I’m an Asshole: Marathon Monday

Joshua Scott Ricker

Joshua Scott Ricker

Run Bitches was the clever sign a friend made a few minutes before we all walked out to the street and began cheering/heckling the runners. Some laughed at the sign but spectators scoffed. Anyone with a name plastered on their shirt was pounced on and cheered, sometimes with negative afterthoughts once they passed. If any dared walk, they were reminded that it was a marathon not a walkathon. A few actually took it as encouragement and began running right after passing us.

I was only out there for a few minutes, beer in a red cup, marathoning in my own liquid way, when my phone vibrated with a text from a friend asking if I was alright. I said yes and checked my twitter, thinking something was wrong.  AP tweeted that two explosions had rocked the marathon finish line. I said this aloud and someone concurred, they had just heard the same.  Drunk at 3:00, we continued to egg people on with less heckling now, hoping it was an electrical fire as some contended.  Under our breaths, after cheering, we said, “Don’t worry, there’s nothing going on at Copley” and laughed afterward.

A cop who had yelled at my friends previously about being a bit too overt with their drinking walked over to us and said the marathon was over. Two devices had exploded at the finish line. I thanked him for telling us and he walked away.  We all stood silent for a minute.  I looked down at my phone to check AP’s feed for any more news and when I looked up, a person was running backwards in front of a member of the Military Police.  Clearly a sister or girlfriend, she encouraged this soldier to continue running with his full gear on.  He ran, but slowly.  I began yelling at him to keep it up, he was almost there, wanting him to finish after working so hard with all that weight but knowing he wouldn’t and I felt like an asshole.  A complete stupid fucking asshole.

 

 Joshua Scott Ricker is an unaccomplished writer and author of the experimental novel Hephaestus: A Modren Affair (misspelling intentional) which can be found on Amazon.com for a small fee.  His email is joshsricker@gmail.com and would love to hear why you probably hated his story.

1 Comment

  1. This is really a brave piece of writing. It’s always easy to ret-con a memory so that we were at our best when something terrible happened, but the truth of the matter is that we might just all be humans, and doing dumb human shit, when bad things happen. As with anything, it’s our reaction to those events that set the tone for a person’s character. It takes no small amount of courage to publicly admit your shortcomings or choices you wish you could take back–the fact of the matter is that clearly you changed in that moment, and I commend you for writing honestly from that place. *Real* assholes never consider the effects of their actions; nor do they consider the fact that they might just be assholes. I believe your work takes you out of that category and into “learned from this.”

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