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Note: This article comprises only truths, taken verbatim from its original source ...for great justice.
Nathan Keefer, a.k.a. the Emperor, nathon666, nathon777, the Hunter, Kuwlshadow, Melbert, the Humanoid, and Lord Furvert, is the architect, keeper and absolute ruler of Nathan's Empire, an online bunghole where pedophilia, angst, delusions of magnificence, macrophilia, furriness, and faggotry come together in an epic amalgam of personal demons and ludicrousness.
One day, Keefer decided to defecate his life into the tubes, totally unaware of the consequences. Determined to find out moar about his psychosomatic condition, I had like 10 beers, dissected his biography and extracted what could be regarded as a possible explanation of his megalomania:
“The overall concept could best be described as: Nathan is a mythological figure, like an Egyptian God from outer space, who is just looking for friendship, but things always get fucked up. Or one could say that I have a Magic Mirror that reflects what people need to see in themselves, thus hypnotizing them and making them like me, even though I'm a shriveled up mummy with fangs hiding behind the mirror casting illusions so they don't get scared, but then one day the mirror breaks when some stupid kid drives a Chevy into it, and not even an army of Giant Robot Lions can prevent the fall of the Temple of Jade and the disintegration of the Train of Reality.” (sic)
For reasons of time and space (mine, yours and ED’s) we’ll try to offer the most important details, since the damn thing is so fucking long. Without a doubt, Keefer has tried to send a message out to the world, in desperate screams: "I am, I am here, I am now."
However, it’s appropriate to say that the firsts chapters of his biographical writings are so oh revealing. They could be considered as the blueprints for the potential serial killer or the ordinary warped loser, he who has failed at every attempt to contribute to society or any attempts at talent. And these memories contain more contradictions than the Bible.
—Nathan Keefer telling us about his Unwarranted Self Importance
"I was born in 1970 ... School gradually became unbearable for me. I was picked on, bullied, teased, mocked, ignored, threatened, laughed at, misunderstood, pushed around. I kept to myself as much as possible. I felt so different, like someone from another world even. I didn't know how to relate to my classmates.
I wanted so much just to fit in and be one of them, to be accepted as one of them. One time some older boys even said they were going to kill me and I believed it. Everyone was so unspeakably awful to me. I was very shy. I was afraid of everything. I was clumsy and utterly non-athletic.
I just wanted to have a best friend like other boys had. There were boys who I so much wanted to be friends with, I wanted them to notice me, to hang out with me. They rarely if ever did. When they did, it was just a casual thing for them, they never understood the deep importance I placed on friendship.
I was so easily and deeply hurt by things people said. I was jealous of other people talking to my friends. I was jealous of people having birthday parties and not inviting me. I was like a gloomy purple child in a glass case sitting in the corner making horrible faces at the world and weeping in the April rain, vowing revenge. I felt so alone.
When not at school, things were better. At home in the neighborhood, I wasn't so shy. I was, in fact, exactly the opposite. I became the king of the local neighborhood kids. I even had a throne.
My house was the focal point for every kid-related activity in the neighborhood, because my house was so big, and so cool, and I had quite a dominating personality. I drew people to my way of doing things through the force of my will. And I was the overlord of them all. This began when I was maybe 9 and never really ended.
We organized ourselves into an army, and had battles against other neighborhoods-- not playing, but throwing bricks and hitting each other with sticks. It was barbaric. I would draw 'tactical battle maps' and go over them with my 'soldiers', who were 8 year old boys carrying 2x4's and cap guns-- oh it was quite beyond belief.
I was antagonism in motion. I screamed at people and called them idiots if they didn't do what I commanded. In retrospect, I was an outrageous dictator. I entertained everyone with my imagination and my schemes. When things didn't go my way I got mad and went back in the house and hid. I was not your average kid who sat around playing games. I was never into any kind of sports. I liked drawing pictures of dinosaurs and monsters.
