A young man's strange erotic journey around the globe

Life of a Manchild Chapter 10 – Somethin’ I Don’t Wanna Be a Part Of

Chapter 10 – Somethin’ I Don’t Wanna Be a Part Of

I love my dad. When I was a kid, he taught me to ride my bike without training wheels. He always used to help me beat guys when I had trouble knockin’ ‘em out in George Foreman’s KO Boxing for Sega Genesis. He taught me how to swim and would chase me and my brother around in the pool while mimicking the theme to Jaws as he got closer and closer just before he’d pick us up and toss us as far as he could. He taught me to throw and hit baseballs at a young age, giving me the upper hand in gym class and recess, sparing me of the humiliation generally felt by dweeby kids who get made fun of by all their contemporaries because they swing and throw like girls. For the last ten years my dad has given me employment and for the first quarter century of my life, has provided the roof over my head and much much more. There’s no way I could ever repay him for all the things he’s given to and done for me. My dad is my buddy.

I hate my dad. When I was a kid, he always used to get really fucking wasted then come home and yell at my mom. After work, instead of hanging out at home, he’d prefer to go to the bar and get drunk with all his fireman buddies. When he’d finally decide to come back to us, sometimes he’d piss in random places around the house. Other times he’d fall down and hit his head. Sometimes he’d stay out all night and we’d sit up worrying that he’d crashed his car and killed someone. The next day when I’d get home from school, he’d still be sleeping on the couch in his underwear and stinking up our house the way he’d been when I left eight hours beforehand. My dad is an asshole.

I grew up a very conflicted individual and today I remain as dichotomous as ever. My home life as a child was like a bipolar existence split between loving serenity and being caught in the crossfire of emotional – and sometimes even physical – violence. It was a roller coaster ride between joyous highs of familial unity which I’d desperately cling to when I had ‘em and agonizing lows when I’d bang my head on the wall trying to break up my parents’ fights and spend my time wishing I was never born.

My mom told me that when I was little, I used to look up to my dad more than anything in the world. She said I wanted to be just like him which was fine most of the time except when I’d emulate his disgusting drunken behavior around the house. The example that sticks out most to me that I’ve been informed of is when I was two-years-old and spit in my mom’s face after not getting my way because I’d seen my dad do it in front of me when he was all fucked up.

Sometimes my dad would come home from the bar when the rest of us would be eating dinner as a family and throw the plate of food my mom had set aside for him right in the garbage or – if he was feeling especially feisty – at the wall for dramatic effect then pick up the phone and order himself a pizza right in front of her.

My entire life, my dad has slept on the couch. Before my basement was finished when I was fifteen and he moved down there, he used to sleep on the one in our TV room adjacent the kitchen. At times when he’d come home with his head spinning, wanting to lay down, we’d all vacate the first floor, retreat upstairs and finish our homework or all cram together in a bedroom to watch a movie up there. At some point in our hiding, however, one of us would always have to sneak back downstairs to see if my dad remembered to set his alarm clock so he could get up the next day and go to the firehouse. Oftentimes he didn’t and we’d set it for him when he’d be passed out. Sometimes he’d sleep through the alarm, then come to an hour late and act like it was my mom’s fault. He’d go up into her – which was supposed to be their – bedroom to retrieve his uniform which my mom had always washed, ironed and set on a hanger for him and start screaming at her at six in the morning, waking everyone else up in the process. This is how I recall many of my days being started before heading off to grammar school.

A lot of the time, my parents’ fighting would get so savage – the things said between the two parties that are supposed to love each other and nurture us kids were so cutting and so despicable – that they’d start shoving and wrestling each other into the walls and such. My younger brother was more passive towards the engagements and seemed to hide under tables or just lay on the couch looking despondent while my sister – who’s seven years my minor – was either not born or just a toddler who we tried to protect and make sure she’d be up in her room and not have any idea what the fuck was going on.

I’d always be on the front line. I was always the one who had to storm the beaches at Normandy. I’d get between them but they’d never stop. They’d just fight around me. I’d break things around the house and light off firecrackers and bottle rockets on the carpeting trying to divert their attention to no avail. On two occasions – one when I was very young and the other when I was in my early teenage years – the grappling got so intense my dad just ended up cocking back and jacking my mom in the face right in front of me. She’d cover up her black eyes with makeup before going to work the next day and I’d cover up my broken heart by acting like everything was okay before heading off to school.

