The Visible Kid

Someone pushed Jim back into the circle. His nose was pulsating with pain, there were tears of anger in his eyes. The other kid was looking tough, but Jim knew.

It was after school, under the bleachers, and this time it was jock fighters against heavy metal kids, three one-on-one matches. It was not Jim’s first fight, but it was the first one after he learned to apply Psychology.

The other kid was wearing a white t-shirt. Kind of a lame cry for attention, he wanted blood to show. But jocks were like that, posers. They fought because their dads were too demanding or put out cigarettes on their heads or whatever. Jim fought because he was picked on at school and needed to vent his anger.

But back to psychology. The other kid did not want to fight – that was the truth Psychology discovered. Nobody wants to fight, at least not after the first punch has landed. You just hope the other guy wants it to end more, so he gives up. That is why you keep hitting him.

Because, and this is Psychology’s second contribution, nobody wants to hurt the other person. But you also do not want to be hurt yourself, so you hit them before they hit you.

And, Psychology’s final finding, the best thing you can do among all this is unleash pure orange ultraviolence.

So Jim struck out and connected. The jaw seemed so brittle on the impact. The jock’s head bobbed back. The jock tried to hit back, but Jim blocked. Punched again, kicked, punched, head butted, punched and hit again.

The jock was on the ground. Somehow, Jim was on top of him, turning the jock’s face into a bloody mess. The Jock’s name was Tray, and he was seeing the girl Jim liked. But Jim liked her only because he did not know any better (Psychology). Jim realized this and stopped punching, the old red-red all over his face.

The crowd cheered on. Boys with bruised faces. All of them, jocks and metal heads alike, basically, the same as Jim. He noticed he had cut his hand on Tray’s cheekbone, so sharp and primeval beneath the soft coating of teenage flesh.

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