Micrograffiti: Breaks by Jeff O’Keefe


Breaks by Jeff O'Keefe

Sully and I loved wrestling the same and I wasn’t about to fight him for a slot. That winter I sucked down to 114 so he could have 121. I couldn’t get it going. Some dude from Glastonbury made me look foolish. Sully was undefeated, though. He was on a tear. Mom would fix him spaghetti the night before matches and I’d be there with my grapefruit, shivering. But I was psyched for him. It was like I was headed to States, too.

Then Coach cut me. He cut me. This is the breaks, he said. Give it a go next year, at 128.

That’ll be Sully’s slot, I said.

Well give it a go, he said.

At home I kicked the bathroom door off one hinge. I snotted all over my shirtfront, crying. Sully sat against the wall, his head low, watching me.

We’ll tell, he said, his lip trembling.

He meant about the magazines. The whole team knew about them – what drawer they were in, where the key was. Nobody told because why would you?

Twenty-five years ago, and still, when Sully calls, my first thought is: that was wrong, that was wrong, we ended that man’s life.


Jeff O’Keefe lives in San Francisco.


Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>



  1. […] Jeff O’Keefe wrote “Breaks” […]

  2. Well done, sir. Brief and seamless. We fill in the holes. Who needs words, anyway?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: