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 Category:  General Non-Fiction
  Posted: April 24, 2021      Views: 81
Prologue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9... 

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Retired Marine; retired high school teacher; married 35 years; father of three; five grandchildren; one rescue granddog.

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Chapter 5 of the book Fifty Days of Friendship
friends in a small circle
"Howard" by Bill Schott

In junior high my friends and I were somewhat like the island of misfit toys. Charlie was a hippy-dippy living at home, I was a blank slate with no one interested in writing on me, and then there was Howard.

Howard was tall, skinny, and almost totally silent. Withdrawn, when in the company of outsiders, he talked endlessly about weird bands (i.e., Iggy and the Psychedelic Stooges, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, et al) when we were at his house.

His parents were like two caricatures from different comic books who were somehow paired together. His dad was never fully sober nor completely bathed. He swore a lot, which is to say that sometimes less shattering words were uttered. Unshaven was a constant condition and being offensive seemed to be his goal. He was apparently unemployed.

Howard's mother was, in contrast, demure, soft-spoken and an elementary school teacher.

My friend seemed to wear the skin of his mom (metaphorically) most of the time when among the rest of humanity. Even with us, he was half shy and half outgoing. What he had inside him, however, was a coiled snake.

Howard was a boxer. No one knew this about him, as he had not grown up in our town. One day one of my bully cousins, Ricky, tried to push Howard around, as he appeared to be so timid. From within a zip-lock bag of kickass Howard the Punisher appeared and totally 'pugilized' flabbergasted Ricky, who I must say I never saw again. I think he joined the army or the foreign legion.

After that day we always knew to not pick a fight with Howard unless we were prepared to battle to the death.



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