One of the sickest things about these fights during which I’d heard some of the ugliest words uttered between human beings and witnessed some of the most violent aggression between two creatures outside The Discovery Channel was that I never heard an apology out of anyone. All parties involved would get up the next day like nothing had ever happened. We’d all swallow our hurt and pain in the morning as side dishes to our bowls of cereal and go on with our lives until the next time the same “mistakes” – I use this term loosely here because it implies some sort of remorse and dedication to a change in behavior – were made over and over again. My dad was never gonna stop drinking and my mom was never gonna leave it behind. Every day we went on projecting the illusory paradigm of the happy family chasing The American Dream. I lived a life of denial.

When I was much younger, I couldn’t understand why my buddy – the guy who taught me how to do all that awesome stuff – could change into such a monster from one day to another. But as I aged, I grew to accept it as the norm. By the age of ten, I could sense whether or not it was gonna be one of those nights – whether or not I was gonna hafta set aside my fuckin’ multiplication tables and geography homework to strap on my boxing gloves in preparation for that evening’s family circus. My existence was a sad one. I found it hard to connect with classmates beyond finding similarly fucked up kids – it wasn’t too hard actually, my neighborhood is rife with alcoholic parents that breed codependent children who grow up to repeat the cycle – that enjoyed getting together and taking out our bullshit on other people by destroying their property or assaulting them with snowballs and tomatoes.

One of the more burdensome psychological side effects of growing up in such a volatile atmosphere had been how I, from an early age on, had assumed the role of my mother’s emotional partner. When I say this, I of course by no means am referring to anything sexual here. What I’m saying is that when the guy she was supposed to be able to lean on had been the one causing her to cry, I was the one who had to be there to wipe away her tears. I had to carry that weight. Even with my consent and support, however, she was never strong enough to just up and leave. She’d sob and tell me how she wished she’d married someone else while I’d pat her on the back and hand her a tissue. She’d always justify her decision for not leaving by saying she wouldn’t have the three wonderful kids she’s got if she’d done so. It’s funny, I never really felt all that wonderful.

It was probably because of this duty I had – in addition to perpetually feeling like shit about myself – that I never kissed a girl until after having graduated high school or had gone on my first date until I was away at college, both of which I needed to be drunk for. But, to me, that’s just an outer manifestation of the damage done. To me, the sickest part about this whole thing is the shame I still carry around to this day from being exposed to such hatred and anger for all those fuckin’ years. I always used to beat myself up for not having been able to stop this shit before it happened. I always used to put the blame on me. But I don’t blame myself anymore. What I do find myself doing, however, is self-loathing. I find it hard to look in the mirror sometimes. I feel unlovable. I feel unworthy of it. I feel incapable of providing sufficient love for someone else. I don’t feel like I’m good enough for anyone I develop feelings for and am terrified they’ll leave me for someone better the first chance they get. I feel guilty trying to get emotionally close to someone I might love because I too am an alcoholic and I feel like I’ll end up ruining some woman’s life and she’ll one day be telling our children how she wished she’d married someone else just the way I’d seen it all unfold in my house when I was a kid.

This is all very difficult for me to come to terms with. It’s always been something I’ve felt I have to keep hidden as to not bring shame upon my family. This is very difficult for me to put into words because I feel an overbearing guilt “exposing” my parents. Yeah, that’s right, I said “parents” – with an “s” at the end.

My mom is a big drinker too. She’s the sweetest woman in the world who’d do anything to help anybody when she’s sober but – whether she knows and/or accepts it – plays emotional and psychological games when she gets a few drinks in her. Sometimes she feels inclined to pull out her love at the drop of a hat and viscously attack those around her, saying the most hurtful things she can think of with no provocation whatsoever. She’ll take thoughts and feelings I’ve trusted her with when she was sober and use them against me as weapons. Or sometimes she just gets plain-old slap happy.

What immediately comes to mind had been the time at her brother’s house for a family party on Christmas Eve. I think I was like thirteen or something and too old to give a shit about presents, so I slipped away from the room with the tree where everyone had been exchanging them, posted up in the TV room where my Uncle Rich had been sleeping and flipped on TNT’s twenty-four hour A Christmas Story marathon. At some point my mom walked into the room and stood before me between the couch and the television. Her eyes were glassier than hell. She’d been drinking wine all evening.

“Hey,” I said, “are we gonna be takin’ off pretty soon?”

