Micrograffiti: Breaks by Jeff O’Keefe13/10/2010
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.