Will the Thrill
(Excerpt from “Totally Losing Face and Other Stories“)
His name was Will, but I called him “Will the Thrill” because he always had something exciting to say or do. He was a big, loud, brash American. The way Americans are supposed to be. He had two solid tree trunks for legs, above them was a huge barrel chest, and screwed onto a thick neck was a square chiseled face.
When Will said something you believed it without question. When he spoke people listened and then commented. He knew where he came from, where he was going, and what he stood for.
He grew up in Iowa and then moved to North Carolina where he studied briefly at Chapel Hill. He wanted to be an international businessman, but quit school after a few years, got bored of it.
He had to be a first-born child. You can’t help but imagine him giving orders all his life. And teaching? He said he taught English to kids for a year in Japan. I tried and tried to imagine him teaching children: “A is for apple! Get it. A. Apple. SAY IT! Drop and give me twenty you whimpering snot-nosed twerps!”
Before Japan, he was in the army. Says he saw a lot of bad things during his stint. He’s been all over the planet, except Antarctica, but that’s on the list. He’s done it all and seen it all.
He said resolutely that he only dates Asian women. Period. His last Asian girlfriend in the States was rude to his parents one night because she didn’t show up for dinner. Made excuses. “That’s bullshit,” said Will. He dumped her on principle, but his face would soften a little when he spoke of her.
Got his head straight after Japan and went back to school. Likes it. Was just traveling this time for the summer.
Although he’s only twenty-five years old, he seems twice as old as that. He’s lived life. And when asked about life he said, “The war didn’t get me, but I know I’m gonna die, early. Hell, I was just over in Thailand. I was fucking this whore and right in the middle, the rubber broke. I went, ‘Oh FUCK!’ I’m terrified to take an AIDS test. I probably got it right now.”
“Will the Thrill” is a short story in Hillel Groovatti’s new book of short fiction entitled Totally Losing Face and Other Stories.