She didn’t answer my question, cocked back and started slapping the shit outta me. I mean, I can take it if I deserve it, but I didn’t even do anything. I was just trying to pass the time at another boring-ass holiday party where relatives have nothing to ask me aside from “How’s school going?” – which I fucking hated – by watching one of my favorite Christmas classics. We did end up leaving right after that, to answer my own question. My dad – who was sober for the party – drove home and was the target of my mother’s verbal onslaught from the passenger seat. I spent the whole time in the back of our family vehicle shouting while trying to kick out the side window as my way of expressing the pain and injustice I’d been feeling.

I don’t know why I waited until my mom had been drinking again to ask her – perhaps it’s because things are too pleasant and I enjoy who she is too much when she’s sober to bring up bad stuff that she’d done when she was drunk – but I inquired as to why she decided to do that to me in front of our relatives during a time of the year that’s supposed to be about family, togetherness and all that gay shit. She said she couldn’t remember but was certain I’d deserved it.

The most recent of my mother’s assaults that cut bone had been after I’d dedicated three years of my life to writing my first book. She knew I’d poured everything into it. She knew that it was all I had. Yet, she didn’t hesitate before drunkenly spitting, “Who’s ever gonna wanna read any of the things you’ve written? Why don’t you write something people actually wanna read?”

It fuckin’ killed me. It was a deep and excruciatingly painful violation of my trust. Because I told her writing has been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I told her it’s the only thing that keeps me going as I’m mired so deeply in student loan debt, working and living at home to get out of the hole and subsequently reliving these shitty events from my childhood in my head on a daily basis. I told her I know nobody cares about my writing and that I know it’ll never get published and I know I’ll never make a career out of it, but that telling the stories that I wanna tell is something I’m passionate about. I made myself vulnerable and let her in on this shit and she used it as a dagger to stab me in the fucking heart. It stung so bad, it really took a lot of restraint for me to not just clock her in the face for totally cutting me down. And in dealing with these feelings, contradicting what she’d always told me, it was the first time in my life I realized that her getting punched in the face was not entirely my dad’s fault. Don’t get me wrong, I’m against the beating of women, but there really is no excuse for rattling the cages of those around you until they’re so pissed off they lose control and do something they regret and then afterwards, taking on the role of a martyr.

I mean, just the way I know my dad’s a good guy and never wanted to hurt any of us all the times he was wasted, my mom doesn’t mean the things she says or does when she’s drunk – at least I hope she doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean that this shit doesn’t hurt. And it doesn’t mean that lasting scars aren’t left that will forever damage our relationship.

And who can I blame for all this? Both of my parents’ fathers were alcoholics too. The very same shit was done to them when they were kids. And besides, in no way does pointing fingers atone for what I’ve endured. Doing so won’t un-ruin my childhood or reverse all the psychological problems I gotta live with. There is no deliverance for me or anyone else on “God’s green earth” for injustices done unto us. We all gotta play the ball as it lies. We all gotta deal with the cards we’ve been dealt. We all gotta pick up the pieces and move on with our lives.

But if there’s one image that haunts me more than anything else from this era, it’s the time when I was fifteen and had to take care of my dad after he’d gotten his ass kicked at some neighborhood pub called The Blarney Stone. Years later he told me he was attacked when he came out of the bathroom after hitting on some woman but was hesitant to impart any other details.

On the night that I found him, however, he was unable to speak. It was strange for me because this had been the guy that we were always scared of in my house. This was a guy that’d been on the news and in the papers picking people out the windows of burning buildings from hook-and-ladder trucks, the guy that used to crawl down smoke-filled hallways with a hose line without wearing a mask – because, to old-school hard-headed fire fighters, that sort of disregard for your well-being is considered a more manly way of going about things – to extinguish towering infernos. I always thought the guy was invincible.

It’d been one of those sleepless nights for my mother. She laid in her bed tossing and turning, worrying about my dad killing someone while drunken driving and wondering why this is the way our lives had to be. She came into my room around three o’clock. It was a weeknight. I had to get up for school in a few hours.

“Tim,” she said, stealing me from my dreams with a shake. “I just heard dad come home. His car’s not out there. Someone dropped him off. I heard some guy say, ‘I took from your wallet what I thought was fair.’ I heard the front door open but he didn’t close it. I think something’s wrong. Will you go check it out?”

