Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Go Out with a Bang

It was my last lesson with Anthony.

ANTHONY: So where are we headed?
ME: Right here, champ.
ANTHONY: Uh, beg your f**king pardon?

It was a Saturday night, and not only that, it was the night of the biggest party...of late August: The Beach Bingo.

ANTHONY: Kevin, I have to go. It's Beach Bingo.
ME: Anthony, when I first met you, you were a club-hopping, clique-loving, mean boy who never met a drama den he didn't love. Now, I think the ultimate test would be to see if you can abstain from a night of going out.
ANTHONY: To do what?
ME: Reflect.

When I say he let out a primal scream, I'm talking PRIMAL.

ME: It won't be so bad.
ANTHONY: It's Beach Bingo and you want me to sit in and watch movies?
ME: No, no movies.
ANTHONY: Are we going to play board games?
ME: Anthony, the point is be quiet and think about your life and how far you've come.
ANTHONY: Why don't you take the knife and kill me now, Kev.

Terrific. I've taken him from Eat, Pray, Love to Hate, Hate, Hating Me.

ME: Let's just give it a try.

We took out two pillows and sat...and sat...and sat some more.

The minutes on the clock ticked by, and after about forty of them, even I was ready to pop in a DVD.

But then something kind of interesting happened.

ANTHONY: F**k, am I crying?

Anthony started to cry.

ME: What's wrong?
ANTHONY: I've just never really uh...wow.
ME: Thought about things?
ANTHONY: I've never been silent before.
ME: Really?
ANTHONY: Yeah, my whole life has just been...about making noise, I guess. I've always listened to everybody else. I've never listened to myself.

Take that, Dr. Phil.

ANTHONY: This is weird, man.
ME: Embrace it, Anthony. Embrace the weird.
ANTHONY: What about the joy?
ME: Embrace that too.
ANTHONY: Kev, hold my hand.
ME: Uh--
ANTHONY: Just hold it.

So we sat there...holding hands...and being quiet.

We sat there for most of the night.

There was some crying.
There was some snacking.
Then more crying.
Then we were done.

ME: How do you feel, Anthony?
ANTHONY: I can't tell if I'm better or not.
ME: Do you feel differently?
ANTHONY: I feel like everything I've done in my life has either weighed me down or sent me flying.
ME: And?
ANTHONY: And I'd like to do some more flying.

Break out the tissues, kids. I know you need to.

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