November 2, 2007

The Fabled Galindo Punting

I think I was eight years old. Now, I should preface that by saying that when I try to remember stories from my childhood I somehow always think that I was eight years old. I don't know why. I guess it's because I have a hard time remembering the specific dates from my past, so I subconsciously place those dates on the back of eight year old Steve. However, I'm pretty sure this event actually happened when I was eight year old, so that's good.


It was me and my brother Joe, who was around eleven or twelve at the time, my mom and the Comon (Cum-own) family. My family was always very close to the Comon family, mostly because we were both Mexican families in a predominantly white private school. We hung out a lot, went to movies together, and she was my only women friend and at times my best friend. I would ruin that in eighth grade by dating her and having her break up with me something like six times. But back then we were friends and we were all out somewhere. Where we were at wasn't important. It's what happened when we got home.


Once we got home Britney wanted ice cream and it was agreed all around that we should drive to the new Dairy Queen they opened up down the street.


But I didn't want to go get ice cream. I was the only one who didn't want to go get ice cream.


You know why? Because it was almost 2:30, which meant that Gumby was about to come on channel 15. I loved Gumby. I didn't have a lot of friends as a kid (what's changed?) and lot of the white families in my neighborhood wouldn't let their kids play with me or let me in their houses, so I would pretend that Gumby was my friend and we'd play together inside books. Pathetic but true. I loved Gumby and on this particular day I wanted Gumby instead of ice cream.


I couldn't stay home alone so my brother had to stay home and take care of me while my mom took the Comon family to go get ice cream. But Joe was angry. He was pissed off! He wanted ice cream. He got angry and stomped his feet and SCREAMED because he wanted his ice cream. But my mom said no and he was sent into the house to babysit me while I watched Gumby.


I was already in the futon room watching Gumby. Joe, pissed the hell off, walked into the hallway and saw me sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the tv singing along to the Gumby theme song, my eyes wide with happiness at getting to watch my favorite show.


Joe was so angry, so deeply, hideously angry at me for making him lose his chance at ice cream that he ran towards me as fast as he could and as hard as he could he PUNTED ME, kicking me hard in my ribcage and actually getting air on my defenseless body as I flew off the floor towards the wall.


He seriously took a Charlie Brown kicking the football-type running charge and as hard as he could he kicked an eight year old kid in the ribs. He punted me. He literally fucking punted me! Can you believe that?


I blacked out for a few seconds. When I came to Joe had already walked back into his room and slammed the door. I was there on the floor holding my sides and crying nonstop. I was all alone. So I ran out of the house to see if I could catch my mom and the Comon family but they had just pulled out of the driveway and were driving down the street. Crying and screaming, I ran into the street and started waving my arms, hoping they would see me and they did.


I sat in the backseat of the car and, in between hyperventilating breaths I told them what Joe did. My mom didn't believe me, though. She said, and I'll never forget this, she said "Stevie ... if you really wanted to come and get some ice cream you could have just said so but you don't need to lie to me about it." She didn't believe me. My brother just punted the shit out of me and my own mother didn't believe me.


When I got home from the ice cream my brother, who had the bigger room at the time, peeked his head out of his room and laughed at me. I got so pissed off that I grabbed the first thing I could find, in this case one of those 1980s hard rubber WWF dolls, a Randy Savage I believe, and I threw it as hard as I could at Joe's head. Now I'm not the most athletic person in the world. I wasn't then and I'm still not now. But believe me when i say that I was so incredibly pissed off at my brother that probably for the first and last time ever in my life I threw a perfect throw. This thing was Dan Marino. This was Bullwinkle J. Moose throwing for Wossamatta U. This was the absolute perfect throw, incredibly fast and extremely long and going right for my brother's head.


But that bastard walked away and Randy Savage went flying through my brother's bedroom window.


That's how my brother punted me and I got in trouble for it.


And still, to this damn day, my brother doesn't remember a goddamn thing about it. he doesn't remember losing it over ice cream, doesn't remember getting pissed at me, doesn't remember punting my eight year old ribs all over the futon room. I'll usually bring it up when we're drinking together, one of those trademark Galindo late night kitchen parties my friends used to love me for. I'll tell the story real animated and my brother will blush and try not to smile. For a while he refused to believe it actually happened but a few years ago he admitted that it probably happened.


I laugh about it now but the pain and the humiliation has haunted me for exactly twenty two years.


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