I told her I would. I climbed out of bed, went downstairs and, as prophesized, the front door had been left wide open. Right next to our front door is the door leading to our bathroom which was open just a crack. From that crack, a ray of light emerged. There’d been no other lights on in our house at the time and I figured my dad must’ve been in there.

“Yo, my man,” I knocked, “you in there?”

No response.

Our first floor bathroom is a really tiny one – maybe twice the size of a port-a-john. There’s barely enough room for the door to open and there’s only about two feet between the toilet and the sink. If you were so inclined, you could lean forward and rest your head or grab onto the edges of the sink for some leverage while taking a really exasperating dump.

When I pushed open the door, I saw my dad sitting on the toilet with the temple area of his head propped up by the sink and his face looking right at me. His normally sparkling blue eyes were wide open but tainted with blood as he slumped there, unconscious. His face was totally fucked up and looked like that of Arnold at the end of Terminator 2 while he’s lowering himself into molten metal to be destroyed. His mouth remained slightly open and, from it, a steady stream of blood ran down onto the tiled floor where it’d been forming a nice little pool.

I shook my dad to cognition and he had no idea what the hell was going on. As I mentioned earlier, he was so drunk he couldn’t even talk.

“Hey, let’s go to bed,” I said. “Let’s get you to your couch.”

After I got him to stand up, we started making our way to the TV room in the back of the house as I did my best to brace him the way a physical therapist would while teaching a stroke victim how to walk again. Despite my efforts, he kept falling into shit as he stumbled backwards and forwards, looking to the untrained eye as if he were struggling to walk against tornadic level winds. When I finally got him to the TV room, he refused to lay down and go to sleep but instead took his clothes off and started rolling around on the floor. After some convincing, I was able to get him to lie his bloodied naked body on the couch where I threw a blanket over his shame so my eight-year-old sister wouldn’t be scarred from seeing his face or his dick in the morning when heading off to be the innocent little second-grader she was at the time. I then returned to the bathroom where I wiped all the blood from the sink and floor and headed back upstairs where I reported my findings to my mother. I then went back to my room and tried to get some sleep but sleep proved to be elusive.

The day that my buddy O’Shaughnessy and I arrived in Busan, South Korea, after taking an overnight ferry from Shimonoseki, Japan, across the Korea Strait in September 2012, we decided to head over to the beach after grabbing lunch from some barbeque chicken joint. Before going to Haeundae Beach, I’d seen photos of it online looking like one of the most outrageously crowded beaches in the world. When we showed up, however, it’d been a completely different story. There were probably less than a hundred people throughout the entire stretch of sand – most notably, a man flying a kite in a high tech suit fashioned after the flag of Korea and some strange man who dragged a pair of blankets out into the ocean, let ‘em go, walked back to the shore, took a seat and wistfully watched as the tide carried ‘em away.

As Osh and I trudged through the grainy terrain headed nowhere in particular, some Korean dude who’d been sitting by himself with a bunch of empty beer cans around him called out to us.

“Where you from!? Hello!?” he shouted while waving us in his direction. “Where you from!?”

Since we had nothing else going on, we decided to walk over and start talking to him.

“Beer?” he offered.

We accepted and grabbed the last two lukewarm cans from the plastic grocery bag in which he’d kept ‘em.

“I am Su,” he said while pointing to his own chest. “Name?” he pointed at me.

“Ha! A boy named Su,” I laughed. “Tim. My name is Tim.”

“Tim, okay,” he said before turning to O’Shaughnessy. “Your name – Tom Cruise! Oh my, big movie star! Tom Cruise!”

We both laughed and O’Shaughnessy informed Su his name was also Tim.

“Tim. Tim. Su,” he said. “Okay!”

The guy’s English was very limited but his gestures, his energy and the way he reminded me of Long Duk Dong were enough to make the language barrier a non-factor. As soon as we finished those first two beers, he insisted that we stay put while he ran to the liquor store and purchased another bag full of cans. Since we’re both pretty big alcoholics, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. When he got back, not only did he have a bunch of suds for me and Tim, but also a bag full of fresh shellfish as well as fried eel on a stick.

“Where is home?” he pointed at me with one of the wooden skewers he’d been eating from.


“Your home?” he asked my buddy.

“Cleveland. It’s pretty close to Chicago.”

“Oh Cleveland? You know Choo?” he pretended he was swinging a bat. “Baseball? Shin Soo Choo?”

