The Fat Boys are Back … and J.P. is Under Attack! (Part 2 of 4)

Posted: August 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Fuck the Fat Boys, we wanted out of there!

That was the unanimous consensus reached by Senators M&M, Special K, Duster, and I. The only problem was how. We were trapped inside the lobby of the Capitol Theatre with the man or men who had been smashing me in the back of the head and his likely friend with the gun. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. There was only one thing to do …

We swallowed our male pride and approached a security guard, begging to have our tickets refunded so we could just go home. It was a big move since all of us believed that a man doesn’t bitch out and snitch out; but with odds as high as 50-4, we were willing to let that part of the “man code” become a flexible guideline. Thankfully the security guard – a black man in his thirties – saw the proverbial elephant in the room and quickly refunded our money. He then led us down a long, narrow hallway that ended in a door that opened up into the alley behind the Capitol.

To paraphrase Kool Moe Dee, “I was flying, just like a track star. Dying? Nah. I ran through the back yard.” We leaped into the car and got out of downtown as fast as we could. I wish that the problems of that night ended there, but they didn’t. I think I apologized for insisting we leave, but I believe the guys reassured me that it was the best course of action. What I’m even less sure about is whether or not I asked them not to tell anybody what happened, especially anyone at school.

All I know for sure is what happened on Monday.

It was near the end of the day and no mention of the Fat Boys incident was made by anyone. I thought I was in the clear. Then, as if out of nowhere, Big Randeezy, an older black student, approached M&M while he and I were at our lockers.

“Yo!” he said, in his earth-rumbling baritone. “Who got hit at da Fat Boys?”

I froze.

“Sshhh!” M&M replied.

I saw my friend’s eyes dart in my direction, as if to simultaneously answer Randeezy’s question and end the discussion. Instead, Randeezy turned to me and said, “Was you da one who got hit?”

I saw the uncomfortable look on M&M’s face. I took it to be a guilty look, even though I had no way I could know for sure. I shut my locker and began fast-walking to my class while the tips of my ears felt as if they were on fire, the way they always did when I was seared with intense shame. I remember being certain that M&M told everyone, and even more sure that I’d soon be the laughing stock of Hamady. Ironically, the saga of the Capitol Theatre was never spoken of again at school, but the imprint of what happened manifested itself when I got into a fight with a bully the following year … but that’s all in Part III of this lovely tale. (Stay tuned!)

As to my friendship with M&M and the white boys crew, I quietly disappeared from their lives like a phantom in the mist. But now, I’m not so sure that M&M did anything wrong!

Whenever I made a friend, my mother insidiously planted the seeds of mistrust inside my mind. “They might seem great now,” she’d say, “but they’ll turn on you one day.” As a result of this, the fear of being taken advantage of constantly gnawed at my subconscious, causing me to perceive the slightest misunderstandings as ultimate betrayals. I’d pull the plug any time I thought someone “stabbed me in the back.” I also made poor choices in friends, inevitably fulfilling the prophecies she had made. And when that didn’t happen soon enough, I’d sabotage friendships and relationships when things were “going too well.”

M&M risked committing social suicide every time he hung out with me, but he did it anyway. His gorgeous older sister never looked down on me like the other girls at school did. His older brother – Special K – showed me how to scratch on his twin turntables and let me rock them for as long as I wanted. Even his little brother, Jimmy Jam, played The Dark Tower with me, even though he’d grown bored with that game years before. He gladly put that aside though because he could see that I really wanted to play it. None of these things are the doings of someone who’d stab me in the back!

It’s been 30 years since that crazy night and I’m still healing from its wounds. Now, if M&M is reading this, he finally knows why I pulled away. Perhaps the knowledge can help us build a stronger bridge between us. And if his family is reading this, I only hope they’ll realize that the kindness they showed was not lost upon me, and that I still treasure the times they opened their home and hearts to me. It’s been a long road, but at least we’re all riding off into the sunset together.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 3 of: The Fat Boys are Back … and J.P. is Under Attack!

