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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

One-Inch Punch

Oran Ryan
Seven Towers

'Gordon is a moron!' 'Gordon is a moron!' The crowd kept yelling. I can still hear them. I see their smiling sneering faces, their dull eyes, their stupid mindless shouts. They seemed wrapped up in an ecstatic chant. I was crushed and humiliated. I could never ever feel any level of safety or confidence again in that school. Waves of paranoia and self-loathing engulfed me. I felt dizzy. I was nauseous. I wanted to run away. My body flooded with adrenaline. I was filled with panic. I wanted to disappear completely. I wanted to erase myself from the planet. I hated my mother for doing this to me. I felt violated. I felt bitter. I felt I had been ruined by circumstances I could not control. Ed Frasier said nothing. He smiled at his friends. His friends smiled back. Lucy knew she had lost initiative in this little ambush. She said, "Someday this will all catch up with you."

"You know nothing! You don't know your Gordon. He's a bad seed!" 'You are going to leave my son alone." "Gordon Brock is a fucking dickhead. Actually, as indicated, he is a fucking moron." "Okay Ed. I've had the conversation with you. Okay? I've given you a chance. I'm going to escalate this. Stay away from my son, are we clear?"
"Is that a threat?" "It's a stern pointed clear request." And, without looking at or speaking to me, she left the yard. Frasier walked up to me and looked me in the eye. There were hundreds of grinning schoolboys watching. They were shuffling. This was the best entertainment they'd ever had. As Ed Frasier walked over to him, the crowd filled the space around him. He looked at me with more hate than he had ever thought possible. The hate terrified and overwhelmed me. 'You are a fucking dead man, Gordon Brock, you fucking moron fucknugget dipshit asshole cocksucker prick." Ed took off his watch. He put his watch in his pocket. Then took off his jacket, tossed it on the ground. Someone picked it up. Then Ed Frasier went for me saying: "I am going to fuck you up, you goddam motherfucking sonofabitch." "Frasier, I —" I was going to say things to him. I was going to explain myself. Try to dig myself out of this grave, but Ed Frasier, using his index and middle finger bunched together in a tiny fist, poked me hard in the.....