Johnny America


He Loves, They Struggle


“There’s a bon­fire tonight.” Kate whis­pers from across the room. This is the first time she has spo­ken to me since Thursday.


“There’s a bonfire.”

“Oh, yeah. Do you want to go?”

“I guess.”

“Ok. Fine. When is it?”


I meant what time, but all right.


“Is to­day Thanksgiving?”


A few hours lat­er and we’re off. See, there is this bon­fire every year over at Texas A&M to get ready for the game against the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas. Kind of like a pep ral­ly. A lot of peo­ple paint­ed in col­ors that are not their skin col­or. It’s been go­ing on since like 1909, and we go every year. We did­n’t go way back in 1909, since we weren’t born, but you know what I mean. Back in ’99, the bon­fire col­lapsed while it was be­ing set up and like 10 peo­ple died, so it was can­celed that year. We were very sad­dened by the loss, but no one we knew had been killed. We did­n’t go in ’00, ei­ther. I guess we re­al­ly don’t go every year.

The dri­ve is silent un­til we pass a bill­board ad­ver­tis­ing the ser­vices of one Jonathan T. Samis, a de­fense lawyer serv­ing the greater part of the north­ern Texas area for over 12 years. This nor­mal­ly would not have evoked a com­ment by Kate, but this bill­board had “FUCK YOU” spray paint­ed in huge let­ters across the middle.

“I won­der who did that.” Kate said.


“Prob­a­bly some kids up late at night with noth­ing to do.”


“How would they get up there, though? It looks too high for a lad­der to reach and there is no way they could have climbed the poles, is there?”

“Eh,” I sig­nal with my shoulders.

Si­lence for a few more sec­onds. It is very welcome.

“Damnit, what it wrong with us?” Kate asks, a lit­tle more than slight­ly perturbed.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean this. We haven’t talked in five days. What the hell is go­ing on?”

“Fuck­ing hell, I missed my turn. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with us. Shit. Let’s just shut the fuck up and get to this bull­shit bonfire.”

We dri­ve the rest of the way in silence.

Filed under Fiction on January 18th, 2005

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Reader Comments

spillane wrote:

well done young man, well done in­deed. maybe you should take some writ­ing class­es when you head off to col­lage, sec­ond thought, that might make hate writ­ing and peo­ple who “think” they are writ­ers all together.

spillane wrote:

al­so, since the ag­gie bon fire in 1999, (one would as­sume that is what you are talk­ing about) there has­n’t been an­oth­er. [his­to­ry chan­nel, mod­ern marvels.]
plus you’re gay

zach wrote:

thanks, did­n’t re­al­ly research.

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