don't get sentimental.


there was this kid named benson, and he wasn't a bully. he was a tall lean kid with freckles, and he was kind of a jock, but not really, and he got along with the bullies, but for one reason another, he wasn't actually a bully himself. i think he played baseball. we only ever had one class together, mr. hastie's p.e. class, and it was the fall of 1997, and my life had been ruined by ok computer, because my thinking was, well, this has been made, so there is nothing left to do in the world.

whenever i listen to the song "let down" now, it reminds me of p.e. class ending, and i am walking with wet boxer shorts to my global studies class. i am walking through the grass, and there's benson ahead of me with the cooler kids, the ones who brag about drugs, parties, and girls, and i hear thom yorke croon something that sounds like "ben-semental flowing," but i know that's not what he's saying. he says, "don't get sentimental" and "falling, bouncing back," but he doesn't ever say "ben-semental" because that is not even a real word.

i liked benson because he was athletic, and he didn't make my life hell. he seemed like a good enough kid, and even our p.e. teacher seemed to favor him. he is the kind of guy that, had it been war-time, probably would've been one of the first to be sent off to vietnam, and he would've easily been a leader. really, i didn't know shit about him, but if i had to be in an awful platoon, had been forced to serve, i would've wished that he would've been there to see me through it. of that much i am sure. but then again, who knows? he could've been a real asshole.

and then there was tony, who was the exact opposite of benson. tony was the kind of kid, who, if we were still in vietnam, would've screwed around too much and would have gotten all of us killed. he was the kind of guy who cracked just one too many dick and fart jokes that you just had to question what the hell was really going on in this kid's head. once, our group was doing a lap around the football field, and tony just kept mooning people, and sometimes, he'd even take it all out, and everyone got to see how tony's penis and balls flapped around as he ran. on senior retreat, he woke up some boys to what was then known as "steak and potatoes," also known as a "reverse mangina," penis and balls tucked between his thighs, ass and genitalia dangling right in front of another kid's face.

we were in english class, and we were using the computer one day. tony asked me if i knew the answer to something, maybe it was the previous night's homework, something or other, and i didn't know the answer. after i said i didn't know, he ignored me completely. i even tried to ask him a follow-up question, but he just acted like i didn't even say anything. maybe he didn't hear me. my confidence was so low that i mumbled a lot in those days, so maybe he just didn't hear me. still, it was a bummer being ignored like that. i didn't want steak and potatoes, but i at least wanted to be acknowledged.

thinking about those times, i don't know how i ever made it through the shit. sometimes, i think about those miserable mornings i spent cutting across the jesuit lawn, and i know that i'm going to have to carry that hostility, paranoia and isolation with me for the rest of my life.

some experiences can just straight up ruin you, make you go ben-semental.

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