Jeffs Ongoing Fugue of Pain
A History of My Life
By Jeff Somers
PART ONE: in which I eat dogs and become acquainted with Jesuit cruelty.
Where to start? I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey to an Irish-German family of thirteen: six brothers, five sisters, two parents. Only four survived the great bratwurst famine of 1974, two of them being my parents, who mourned the deaths of my siblings by dumping the surviving kids in private school and taking a cruise around the world. In private school my brother Yan and I learned to sing songs from The Sound of Music and tap dance, skills which have saved my life on more than one occasion. After the cruise, my parents went on an extended tour of Europe, from which they have yet to return.
As a result, Yan and I returned from the 1981 semester at school to find the house abandoned. A pack of wild, rabid dogs had broken through the screen door on the back porch and made it their home, and my poor brother Yan was mauled quite badly before I could Tap the dogs to death. I set about nursing Yan and scavenging our ancestral home for foodstuffs and potable water. It was, after all, a long summer. We survived it by eating carefully salted dog meat and drinking rainwater which had so much lead in it I went temporarily color blind in August. When Yan had regained enough of his strength, we set about repairing our ancestral home and plundering my fatherâ€™s abandoned stocks of pornography. The summer passed quickly, then.
In the fall we matriculated into high school. Our parents maintained a long arm and enrolled us in St. Peterâ€™s There But For the Grace of God Academy, which was a pseudo-religious-slash-military establishment stressing Latin and self-mutililation. We awoke one fine September day to find the ancestral home surrounded by Jesuit Commandos, who piled us into an armored truck along with several other frightened boys. Yan and I cheered our fellow kidnap victims by singing The Sound of Music (Yanâ€™s voice indistinguishable from Julie Andrewsâ€™) and we plotted a brisk escape from the truck; but once the rear doors were thrown open Yan and I were inexplicably ratted out by our fellows. My brother and I entered St. Peterâ€™s as prisoners, and spent our first weeks there being beaten on a daily basis by a burly priest named Father Hump, until we could speak perfect Latin, although we could no longer remember our own names.