When by myself, that is to say, not at school or with other kids in the neighborhood, I was neither shy nor brash-- I was myself. I was sensitive and intelligent. I liked putting together model kits of army tanks and battleships. I loved the many cats we had as pets. At one time we had about 30 cats. I liked taking pictures of landscape and scenery-- sunsets, beautiful misty scenes in the yard with the lilacs in bloom, etc.
I have always been a sensitive, caring, emotional artistic person on the inside, and that's who I remain to this day. I have always had a deep need to love and to be loved, and that also remains. I care a great deal. People are important to me. It's only when I feel that I'm being mistreated or ignored that I respond in rather extreme ways... I am somewhat of an extremist.
Also, I have always been fascinated by feet, socks, sneakers, and the idea of being stepped on by giant boys or giant girls, or regular sized boys or girls too. When I was 4 years old I used to have dreams of getting stepped on by giants, and I found it to be pleasant. Pleasant!! Why? How should I know why. I just did. I still do of course.
It did not help my sense of belonging or self esteem to be ganged up on by boys almost twice my size. It made me see the world as an uncaring place where the small and the weak are mistreated for the amusement of others. Ironic, is it not, that this came to be the main theme of my later artistic works. Well maybe not ironic at all.
[...] In my back yard, I had a big wooden play house / fortress-type-thing that my dad built for me. It was the headquarters of my "Neighborhood Army", which consisted of Me as the "Emperor", my little brother, two local kids named Charlie and Christopher, their three cousins Troy, China and Shawna, and various others at different times. Christopher was my chief enforcer. He was a sadistic blond kid who liked beating people if they offended me.
As the Emperor, I often could be seen sitting on my throne conducting our bizarre childhood activities such as playing war or holding our own pagan Olympic rituals, and if someone refused to do what I commanded, I would shout "Punish that idiot!!" and Christopher would attack them with a stick or something. I was running a police state in my back yard.
Ironically, I didn't consider these younger kids my friends. I didn't play with them. I treated them like soldiers or servants. I thought they were crude, stupid, dirty and uncivilized. They were just the kids who happened to be in the neighborhood. I made the best of it that I could. Who I REALLY wanted to hang out with was my own classmates from school, but they never came over except very rarely. I didn't know how to deal with them. I wasn't interested in baseball or whatever they were into.
I dealt with feeling small and shy by building up vast fortifications around my personality, becoming the most overblown, grim, scowling, tyrant of a juvenile dictator one could imagine. I didn't make friends this way, but I got people to do what I wanted.
Another feature in my back yard was a big wooden tank that my dad built for me to play in. Tank, as in army tank. It was modeled after a World War 2 German Panzer of some sort... I forget the actual name. It was a tank destroyer, meaning it had the main gun fixed in a superstructure instead of a rotating turret. I always loved the German military. To me, they had the absolute coolest uniforms and equipment. I loved the design of German tanks like the Panther and the King Tiger. They were beautiful, while every other country in the 1940's had ugly equipment.
[...] In the summer of 1982 I began writing a story which I called simply "My Story"... it would eventually become an 800 page novel about the future, in which I was the Emperor of the world and spent most of my time building huge palaces and torturing people who offended me. It was filled with surreal comedy involving people being covered with oatmeal and crashing through windows-- the height of comedy in my opinion.
It was also full of death, violence, barbarity, war, destruction, etc. I worked on it from 1982 until 1985, and in the later years ( 1984-1985 ) it became full of Evil Boys doing the killing rather than the Imperial Nathanist Military, which had predominated in the 1982-1983 writing. I was changing as a person, my interests were shifting to a smaller and more human scale.
But in 1982-1983, I was completely into the whole Intergalactic Empire thing. I loved Star Wars. I wanted to be the Emperor so badly. ( though not when he got thrown down the hole in the floor and blew up... that really sucked. )
In august 1982 I began 7th grade. I ran for Class President... and lost by 1 vote. I'm sure everyone who was there there still remembers the speech I made in front of the entire school-- it was a masterpiece of bizarre comedy. One kid even claimed he pissed his pants laughing because it was so funny.
"Vote for ME!" I shouted from the stage, gesturing grandly, "Or I will BELCH in the cafeteria!!" or something like that. I have always been an entertainer.
