Friday, March 06, 2009

Photo Story: I Was Rocky

We went to church together, my three brothers and I. We didn't get to leave and listen to songs or stories, we had to sit with our parents. I'd lay on my back, under the pews, lost in another world. I was Rocky.

I could leave this world behind and I could envision any number of adversaries: political adversaries (Russians, Vietnamese, Cuban), foreigners (martians, people from East Jahunga, the Ninjas of the Cypress) or something a bit more relevant (my brother Anthony, that very aggressive librarian who tells me to shush, or a pack of unhinged altar boys). I'd usually work up to triple-hip-flip-kicks ( my specialty which arrived in a spitting hyper speed mode or a yawning slo-mo photo finish. I wasn't in the generation that allowed aluminum chairs in the ring, but I often improvised a little with the wooden stool that might be left behind in the corner of the ring.

I realize you're horrified at the political incorrectness of such profiling and unbridled violence. It's wrong, it's evil, it's naughty and it doesn't show my parents in a very good light. Still, it was my Sunday morning fight club, and if I was able to keep in quiet, I was happy as a clam and my parents had one less wiggler to annoy them. I got to see bits and pieces of the Rocky Movies and they seemed so cool. Being Italian didn't hurt to provoke the stallion that I had inside me. I never was an altar boy, but I was later accused of being one. "Man," I thought, "I used to kick the living *&#! out of altar boys!"

Now I have two boys and they come to church with me and I wonder.... Where do they go when they're playing around under the pews? One of these days, I bet I'll hear one whispering "alohamora!"

Photo: "Rocky" by James Farmer

1 comment:

  1. The seed for this story was that one of my older brothers pretended to be Spiderman during mass, flying about the church in his mind. I was mr. roller coaster. I was accused of being an altar boy, but at the time I took it as a compliment. My kids don't get too excited about church, i'm afraid.