Confessions of the fink

 

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Iím not bragging.

Man, I've never had anything to brag about.† But I am not as bad off as I thought when I was a kid.† Back then I would have given to nickels for what I was.

Unknown buddy.† One of those invisible suckers who goes through school without anyone ever remembering, except for those sons of bitches who needed someone to pick on.† I wasn't even nerd enough to have pen and pencil holder.

Even my parents didn't have much hope, saying I wasn't going to be much of anything when I grew up.† I guess they were kind of hoping for a Shakespeare or Donald Trump.

Oh I tried.† I worked hard at school to get good grades or new ideas.† But my mind didn't work that way, and the best I could ever do was average. †And all the time there were other people around the who didn't have to work at all.† Everything was just the snap for them.† Football players and bookworms who seem to find a niche for themselves as I floundered.† I used to cringe at the yearly reward ceremonies as each of those bastards gloated about their superiority.

And maybe I would have gone on my whole life like that if I hadn't gotten lucky one day.† Looking up just at the right time to catch one of our own boy geniuses cheating on a test.

At first I couldn't believe it.

The fool didn't need to cheat.† He had brains.† Always showing off to people.† And maybe if he'd been some other kind of character I would've kept my mouth shut.† I'd seen lots of people cheating before, people like me for whom one short answer was the difference between passing and failing.† But him.† He just wanted another notch up so he could look that much bigger than the rest of us.

So I reported him.† And for the first time in his whole life he'd failed to test.† I felt so good it was as though I'd scored highest on that test.† Or may be just evened out the score which had been waiting for years.

I know it started something inside of which still I still haven't sorted out.† I kept my eyes open and I reported others, too.† It got so that it didn't matter who it was I caught as long as I caught someone.† Teachers came to rely on me to catch things they couldn't.† I became an unofficial class monitor.

Sure, the other kids came to hate me.† But hell, it was the first time any of them had ever acknowledge my existence, so he even being hated seemed to feel good because they were afraid of me.

Yeah, some waited for me after school by the tracks.† But I took those beatings like a man.† The teachers needed me and it was the first time anyone needed me for anything in my life.† And later after I've graduated high school, the police in the local politicians needed me, to0.

I just learned to do it more quietly, peeping in people's windows, listening at their doors.† It got to a point where I knew more about people's lives than they did themselves, jotting down their license numbers when they went through red lights or toss beer cans out of their cars. I took pictures of drug dealers in the dead of night. †There wasn't anything I couldn't find out once I put my mind to it.† And it was clear how being such an ordinary citizen made me pleasantly invisible to those I've watched.

But the whole thing had become such habit, I couldn't have held back even if I had tried.† And there's a terrible loneliness and that.

The only real consolation comes in knowing that I am serving society.† I am an important part of how America works.† I'm not bragging.† I'm just telling you how it is.

 


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