Weakness exposed

1974: Jack at 19

Evening. In a college dorm.

Misty Amaris made the dramatic entrance into Walt’s room,  grabbed Jack’s hand and pulled him back into his own room across the hall. She dropped herself onto his bed and cradled his face in her palms as his knees straddled her waist. All pallor and dark eye shadow and Velvet Underground.

“I do this for all my friends.”

Her imperial smile was all too conquering as her hands snuggled under his pillows, beaming her gaze into his as he stood up.

Jack couldn’t do it. He knew her friends, he knew she spent weekends at parties in NYC with the Theater group of sophisticates. He was frozen, too ordinary, bested.

A week later Jack and Misty were riding with Scottie and Bob after watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Misty pointedly recalled the scene with Billy. Billy with the stutter and the slash marks on his wrists and the cigarette burns on the back of his hands. Nurse Ratched found Billy and the girl and said to Billy how ashamed she was and how was his poor mother going to take this and Billy fearful and stuttering. Misty retold the whole scene in the car and knew it was almost like Jack and said: “Sound familiar Jack?”

Jack was stung, hoping his comrades would never know  what she meant. Cruel smiling Misty , and Jack’s wound exposed.




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