The Weather

Bad Behavior

An Excerpt from My Bad Man Memoir

Bad behavior is one of those things that I know the best. It all started at a young age. I was growing up and I lived in a house with my mom and dad. My mom liked health food and my dad liked cigarettes. As you can see, they got divorced.

Bad behavior: What did it consist of? You ever tried to kick a man where it counts? You ever try to smoke marijuana? Yeah I been on the roof. Yeah I been up there. I went up there with my friend. We stole the Playboys. We did all kinds of things. You remember the phase when you’d rather have a Playboy than talk to a real girl? Well that’s when we started to loot them from Barnes and Noble. The place didn’t know anyway until one day it did and we fled by bicycle, which was hard, because to get over the overpass on Route 101 you had to go up that spiral ramp thing, which took more strength than I had to get all the way up.

You ever throw a punch at a man? I did a few times. You see this one guy was an actual asshole and we were talking about something and he was drinking Dr. Pepper so I punched him in the face. He called it an overreaction. I called it his due.

In conclusion, bad behavior is one of the worst things out there in my life, one of those things that shames me and therefore compels me to write a bad man memoir. In conclusion, I have a conflicted relationship. Because without the bad behavior, where you see the bad man?

I’m a bad man, I always was. I hold a hand of a little old lady when need be. I kick a man when he’s down, too. I do what I can. That’s what we all can do. Men and women have challenges. I’m not different. I’m just like you but just a little different: a man who sticks up for himself in the face of a bad world. That’s my follow up book. Bad World Memoir: What I Seen, What I Know. After I’m done you can read it. Sophomore efforts are usually pretty good.

Tom Dibblee is Trop’s editor. His fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train and his nonfiction has appeared in Pacific Standard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Point. He lives in Los Angeles.