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  • Jimmy Broccoli

The False Beauty of Being Numb

The False Beauty of Being Numb

In this neighborhood, children play in the street without shoes –

The sidewalks are buckled and cracked, defeated after years of neglect –

Weeds in the front yards – weeds in the side yards –

Dilapidated houses, small – with the exterior paint peeling and discolored -

The police or ambulance sirens sounding so often, it’s almost musical

It’s near dark as I walk down this unfamiliar street –

The parents are calling their children inside from the day as they drink whiskey or scotch or beer and sit on their porches in plastic chairs –

They do not recognize me and look upon me with suspicious eyes

4 young men, perhaps mid-20s – all in muscle shirts or white beaters -

swaggering along the other side of the street -

visibly drunk – it’s Friday night – male pack mentality –

…I’m where I want to be…

[I don’t remember what it is like to feel emotions –

I used to feel them –

…I no longer feel them…]

I cross the street to meet the oncoming pack -

I call the largest one – the one with the muscles - a derogatory word –

and I spit it at him -

The young man looks at me sideways and with surprise –

then with extreme anger - as I call him the word again

[I just want to feel

I just want to fucking feel something –

fucking anything at all – even if it be for just a moment]

(there is no beauty in being emotionally numb)

I am thrown to the ground and the punching and the kicking begins –

…one of them spits on me repeatedly…

The pain begins - and I do not fight back

In this neighborhood, people don’t call the police


It is now dark –

I look up at the streetlight several feet above me –

I watch it struggle – its light blinks on and off –

it is injured, as I am

I lay in the gutter, discarded water soaking my blood-stained clothing -

as I am near unconscious -

I cannot move my right hand normally

and I am unable to see clearly out of both eyes –

I touch my face and its swollen landscape feels unnatural and unfamiliar

and I don’t regret a moment –

not a moment

I just wanted to feel something

I just wanted to fucking feel something –

fucking anything…

I feel something [I begin to smile, a swollen and lopsided smile] …

I listen to the ambulance sounds from somewhere in the distance

as I descend into blackness

Image: The "Rabbits" mask - imagined by Jimmy Broccoli - created by Briana Botsford of Bots Media.

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