In early 1984 I had two friends from school, Rick and Frank, over for my birthday. They were both on the basketball team and were popular kids who lived in the "nice part of town". They liked to hang out with me because it gave them prestige, apparently. I was a popular kid myself at that time.
In high school, I hated gym class. People always hit me with towels in the locker room, and I was awkward and non-athletic so I was always chosen last for teams, and that made me feel terrible, every day I felt terrible. I much preferred being at home and spending time with my story writing, and playing war games with my brother and his friends, who I continued to call "my army".
January 1985 was cold, snowy, bright, and full of blood and death. We were all at school, eating lunch in the cafeteria, which was right next to the parking lot. A loud bang came from outside. It sounded like a car hitting a phone pole or something. Kids began to gather at the windows to look outside, to see what had made that noise.
It was not a car accident.
A 16 year old boy named Greg had gone out to his car, sat down at the wheel, and taken a rifle from the back seat. Then he put the barrel in his mouth and somehow pulled the trigger. His head ended up all over the inside of the car windows. There was blood splashed all over the back window of the car.
Needless to say, there was horror and chaos. School was cancelled for the rest of the week. Counselors were brought in to talk to everyone. Kids gathered together in groups, crying. Greg had been a popular kid, well liked. There had been no indication anything had been wrong until he killed himself.
The shadow of death-- violent, bloody death-- hung over the school. I myself still had a scar on my forehead and the memory of blood running down my face. At home, my parents were not getting along, and were in fact soon going to be divorced. I didn't have any real friends among my classmates.
All of this affected me. I was 14 years old, and you can bet your ass it affected me. I became rather obsessed with the subject of death.
And then came my Sophomore year at high school, also known as 10th grade. I felt like a complete outcast among my classmates. I wrote stories about evil teenagers killing people. I tried to run for class president again, and lost again. I cut classes regularly and just wandered around outside in the fog, often with a large knife under my coat.
I hated school. I had no friends. There were boys who I wanted to be friends with, but they ignored me. Everyone else, it seemed, had a car and a girlfriend, and they wanted nothing to do with me. I would make them pay.
In November 1985 I skipped math class and instead went lurking around the backstage area of the school auditorium. I was trying to get into the boiler room with the hope of sabotaging the boiler so it would blow up, but I couldn't figure out how.
Instead, I noticed a big pile of crumbled papers and scrap wood in an area behind the stage curtains. I set it all on fire with matches, then went out the back door and went away behind some trees, away across the foggy lawn. I was waiting for the school to burn down and kill everyone.
But it didn't of course. The fire extinguisher sprinkler system came on and put out the fire. I went back inside and continued as if nothing had happened.
Later that month I wrote about it in my diary and my mother read it and turned me in to the police. I was expelled for the rest of the school year, and also sent to the juvenile detention home.
I was taken from my home and family and kept behind barred windows in a room where the lights never went out. After 3 days there, I was sent to a teenage mental hospital for the whole month of December, apparently because I was depressed, antisocial, and evil. That was a very strange experience, living in a hospital. The other kids there were mostly younger than me, and many had problems. Some were retarded, others were evil, some were cute, others were dysfunctional in various ways. Some were just kids who misbehaved or had deep emotions and were put there because nobody knew what else to do with them. Drug abusers and attempted suicides were common.
I rather quickly became the leader of this scene, not that I really wanted to, but it was just natural. I was vastly more intelligent and charismatic than the other kids there, and they came to love me.
In the summer of 1986 my plans for the future included being rich, and living in a castle in Canada. I wanted to be a writer and make money writing novels. I also wanted to lead a secret terrorist organization and take over the world.
I had zero interest in doing anything ordinary. I had no ambition to follow any beaten path, or to do anything that was mapped out for me by anyone else. I hated conforming to other people's expectations. Most of mankind filled me with indifference or distaste, and I would have liked to blow up most of the world. Only cute teenagers should exist. And they should exist in order to be my friends, and kill everyone else.
It's ironic how life works. One minute I thought I had no friends. The next minute I was popular again, doing normal things like going to football games, hanging out in the parking lot drinking cherry vodka with evil boys who I would later start calling the Children of Chaos...
