I’ve always loved the movie, ‘The Outsiders’. To many, it was the classic “don’t judge a book by it’s cover story”.
To me? It was a tale of bravery. Bravery in the face of numerous adversaries. Be it social status. The haves and the have nots. Or be it one of the few versus the many. How about doing what’s right to protect a friend?
All of these things I loved. I tried my best to leave a little snail trail of my bravery in everything I’ve done while on this planet.
Some would say that’s just being a decent human being. Others would chime in on religious points. Buddha this. Jesus that.
Not to knock Jesus. He is awesome. A real Kung Fu man. I mean walking through multitudes of people without being touched? That’s Kwai Cain Chain style plus a thousand.
Where was I again? Sorry, I get a little discombobulated at times. Too many video games is what my mom always said. I’m more of the opinion that I don’t want to miss anything. I try to soak all of life in, and I try to give it all back when tapped.
Okay, back on track.
Wanting to leave a trail of bravery smattered throughout my life’s footsteps. Standing up for the quote, unquote, nerd. Or backing up a fellow co worker when things are going south, and it ain’t their fault.
I’m guessing you’ve got the point.
Which leads us to the current situation yours truly is in.
There’s a whole lot of blood around, and I’m not sure whose it is. I think I’m loosing consciousness. But the veracity of blows to my body keep waking me up.
I’d like to point out at this time that the soundtrack you hear on television or in the movies when people are fighting isn’t accurate. It’s more of a report from like those big fireworks rockets. They sail high into the sky, explode into a maelstrom of fiery flutters and then the BOOM happens. This is how I feel. I’m getting lit up like our local high school football stadium on the Fourth of July.
I hate fireworks by the way.
So this beating is doubly worse.
Let me rewinds a bit and catch you up on the details that has lead me here to this spectacular butt whooping.
An hour ago, my best friend, Archibald, accepted a meet and greet over the Internet. He’s the prototypical nerd. Small wiry frame. Glasses. Not hideous by any means, just average. Blatantly average at best. He’s always had a hard time with the ladies. Just wasn’t in his skill set. Not his fault, I might add. His father type figures in his life have always gave him crap because of his non athletic interests, and his mom was more interested in making sure this dad or that dad would stay and take care of them.
Sucks, you know?
But I love this guy. He’s always there for me and has never wanted anything from me. That’s soo refreshing when everyone else around you is more interested in what I can give them, rather then just enjoying time with me. And that’s what me and the Arches, ( that’s what I call him, Arches. And when he’s good, or when he cracks one of his dry jokes that crack me the hell up, he’s the Golden Arches.), like to do.
Back on track, and The Golden Arches was about to meet a girl from the interwebs and I WOULD NOT let him fly solo.
“Stay Gold Ponyboy.”
I’m sorry, I think I passed out again. Where was I?
Blood! More blood.
I feel cold. This can’t be good. Hang on Tag. (That’s me. Tag. My dad always wanted a Tag Heuer watch. But mom gave him me instead. Nice huh?). Hang on Tag. The beatings have stopped. But I feel cold.
My side burns.
Focus Tag. Damn it Tag. Focus up!!!
Where was I?
Fake. Many guys met us at the fountain. No girl. Just rich, lazy eyed boys. I say boys, because men don’t do crap like this. They set up a phony online profile to trap an innocent nerd. To trap an Arches.
These lazy eyed, out for the next thrill, predators where on the hunt.
Not. My. Arches. Not tonight.
They start the cat calling at him, “Pretty Archie. Is that you?”.
He turns to me. He’s scared. I see it.
“Nope. Archie’s me chicken legs!”, I bellow.
Bear mode activated.
Time to use my size, but most importantly, my wits to charm this situation to a halt. DEFCON 1 needs to be brought back up to DEFCON 5. “Where’s Lula? Her profile didn’t say anything about multiple inbred brothers?”.
“Lula’s not here. She’s bait to catch online pervs! We dispense-”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah….”, I cut them off. I hate monologuing. Especially from lazy eyed, inbred, hate mongers. “Cut to the chase. You want some fun? You want to pummel a wiry geeky kid? Well it ain’t him. That profile is mine!”.
Arches swung his head back at me in disbelief. He could feel what I was doing.
I feel a hole. Tag there’s a hole in your side!
A holeTag! A flipping hole!
Focus up Tag! Where were we?
“You boys are the weak!, I yell as a memory sears into the front of brain. How happy my Arches was when he thought he’d found someone who shared all the same quirks and passions he did. He flipping smiled. A smile like I’d hadn’t seen since he’d been accepted into online beta testing for his favorite online game.
He was happy.
And now? He was deathly scared.
WAIT!! Am I swimming? I feel wet. Submerged. I think I’m in the fountain.
GET IT HAPPENING TAG!!! MOVE!!!
Everything’s blurry. Ultimate fish eye lens going on. I see lights. Probably from the street lights above. A figure moves in front of the lights. Arches?!?
NO! No no NO!! Tunnel vision, and I’m taking in water!!! Where’s ARCHES!??
Fading to black.
Lungs aching, and lurching.
Lights out campers.
“Stay Gold Ponyboy.”.
Smells like Fruity Pebble cereal. Absolutely love that scent. But why now?
Am I dead?
Everything here is bright. Like the glow from an arc welders spark. You know the kind of bright that you need a dark visor so as not to fry your eyeballs. But that’s just it. It first hurt to look at it. So bright, but so soft. Like cotton balls for your eyes.
