John Francis Hughes: Particle Introductions


Many men have never taken the question of who they are seriously. They play it off as a question directed towards the discovery of their name. No, no. Some take it as a question about their character, the individual qualities encompassing their day-to-day interactions. No again. Very few men sit in corners, in uncomfortable chairs, in shadowy spaces contemplating the nature of their soul. Introductions to the many men are merely a chance to act, to play a character in some drama they fancy is their life. No, no — introductions, the question “who are you?”, is not simply answered but rather demonstrated. So, let this man demonstrate.

When I was five years old, my mother brought me to the basement of our two story cottage and showed me a motionless black dog wrapped in a black garbage bag. It was dead and I knew this immediately. I recognized the dog’s body had once belonged to the dog that bit me in the forearm two days earlier. I loved that dog, the one that left me with a scar I carry with me today. But I felt nothing for the body in front of me. That was when I was introduced to the soul.

The first drink I ever had was from a ten dollar bottle of Merlot my parents kept on cherry wood display. I remember filling my a wine glass in a room lit only by a late night documentary about some late porn star. She had deep chestnut orioles and soft hips that could fill gentle handfuls. I opened a second bottle of wine as she bounced up and down on the screen, her eyes towards the camera, drawing her simple audience past her full, maple colored lips. My sister found me opening a third bottle, alerting my parents.

I spent the summer of my freshman year of college in a house I had rented with my one of my close friends at the time. My beloved, beautifully plain girlfriend had traveled to the Coast of Spain for a two month stay and I thought it was occasion enough to dull the jealous days with too much scotch and take up smoking. My close friend passed me one night, nearly choking on my own vomit, unable to efficiently walk to the bathroom. He passed me to go to his bedroom, looked away, and continued on.

I started working at a french bistro. A frequent customer, a fantastically aged woman of Russian decent caught me on a smoke break. The season was winter and the air was perfect for cigarettes and lustful conversations. She asked me home after work and I accepted. We sipped wine and made love while her daughter was at her father’s.

A fourth of a dollar remains in my wallet given to me by a group of Mexicans who named me Gringo Moreno.

This is a small introduction, an atomic particle of my life. Demonstrations like these will encompass my work on this program. Know only this, that I love you, reader, beyond any love you have ever know. I will never lie to you, and therefore, will forever trust you. Keep a cigarette lit for me.

Jack Hughes

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