And in late September 1986 I wrote a 2 page story which was about my friends Jay and Corey raping and killing people at school. I passed the story around at school and everyone read it. The real-life victims were horrified and frightened. Everyone else thought it was hilarious however. But I was expelled from school for this... for the rest of the year!!!
Just when I was finally starting to fit in again, to have friends... and it was lost to me. Lost!! Taken away!!
[...] As the autumn of 1986 wore on, I became depressed and evil. I wandered around at night. I slept outside under the town water tower. I desperately wanted my friend Jay to like me as much as I liked him, to do things with me, to hang out and be my friend, but he was always busy with other people. He was so popular. Everyone loved him. It broke me apart. I wanted to kill his other friends. Seriously.
On December 24 I went back to the school... when nobody was there... and I proceeded to destroy it. I kicked holes in the walls. I shattered the windows. I threw computer equipment on the floor, I sprayed fire extinguishers up and down the halls. I picked up desks and hurled them around the classrooms. Basically, I went in there and then deliberately lost control. I was very angry at the entire world, and especially at the school.
The police chased me across someone's back yard. I tried to get away by jumping over a small creek, but I fell in the mud instead. It was over. I was taken to the police station.
If I hadn't been caught then I may have soon done worse things than breaking glass, like cutting off people's heads with a machete, the better to express my pain.
I was not your average depressed teenager, I was an icon of unbelievable angst. I was a study in contrasts... a gentle, lonely, innocent child who longed for a best friend, and was excited by the idea of being suffocated by evil boys, and who also wanted to be the leader of everything, and also hated the world and wanted to murder everyone. Plus don't forget I was, even then, an incredibly talented writer and artist.
From December 24 1986 until March 17, 1987, I lived at the Mary Davis Detention Home... or should I say, I was confined there. I certainly didn't choose to be there. I, along with many of the other kids in the place, were often making wishful-thinking plans to escape and run away. At one point some kid's sister was supposed to smuggle in a .44 magnum which we'd use to blow away the staff and make our escape. At another time I was trying to make a key to unlock the barred windows, using cardboard and pieces of a toothbrush. None of these schemes worked of course.
Living there was an exercise in frustration. We were not allowed to go outside, ever. Everything happened on a fixed schedule. It was a prison for teenagers. Ironically, I never had any problems with the other kids there. I got along with them better than the idiots I used to go to school with actually. The reason for this was the same as always--- I was the oldest one there. I was almost 17 now, and all these 14-15 year old boys looked up to me. I had a mystique, you see. I was the evil kid who tried to burn down the school. I was the guy who walked around with a machete while skipping class. I was like Charles Manson to them.
And here, in the detention home, I entertained the other boys by telling stories. Just the way I write them now, I told them as we lay in our beds at night, entertaining everyone. Sometimes we had pillow fights... and this was no laughing matter, because those pillows were heavy as hell, and the floor was concrete. I make it sound not so bad, but I was only seeing the bright side because the alternative was crushing despair. My future was completely uncertain. I had no idea how long I would be locked up. For all I knew I wouldn't be free until I was 21.
Back in my home town, there was controversy and terror. According to rumors, my followers in the Sophomore class were planning to avenge me by killing the people responsible for arresting me... I felt like a mafia boss, hearing all these ridiculous rumors. I had supposedly put out a contract on some kids I disliked back home...
Well actually there was a pretty good reason for these rumors... they weren't just rumors. It was actually true. I sent letters to my friends John and Chad and asked them to kill people to avenge me. They didn't of course, but perhaps they thought about it. In any case, there was panic and hysteria in the halls of my old school, and I laughed at it all.
In early February a new kid came to the detention home, and his name was James. He was 14. He quickly became my best friend. We were so instantly compatible. Plus we were room mates as well. He looked up to me and was so entertained by my wit and my stories. And he liked to play evilly! One time he climbed on top of me as I lay in bed and held my pillow over my face for like two or three minutes, holding me down by laying on top. It was near midnight. He did a very good job pretending to smother me... maybe he wasn't pretending? Oh but I loved it.Another time he did the same thing with his hands, covering my mouth. I guess he just liked doing that.