Hard to describe. Very familiar like my grandma’s house, yet a thousand percent more grand. I can hear voices, but not regular voices. More like voices carried on bell chimes. I guess this is what I think elves sing like if they were any elves.
Arches would not believe this place.
Wait! Where is Arches?
I feel like I should panic, but this place doesn’t have the panic channel. Almost like it doesn’t fit. Panic, worry, and fear don’t work here.
Am I in heaven? Have to be. I do not see anything remotely close to a heavy metal album cover, or anything sulfuric.
I see someone approaching. Or it could be I’m approaching him. I can’t tell. Nothing here makes sense.
This person is very kind. I can’t help but feel that. Wait, not kindness. Love. That’s it. This person is Love. Can’t ignore it, in your face, full on Love. It’s got to be Jesus. But He doesn’t look like Jesus that I’ve always seen growing. You know, hippie type, European Jesus. With the long hair and the cool robes. Nope. Not Him. He’s like everyone I love the most into one marvelous being. Mom and Dad. Grandma and Gramps. Uncle Roger with the bent nose. Arches. They’re all there.
Jesus looks to me and motions and everything around me that was once bright, billowy, and serene is now dark, and damp. He’s taking me back to the fountain. I see me there. Lifeless in the fountain while Arches is pulling me out.
Oh no. Arches has deal with me dying in front of him.
“Damn it.”, I whisper.
Oh wait. I mean dang. Shouldn’t swear in front of JC. Not cool. Jesus just looks at me with a smirk look that my dad has given me a thousand times when I just don’t get it.
He motions me back to the scene unfolding.
Paramedics have arrived and are doing the Grey’s Anatomy special on me. Actually pretty impressive if I might add.
I look back to Jesus to see if I’ll get any explanations as to what the heck is going on. He brings me close to Him and touches my chest. It’s searing me. But there’s no pain. But something is definitely transferring from Him to me. It’s a word and some numbers. I can feel tears flowing from my eyes. Just His touch had completed the inner workings of my very soul. I can hear His voice ask me if I understood his Words.
I speak the word and numbers.
“John fifteen thirteen.”
He pushes me back through the very fabric of space, and time. Back toward my body that’s lying next to the fountain. Amid all the medical bric a brac, and the bustle of saving of my life, right before entering back into my body. I make eye contact with Him again. This savior. My savior.
He winks at me, and whispers as loud as a church bell, “Stay Gold Ponyboy.”
I feel like I’m on the plummet part of a roller coaster as I’m falling back to life. I can hear the paramedics calling out plays right before I touchdown.
“We’re losing him!”
“Charging to 150!”
This should be interesting.
Electricity is something we all take for granted. You flick a switch, and the light turns on. Nothing really spectacular.
Or is it?
I can feel the heat, and tingling of living science fiction course it’s way through my body. Tensing every muscle I have in an single, unanimous jolt.
“JOHN FIFTEEN THIRTEEN!”, is the first breath I exhale with mighty force. It scares the audience of medical workers, Arches, and myself.
“He’s back. Get a stretcher.”, a young female medic calls out.
Arches hugs me. He’s sobbing or laughing. I can’t tell which, but either way it’s a great sound.
“What happened?”, I ask before being told that I should try to rest. Apparently I’ve been through a lot.
The same young female paramedic informs me that I was jumped by a group of thugs. (I knew that), and after taking out two, one brandished a knife, and proceeded to skewer me on the side of my belly. According to my friend, Golden Arches here, after I went down, they kept up the beating until the blood started flowing. That seemed to scare them away. Arches here piled me out of the fountain, because I did a Nestea plunge back into the fountain, and was drowning.
“Helluva night.”, she said.
I meant to respond with, “You have no idea.”, but that came out as “You’re cute. Have you met my friend Arches here?”.
She’s smiling as she strapping me into the gurney thing and places me into the ambulance. Arches said he met us at the hospital, to which I told him that I’d be damned if he didn’t ride with me and Captain Cuteness. Also saying that he was my brother helped a bit.
While we were whizzing through downtown to get to the hospital, I could hear the sirens and feel the urgency of the tires screeching. But that didn’t take away the urgency of those words,
JOHN FIFTEEN THIRTEEN.
Right at that moment Arches look at me and asked me what that meant. Could he hear my thoughts? I mean that kinda odd right?
“What did what meant?”, I asked.
“When you came to, you called out John fifteen thirteen. What does that mean?”, he asked while cleaning his glasses.
“I have no clue man.”, I answered. “It’s something that was on my mind when I was Frankensteined back to life by her royal hotness here.”.
“It’s a verse from the Bible.”, Captian Cutie Pie’s not so attractive partner, called out from the driver seat.
“The Holy Bible?”, Arches squawked back.
“Is there another Bible you know of?”, I chunked back at Arches.
He leared at me behind those Wayfarer frames.
“Didn’t any of you boys go to Sunday school?”, Sergeant Not Cute asked.
We both looked at each other and shook our heads in a unanimous “no” gesture.
“What’s it say?”, Arches asked.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”, he answered. “So says the Good Book.”, he added.
Me, and Arches just looked at each other. No more talking on that ride was muttered. I can remember just cutesie looks between Captain Cuteness and my man Arches as they unloaded me at the hospital.
Stay Gold Ponyboy indeed.