Warning, contains strong language.
Lights up. A young man paces back and forth, clearly very distressed. After a moment he stops pacing and faces the audience.
“That’s what I remember. (The man smacks his fist into his palm very hard) The smack of knuckle on bone. My eye stinging. And Keaney stood there spitting and snarling, his mates laughing. The air between us crackles with aggression, you see the violence in his eyes, the hate. You know he’s daring you to throw one back so he can really lay into you. But you can’t move. Your mind’s gone blank. He tells you not to do it again, but you haven’t said a word or done a thing. And your whole body’s shaking.
You hold your words back for a time. Then they swarm into your head. (The man addresses Keaney) What d’you do that for? You’re standing there taking a swing at me ‘cos you think its funny? Stood there with your mates all round you? And don’t you impress ‘em eh? Punching someone who doesn’t want to fight. Who wasn’t even looking the right way. Sitting there in class shouting your mouth off ‘cos you know I won’t answer back. Aren’t you the fucking bollocks?
The words fire you to speak up, to fight back. But its too late. He’s already gone. Laughing and joking with his mates about what a wimp you are. You think about going after him, putting a stop to it all ‘cos you’re sick of it happening everyday.”
©Robert Higgs 2006.