted to get out of the red and into the black. I saw what I was doing as putting good feeling in an ING account for a rainy day. I had already butchered Jimmy in my heart. All I needed to make that initial deposit was to make that vision a reality on the warm summer pavement in front of us.

"WATCH OUT MIKE!!!" Timmy yelled as Jimmy finally got within arm's reach and swung a right handed haymaker at my face. I backed up, casually watching him whiff and subsequently eat shit on the street like a grocery bag full of produce sliding off a car roof. I wasn't used to being so calm during an altercation. I didn't have the typical adrenaline saturated stagger- vision. Instead it was all unfolding in front of me in a comfortable way, like I was watching the fight from the comfort of my couch at home. He struggled to his hands and knees, roaring out of frustration because he couldn't cull enough balance to get on his feet. I stood there and watched him groggily flail around. The tears began welling up in my eyes again and everything around me and my attacker was blotted out in a gray wash. Jimmy wasn't Jimmy anymore. Jimmy was the meth addict at the funeral. He was my boss on the energy trading desk. He represented everything wrong with my life. I walked towards him, picking up speed until I was at a full sprint, tears streaming down my face. Goodbye, Jimmy.


Jimmy was still on his hands and knees when the laces of my shoe connected with his nose. To this day I can't think of a time that I kicked anything harder. He flipped on to his back with an arc of blood tracing his head's movement through the air and made a sickening, wet, walloping noise where he landed. Blood poured out of his nose and mouth, spattering the pavement around him like a Jackson Pollack painting. Timmy laughed nervously behind me. He knew Jimmy earned a few lumps for acting like an idiot, but he had never seen anyone get hurt like that before. Neither had I. I stood above Jimmy and watched him groan and gurgle, clutching his face and rolling from left to right but never fully flipping over. I glanced to my right. My shoe had dots of blood on it and it continued up my leg all the way to the front pocket. All the little hairs on my neck stood on end as I watch that slab of meat roll around, getting pebbles and dirt stuck to his face. I felt like I was in control for the first time in weeks. It felt amazing; like my soul was ejaculating after a lifetime of intercourse.


Timmy couldn't come up with the words to describe what he was seeing. It didn't matter, because I was seeing it too -- Jimmy was getting back on his feet. He was either the toughest dude in New England or the pharmaceuticals metabolizing in his system were blocking all pain receptors and logical thought processes. Against all odds and sensibility, Jimmy struggled upright and staggered forward for the second time, baptized from the chest up in his own blood and saliva. His face was swollen and raw, and pink drool dripped off of his chin. I backed up a few paces and sized Jimmy up once more. I almost wanted to congratulate him on being so driven, but I was too deep in the gray wash to dwell on things like that.

"Eww wan hit meeeee, mufugggker? Ewwww waanaaaaaa - "

That was all that got out of Jimmy's mouth before I took three steps and clocked him in the face as hard as I could, knocking him unconscious. He remained upright for a split second before he toppled straight backwards like a felled redwood, striking the back of his head on the pavement with the hollow, wet sound of a watermelon shattering. Jimmy didn't get up again.

I stood above Jimmy, straddling his torso. His eyes were still wide open but nothing was behind them. Timmy was silent behind me. A river of blood collected below his head and started weaving its way across a small slant in the road towards Rob's lawn. I could see the dust and pollen getting picked up and carried away by the water tension. Is he dead? Did I just kill somebody? As I looked at Jimmy's frozen face, my emotions overwhelmed me. I didn't feel joy anymore. My plan didn't work at all. The release I expected to achieve through violence was overtaken by guilt and remorse almost immediately. Michael is a bad person. Michael is a monster. I remember the day Michael lost his way. The Voices were back and they were taunting me. I crouched down inches from his face, raised my arms behind me and let out a blood curdling scream. I wanted to drown The Voices out; fantasizing that the pavement underneath Jimmy would give way under the barrage of my war cry, swallowing him up so I didn't have to look at him and be reminded of how horrible of a human being I was. I wanted to bury myself down there with him. Michael is a monster. He's not like us. He doesn't enjoy life. Michael lives because things need to be broken. While I screamed I had a split-second moment of clarity, and in it I discovered the unprocessed guilt that was driving me to cause pain had evolved into something else; something much, much worse. Something I had no real grasp on or control over.

