By Alex Abramovich
The strong account of 1 writer's not likely friendship together with his early life bully, now the president of a bike membership in a single of America's most deadly cities.
Once upon a time, Alex Abramovich and Trevor Latham have been mortal enemies: miniature outlaws in a protracted Island common university, ceaselessly at every one other's throats. Then they misplaced tune of one another. a long time later, after they met back, Abramovich was once a author and Latham had turn into President of the East Bay Rats, a motorbike membership in Oakland.
In 2010, Abramovich moved to California to immerse himself in Latham's international - certainly one of struggle golf equipment, booze-filled nights, and beat-downs at the city's streets. yet harmful, dysfunctional Oakland used to be additionally changing into considered one of America's such a lot quickly gentrifying towns, and the questions Abramovich had arrived with have been thrown into brutal aid: How will we dwell with the weight of violence? How will we conquer it? Do we conquer it?
As Trevor, the Rats, and town they stay in careen among crises and moments of renaissance, Abramovich explores problems with friendship, relations, heritage, and future - and appears at what occurs while these issues fail. Bullies is instantly a shiny, visceral narrative of an strange friendship and an incisive portrait of a pretty, negative urban.
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A few long-gone flowers were in a vase by my bed. One evening I put some of the withered blossoms in the dish beneath the pot of violets. The snail was awake. It made its way down the side of the pot and investigated the offering with great interest and then began to eat one of the blossoms. A petal started to disappear at a barely discernible rate. I listened carefully. I could hear it eating. The sound was of someone very small munching celery continuously. I watched, transfixed, as over the course of an hour the snail meticulously ate an entire purple petal for dinner.
It was equally attracted to white things such as paper. Perhaps, I thought, paper was its woody version of fast food. After being transported from the woods, the snail had emerged from its shell into the alien territory of my room, with no clue as to where it was or how it had arrived; the lack of vegetation and the desertlike surroundings must have seemed strange. The snail and I were both living in altered landscapes not of our choosing; I figured we shared a sense of loss and displacement. EACH MORNING THERE WAS a moment, before I had fully awakened, when my mind still groped its clumsy way back to consciousness, my body not yet remembered, reality not yet acknowledged.
But out of the blue came a series of insidious relapses, and once again, I was bedridden. Further, more sophisticated testing showed that the mitochondria in my cells no longer functioned correctly and there was damage to my autonomic nervous system; all functions not consciously directed, including heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion, had gone haywire. The drug that had previously helped now caused dangerous side effects; it would soon be removed from the market. WHEN THE BODY is rendered useless, the mind still runs like a bloodhound along well-worn trails of neurons, tracking the echoing questions: the confused family of whys, whats, and whens and their impossibly distant kin how.