Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The Kid That Dropped The Baton Day!

Today, you have a lunch date with Craig Latham. Yes, the Craig Latham. The kid that dropped the baton.

As far as you knew, there had been no word from Craig in the ten or so years since that baton clattered to the gravel of the track and he lost the relay race for his entire team. He stuck around school for another week or so after the race, but he was beaten so severely and ridiculed with such venom that he had no choice but to drop out and get out of town.

When someone from the school paper wanted to do a story on Craig a few years later, his parents were discovered to have moved four owns over. They left town as well because Craig's enemies did not draw a distinction between Craig and those who shared his blood. Rarely was the night that went by without a brick crashing through their window. Craig's parents knew it would only get worse, so they went away.

"But Craig didn't come with us," Mr. Latham said. "For our safety, he said he had to go off alone. Told us to forget we had a son."

Mrs. Latham added, "Goddamn did he ever cunt up a lotta shit for everybody when he dropped that cocksucking baton. Retard can't even grab onto a stick."

The Lathams showed the reporter a postcard with a postage stamp from Dubuque. "But he ain't there," said Mr. Latham. "See, it says so on the card."

Scribbled on the card were the words, "I'm not in Dubuque. I came down here solely to mail a postcard from here. Fucking baton. C."

You couldn't believe your eyes when you spotted him at the train station on Saturday. He was standing in the middle of the floor, underneath the clock, staring at you. Waiting for you it seemed.

"I don't have much time before I have to go underground again," he said. "Meet me at the lower level Au Bon Pain on Tuesday at 1:30."

You sucked in some air to ask a question, and he was gone.

Why you? Why now? Today, your questions will go unanswered. But what Craig has to say will prove your questions irrelevant.

He'll sit with his back to the wall, and he won't look you in the eye throughout your entire meeting. He'll be too busy looking for the face of his assassin.

He'll say, "Just a charity race for MS, I thought. What harm could it do. I just never thought everyone would take it so seriously."

Can you ever forgive the warrior heart inside of man? you'll ask.

"Forgiveness would imply a response to something resembling contrition. There is nothing to forgive." He'll lean in close. He'll stink. "I've seen the darkness inside of man, and I have chosen to study and embrace that darkness. To feed upon it and one day spread that darkness like a blanket over all the world. When I signed up for that race, it was an event of blblical proportions. If I can stay alive long enough, this world will end."

You'll sleep with him.

Happy The Kid That Dropped The Baton Day!