The Uglier One

Ugly is everywhere. Some of it is visual. Most of it is internal. None of it is ever hidden.

A lot of it used to be punished via Ugly Laws. Some of the best Ugly Advice I was ever given came to me as a youngster in the form of punches to my face from a crew-cut boy two years older than me — but in my same fifth grade class. His name was Alex.

He was a bully. He wore a perpetual scowl.

He outweighed most of us in class by 75 pounds.

Everyone hated him.

Everyone admired his giant fists and punching power.

He was a brute in a boy’s body.

He was a boulder that gathered moss.

While the rest of us wore mop-top bowl haircuts, Alex waxed the ends of his crew cut and shaved the base of his neck every morning.

Alex imparted his reality to me in a flurry of blows to my face after I had taken the advice of my mother’s boyfriend to “stand up to a bully and fight him on your own turf!”

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Beating Bloody a 101-Year-Old Woman

Are there some crimes that are so vicious and so tawdry and so incomprehensibly heinous that — even though no one dies — the punishment for the criminal must end in death?
Yesterday, we were introduced to such a warranted death via video surveillance.

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The First Betrayal: A Five Dollar Beating

We all know a life is worth six bucks, but as a child I found out the first betrayal is worth five dollars. There are some betrayals that are so base and so entirely intimate that one is seared forever in the sacred memory and by the sanctity of the moment.

1963 Five Spot

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