“Yeah, yeah, he plays on the Indians.”

“I know Choo. High school. Choo and me. Together.”


“Choo my friend,” he nodded. “‘Chingu.’”

“No shit, man. That’s crazy.”

“‘Chingu,’ Korean word for friend,” he held up his beer for a toast. “This very special time for us. We are great friends. Tim, Tim – you are chingu!”

He was considerably more wasted than us and already on the “I love you, man” stage of his drunk, but we didn’t mind. We cheers’d our cans against his and continued on our path to annihilation. After we’d pounded those beers, Tim Osh went to go buy the next bag-full. When Su and I were sitting there, I noticed he’d been treating his iPhone like shit. It was half-buried in the sand and the other part had been in direct sunlight. I told him about it but he shrugged it off and glugged his beer.

When Tim got back, Su asked us how old we were.

“Twenty-four,” we both said. “You?”

He took a minute to count on his fingers, trying to remember the English words to describe how long it’d been since he was squeezed out his mother’s crotch.

“Thirty-one,” he said before we sat in silence for a minute. “This, now,” he pointed at the ground in what I figured to be an emphasis of the present moment, “very difficult time.”

“Oh yeah,” we asked. “Why’s that?”

“I like dreams,” he said. “I like party. I like club – all night. Then sun up,” he clasped his palms together to form a pillow and rested his head on ‘em, “sleep time. Then sun down, wake up – party time again. I like snowboard. I like surf. I love water,” he pointed out yonder. “I love earth,” he picked up a handful of sand and let it flow through his fingers. “But I hate wife!”

“Oh shit, you’re married?”

“Yes. I love kids but…” he shook his head in disgust, “…but I no want married.”

You got kids too?”

“Two childrens.” He went digging through his wallet and pulled out a family portrait. “Five years,” he pointed at the older of the two. “Two years. And there is wife.”

“Whoa, man. Your wife is beautiful. Why do you hate her? You look like you have a nice family together.”

He just made a nasty face and kept slugging from his beer. Not too long after that, Su picked up his phone and decided he was gonna call a friend who knows English from a few years he’d spent living in New York. But his phone didn’t work. It’d either run out of battery or broke because he’d been treating it so fuckin’ poorly. After asking a few passing strangers who ignored his request, he ended up borrowing a phone off a random dude, calling his buddy, putting it on speaker and handing it to O’Shaughnessy. In a very formal English, the guy thanked us for being so kind to Su during his quote unquote “difficult time.” As quickly as he could, Tim did his best to assure the dude that it wasn’t a problem and ended the call because the owner of the phone began to appear annoyed that we were sitting there chatting it up while burning his minutes and keeping him from where he was going.

Following the intake of one or two more beers, Su got pretty wasted and told us he was going “fishing.” He ran down to the water and dove in. He emerged from the waves and stumbled back up onto the sand just as a pretty young Korean girl had been walking past along the shoreline. He started talking to her and pointed over at me and Tim. We waved when she looked over. She waved back. A minute later Su was headed back towards us with the catch he’d just reeled in. Her name was Ann-nae. She was a college student who spoke quite good English and had a really pretty smile. She was very cordial and very sincere in her responses to our questions but I could tell by the look in her eyes that she really didn’t enjoy hanging out with drunken losers like us but had been too nice of a person to say so upfront and just walk away.

At some point, Su said something to her in Korean and she handed him her phone. He dialed another number he’d known by heart and started jawing at someone, using a nasty-ass tone. Less than twenty seconds into his hostile-sounding tirade, Ann-nae’s face was arrested by a look of horror.

“Oh no,” she said to Tim and I.

“What? What’s going on?” we asked in return. “What’s he saying?”

“He is saying to his wife, ‘I hate you. I want to make a divorce.’”

“Holy shit. Are you for real?”

She affirmed with a nod.

A couple minutes into his yelling, Su got frustrated, put the phone on speaker, reached out and handed it over to Tim who clearly wanted no part of the situation.

“Take. You talk to wife.”

He shook his head “no” but Su threw the phone at him anyway.

“Uh, hi, hello,” Tim mumbled into the receiver.

“Who is this?” retorted the voice of the woman scorned.

“Yeah, here,” Tim said while standing up and handing the phone back over to Su, “I can’t do this.”