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Comments
  1. Matthew Mokanyk says:

    The funny thing is we all loved you because of your quirks and social awkwardness. You were genuine and we all knew you were sorta like an idiot savant with your quick wits and creative pans. To this day Mr. O’Brian probably still has nightmares about you. I know Flex does. Ha, ha.
    Now get your ass to work and finish book III of the Bear saga!

    • johnribner13 says:

      Idiot savant? Perhaps you’re half right. LOL Either way, I’m working on Book III of The Berserker’s Saga and will have it to you, Flex III and your mom as soon as I can.

  2. Sounds to me as if M&M was trying to spare you shame and embarrassment by trying to shut up Randeezy. I imagine he looked to you more to gauge whether or not you wanted anyone to know if it was you.

    Teenagers , nay not just teenagers, anyone who has a scary experience like the one you described will be compelled to talk about it. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone who treated you the way M&M and his family treated you – would not have been so spiteful as to try and shame you at school.

    That’s just my opinion but I wasn’t there and I don’t know anyone involved other than you…so, my opinion isn’t fact or reality…just a gut feeling.

    • Matthew Mokanyk says:

      Queen is right on this one. We all loved you like a brother JP. I was personally hurt when you decided to transfer schools. But I hoped your parents forced you to transfer for academic reasons. It sucked because you were in our tight circle of friends. So we all felt shit upon…..

      • johnribner13 says:

        And I feel horrible that I caused you to feel that way, Matt. If there’s a lesson to be learned from all of this, it’s that people need to do a better job communicating with each other. When we don’t, the other person is left with know other option than to assume the other person’s intentions, and I think this blog just illustrated one of the many ways a person can go wrong in his assumptions. My only hope is to get the M&M and Faze 5 connection back and going strong when we show moviegoers everywhere what happens when they enter a World So Dark.

    • johnribner13 says:

      You’re right, Queen. I realize now that I thought that day in the hallway of Hamady High was NOT the truth. M&M did NOT betray me, but what else would it look like to a mind scarred by growing up in Trauma Central? You understand what I mean by all of this because you’ve seen the inner workings of T.C. up-close and firsthand. (Unfortunately) Most of my friends from back in the day only saw 5-10 percent of how my family is so they might have a hard time believing the truth of how bad it was. I’m hoping this blog will help them gain a better understanding.

  3. tracielynn71 says:

    Thank you for sharing JP!

  4. Lillian Speckmann says:

    JP, When I read this, my heart was full of pride for my boys. They always treated their “friends” as part of our Family. If one was in need , they all shared in the responsibility of protecting them under any circumstances , unconditionally . Knowing this and the fact that they almost always traveled in a group comforted me on many occasions… I was aware of what happened that night and I can assure you that the S-crew learned a valuable lesson in life ! And yes, I did wonder “why” you mysteriously exited their circle of friends. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story..

    • johnribner13 says:

      Lillian: I had such a great time at your house, I can still remember what it looked like inside as if I were standing inside your living room right now. The times I spent with your sons were some of the best of my high school years and it’s a shame that my brain was a computer with a faulty program placed there by my parents because I was unable to discern who my true friends were. Glad to know this blog has helped explain some things and I’m glad to see that you and the boyz might have a better understanding of why I was so … different. 😉

      • Mama S says:

        Thank you for your kind words JP. AS you know, most the “hooligans ” ( which I lovingly called them) are still loyal friends to me and my family to this day . It’s ironic , that the S-crew’s house was the one place several parents banned their kids from visiting.. I guess they feared the unknown and prejudged us as a bad influence. Little did they know I kept an open door policy and allowed many to secretly slipped in. Ours were a unique household , a refuge that offered hope , compassion , companionship , or escape . LOL Meals included. Those were my good old days ! I praise GOD everyday for his Blessings, then ,now and hopefully in our future.

  5. Brandy says:

    It’s a crazy thing to look back and realize how our perceptions became distorted by our families. I believe, I also missed out on a lot of what could of been great friendships/relationships because of how my family viewed the situation. Thanks for sharing JP!

  6. dianne66 says:

    Thanks for sharing this JP…. Have to admit that it brought a year to my eyes….especially reading the comments.

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