When I was finished emptying my lungs, I got up and started walking back to Rob's porch without saying a word to Timmy, who patted me on the back and laughed about how bad I fucked Jimmy's shit up. Michael lives because things need to be broken; because he himself is broken. He is inherently evil. He feels sorrow and guilt now, but this is all part of the process. I nonchalantly wiped my tears on my t-shirt sleeves along the way as party goers that heard my yelling ran by me to get a glimpse of what just happened in the street.


Jimmy's obese candy raver friend was cradling his battered skull, rocking back and forth and wailing at the top of her Newport singed lungs. I turned around for a second while she attempted to place blame for Jimmy's condition on me. She didn't understand that if it wasn't me, it wouldn't have been someone else. If it wasn't someone at the party, the police would have had to light Jimmy up. A few words from her could very well have kept the situation from unfolding entirely. She is just as deserving of what happened to Jimmy as Jimmy was. She is deserving. She is DESERVING. Oh...fuck.

"His chest is moving, so relax. No more yelling out of you. You had a chance to save him from this. I'm going to drink a beer now. Pick up the trash you left on the street, you fat, worthless fucking whore." I felt my upper lip curl as I addressed her.

"FUCK YOU, MOTHERFUCKER!!! The girl let Jimmy's head fall back on to the pavement with a soft thud as she got up and stormed towards me, her hands raised like she was going to strike.

Make her feel it too.

"You are obese. You dress like you do because you know you have no chance of looking good for any man. Why bother trying, right? Let me ask you a question. When was the last time a guy fucked you while he was sober?"

"I...how dare...I can't believe..."

Hurt her.

"You...why did you..."

Do it. Send her to Hell like where she belongs. Do it with your words.

"I know who you are. Maybe a lot of people can't look at you and truly know who you are, but I can. I do. I look at you and I see a scared little girl who desperately wants the affection of men who won't have her. That's just how it's going to be for you."

This time, the girl didn't respond. She just looked at me with her watery eyes and mouthed words.

"You are going to die alone. I need you to look at me and understand what I am saying to you." I gently grabbed her shoulders and stared deep into her watery eyes. "You. Are. Going. To. Die. Alone."

Yes. That's it. That one broke her.

The girl flopped down right where she stood on the front lawn and started bawling. Her Hello Kitty purse landed next to her, spilling a handful of other people's lighters at her feet. I looked up, and a small group of people had formed a semi-circle around us without me even noticing. They saw our interaction and laughed. They knew how the girl was partially responsible for Jimmy in the street, and they thought it was hilarious how I turned a rampaging bull of a woman into a whimpering pile of Puffs Plus using only a handful of sentences. They ate it up. I stood silently while the people laughed and high fived me, all while the fat raver girl gazed at the grass while she gasped for air in between choking sobs. You have words now, Michael. You have words to hurt people with...to make yourself feel good with...

The police came minutes later, and I was immediately pointed out by Jimmy's friend as the one that did the damage as soon as an officer's feet hit the driveway. I walked up to greet the officer, knowing I was about to be arrested.

"Are you the one that struck the man out in the street?"

I took a deep breath. "Yes officer." I immediately looked down at my wrists, expecting one of them to get grabbed and shackled. I thought about what jail was going to be like, how my record was about to me permanently marred and how it was probably going to result in me getting canned from the firm. My life was about to take a serious turn for the worse.

Instead, the officer stuck his hand out and shook mine.

"Thank you for doing what you did. That was brave of you. The neighbors called this guy in a half hour ago. He's definitely inebriated. If you didn't do it, it would have been one of us, I promise."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was being commended by local law enforcement for beating another human being half to death for my own selfish, deeply insane benefit. I shook back and smiled, the absurdity of it all was too strong for my poker face to mask completely.