With the sophisticated piece of technological wonderment in his hand, this primordial human being again started yelling into it while the girl from whom it was borrowed put her palm to her forehead as she, with eyes unblinking, stared down at the ground in empathetic disbelief. After a few more minutes of being an enabler to the marital disaster, the girl stood up and demanded that Su give her her cell back. He did and she walked away without saying goodbye to any of us.

We too decided to leave and headed back towards our hostel to get showered up for the evening. When he asked, we told Su he could come with us. After using our keys to get in, when we walked into the building, the manager at the front desk told us that people who aren’t registered to stay in the hostel couldn’t be in there for security reasons. Since we couldn’t convey the message to Su in English, the guy at the desk did it for us in Korean. Su had the guy at the desk translate to us how bad he felt about the whole situation and that he’d wait outside while we showered. We said that sounded like a good plan and went off to do our thing.

Even though Su had a clear understanding of the rules, about five minutes after we’d temporarily split up, he stood outside the locked exterior door ringing the bell over and over and over. The repeated dinging and donging reminded me of when we used to lock the doors on the house if my dad decided to stay out drinking after we’d all gone to bed. Although sometimes he’d just break a kitchen window off the tracks forcing his way in or set a ladder up to the second floor and pound on then climb into my mom’s bedroom window and wake everyone up by screaming at her around three in the morning for locking him out of his house, sometimes he’d just stand on the porch pushing the button over and over until one of us finally gave in, went down and let him in. He was so dedicated to this tactic that he’d once even gone out of his way to set a lawn chair up in front of the bell so he wouldn’t have to stand there while doing his best to annoy the hell out of us.

As Su continued to be an asshole, we could hear the ringing from our room and did our best to ignore it while getting ready to go out until the manager came in and told us to get that guy the fuck away from the hostel. We told him we would, hurried along and reconvened on the outside.

Once we were back together, Su insisted on taking us to his favorite karaoke joint. Since it was only like seven o’clock, we told him we didn’t really wanna do karaoke and would rather go out and get some dinner. He said we could get food there and that he’d pay for everything – hard liquor included. The dude had me at hard liquor.

Following Su’s lead, we entered some skyscraper near the beach and took it like twenty-five floors up where our buddy rented a private room which had a TV and a speaker system where the three of us could get wasted and sing songs. Sounds kinda gay, right? Well, once the booze got flowing, it actually turned out to be a pretty awesome time. It was so awesome that I’d pretty much forgotten about the whole “I hate my wife” thing and the doorbell-ringing obnoxiousness back at the hostel…that is, until his buddy Kim showed up.

I guess he must’ve called Kim and told him we were there from the front desk of the karaoke place because his phone still hadn’t been functioning after it got fucked up at the beach. This dude walked into the room wearing nice clothes and carrying a laptop bag, appearing as if he’d just gotten off of work.

“This my chingu, Kim!” he shouted back to us as Kim stood stolidly in the doorway. “Kim likes to party! Tim,” he introduced me, “Tim,” he pointed at O’Shaughnessy.

Judging by the way he angrily slapped the beer out of Su’s hand which’d shattered on the floor, Kim didn’t seem the slightest bit interested in making our acquaintance. He pointed at Su and started barking at him in Korean. Su stepped up and shoved his friend against the wall while yelling in his face. When Su let him go, Kim said one more thing while shaking his head in disappointment and stormed out of the room. In anger, Su then knocked over everything on the table, spilling a pitcher of soju into my shoes which I’d taken off and had set on the ground when singing and dancing on the couches.

This moment gave me some clarity. It allowed me to see the destruction of a family in a way I’d never seen it before. It allowed me to see it from the perspective of the alcoholic man who’d rather stay out partying with strangers than be at home with his wife and children who love him. The ugliness of Su’s phone call to his wife reappeared in the forefront of my mind. The thought of him going home and drunkenly yelling at the beautiful woman from the picture he showed us in front of his two little children made me sick to my stomach. It opened up a lot of old wounds for me. And I wanted no part of it.

“Yo,” I said to O’Shaughnessy, “let’s get the fuck outta here.”

We put our shoes on, headed to the lobby and hit the button for the elevator. Su followed us out there, gave both of us a hug simultaneously and again told us how sorry he was about everything. The elevator dinged, the doors opened, we stepped in and waved goodbye. The last I saw of Su before the doors closed had been him staggering into the women’s bathroom while the chick from the desk called out to him, most likely trying to tell him it was the wrong one.