Jimmy woke up as soon as the ambulance lights started flashing on his face. He was restrained with a five point harness when he tried to fight the medics off and ended up spending the night in county wearing a straight jacket and a Styrofoam helmet. I ended up spending the night staring at my bedroom ceiling, wondering how the DSM-IV would diagnose a person whose fragile functionality depended on the suffering of people around him -- and had voices in his fucking head. I knew I wouldn't be able to tell anyone what was wrong with me. My friends and family would never understand. Besides, I didn't want to unload a mountain of fucked up on the people I cared about. If I went to a shrink, I was going straight to a funny farm for sedatives concealed in a glob of peanut butter on a latex sheathed nurse's finger. I was going to have to learn what exactly I was suffering from and how to control it all by myself.

What do I do now, Dad? What do I do?

The reality of it all set in and I smothered my face with my pillow as to not wake up my roommate with my crying. I was scared. This was the exact moment I understood that I was truly and relentlessly alone

Posted by KungFu Mike at 11:48 AM

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This is a really impressive piece of your past that you're putting out here, Mike. The voices in us that demean our self-image and take away our control is something that we all have to deal with. It's really scary what our negative subconscious can do to our sense of personal worth. This story is the most intense battle with control I have heard, thanks for sharing it with us.

Posted by: Charlie at August 2, 2008 01:47 PM


Posted by: John at August 2, 2008 01:51 PM

Jesus man please keep shit like this coming, i feel a kindred spirit in the fuckedupness of it all. Thank you. Seriously, I'm not being a smart ass. THANK YOU.

Posted by: jay at August 2, 2008 02:01 PM

By far the best part of the saga.

Awesome writing.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 2, 2008 05:01 PM

Thank you so much for writing this, Mike. I'm dealing with similar problems following my father's suicide and it's good to know I'm not the only one that has gone nuts after their father died.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 2, 2008 08:47 PM

Fucking incredible dude. Personally I would consider not posting anymore on the internet, writing the rest out and publishing it. I for one would buy it, and what with this as a kind of "taster" for the full thing I think you would make a bucket load.

Nevertheless if you decide to carry on with just posting it on the internet, I am seriously looking forward to the next chapter. I'm hooked.

Posted by: Azza at August 3, 2008 01:43 PM


you still got your legs, or are you currently fitting an M-16 with an M-203 grenade launcher attachment to the stub?

Posted by: anonymouse at August 3, 2008 02:08 PM

I do not know if you practice martial arts as you suggest by your website's title and technical description of the fights, but I would not allow a student like you in my dojo, if I ever have one. Not because of some funky excuse about anger, no, but because of the stupid, cruel way you solve your personal problems. You reap what you sow, remember that when you run into someone angrier, stronger and worse of intent than you.

Posted by: Saif at August 3, 2008 04:11 PM

I saw it coming but I hated it when you didn't feel any relief from that 2-shot beating of Jimmy. What if you had encountered a bystander who knew jiu-jitsu, were in the right state of mind to detain you and choke you out in a matter of seconds? Would that have bothered you at this time?

Posted by: Wayland at August 3, 2008 07:36 PM

Saif, you're missing the point. He's not proud of his actions, just recounting them, and as someone who's done his fair share of senseless, fucked up shit I can say with certainty that writing about something like this is a lot harder on him than simply forgiving himself.

To summarize: you're a fucking moron, dojo or no dojo.

Posted by: JR at August 3, 2008 09:23 PM

That was amazingly deep. Wow. Bravo.

Posted by: KiKi at August 4, 2008 04:29 AM

Her Hello Kitty purse landed next to her, spilling a handful of other people's lighters at her feet.

I really dislike chicks like that. Not for the hello kitty purse, but for stealing EVERYONES fucking lighters.

An excellent fourth installment. Thank you for opening yourself and letting us follow in your journey...

Until next time...

Posted by: at August 4, 2008 11:57 AM

i cant necessarily relate to a situation as difficult as yours but i can relate to the instability and confusion that you inevitably have to deal with through a completely fucked up and neurotic time in your life. idk exactly why but reading this is almost relatable and definitely introverted enough to stir up some similar feelings in my head. keep it up.
best of luck, dude.

Posted by: nick at August 4, 2008 09:16 PM

My favorite part about the series has to be the guy saying he wouldn't allow you in his dojo. I hope that was a joke.

Posted by: Ryan at August 14, 2008 12:20 AM

Mindblowing metaphors throughout. You keep the pace and weight of every movement alive with those words of yours.

Posted by: dobson-grier at October 30, 2008 01:31 AM

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