Or maybe he did it because he thought I would like it... which of course I did. He was such a cool guy. We both wore Nikes and one night we sat around and decorated each other's Nikes by drawing on them. Some might consider this sacrilege, but in 1987 it was something that friends did.
We also did other things, such as fight with combs. You know, combs that you use for your hair. We had fights with them, scraping each other's arms and actually drawing blood. Why? Because we were kids, that's why. And believe it or not, the staff in that place actually let the kids take showers together. TOGETHER!!
So yes, me and James always took showers together. he washed my hair sometimes and smeared bubbles in my face for fun. It was cute. No we didn't do anything 'else', despite what you perverts might be thinking. I really loved that kid, but not in a sexual way, understand me?
We planned to stay in contact and meet in the future. We were going to buy a van and drive around the country killing people together, with the object of causing a youth revolution to overthrow the corrupt and immoral society of modern America, and replace it with a new order.
[...] Until July 1987, I lived in the residential detention hospital for kids known as The Zeller Zone Center. The place was a zoo. There were about a dozen kids ranging in age from 8 to 17, living together on the unit... So many wild and dramatic things happened there that I could write a book about it, but I have no intention of doing that. Suffice it to say that it was not all bad. Hardly good because I wasn't free, and I often had fantasies...
But I had some friends there. I became a respected and well liked person among the kids, and among the staff people also. I helped look after the little kids. A boy who was maybe 9 whose name was Jesse sort of adopted me as his surrogate dad, and that was very moving for me. All these kids who had such hard lives, who had been abandoned by their alcoholic mothers and their abusive fathers, with nowhere to go, left in the care of state agencies. It broke my heart repeatedly, the things I came to see and know during 1987.
In July I found myself living on the 6th floor of a 12 story building in Chicago.HERE, everyone had a private room. There was no playing. There was no friendship except that which could slowly develop under these harsh circumstances. [...] In this place, I learned control. I learned to apply an iron discipline to myself, to bide my time, and to make things work my way. I learned to play the game. I also learned that friendship and love will exist in defiance of even the harshest regimes. I felt like a political prisoner in this place. And then came John. He was 15, and he was so similar to me, yet fundamentally opposite also... we were like the two sides to the same coin, in the memorable words of Norman, one of the staff people there.
John was a street kid from the north side of Chicago. He had black hair that hung down in his face hiding his eyes half the time. He was cute as hell. He had a great sense of humor too, and big feet, on which he loved wearing his big Adidas sneakers. He often wore white. Just what was it we had in common? Well we both were very smart, clever, witty, and 'together', as opposed to the other kids in the place who had lesser minds. John and I recognized ourselves in each other. We were superior to everyone around us, and we were very much aware of it. We did not lack in ego. We enjoyed being the top dogs there, snickering about how stupid everyone else was.
In me, he saw the creativity and the pure melodrama of my humor, and he loved it. In him, I saw the spontaneous fun-loving boy I had never been. We soon became as inseparable as that place would allow. We were indeed able to talk, so long as the staff "Supervised our conversations", which meant we couldn't talk about drugs or crime.
That kept the discussions to a higher and more abstract plane, and man we were so close. We were able to talk without the staff listening sometimes... because sometimes the staff were lazy. Sometimes they just sat in their nurses station and ignored whatever was going on. At those times we could talk. He had a long-running fascination with the idea of his grandmother smuggling him a shotgun so he could escape. Never happened of course.
When he got depressed about things, cocksucking rampage... John and I even wrote some stories together, passing the pages back and forth by hiding them in the bathroom-- we would have been in trouble otherwise, because trading papers or passing notes was forbidden. Naturally what we wrote about was a story involving us breaking out of the hospital and terrorizing the city.
And then my time there was drawing short. In February 1988 I turned 18, and since it was a hospital for kids, I was no longer a kid. I couldn't stay. I had to go. And there was no other residential school program in the entire country that would accept me, because of my age, my intelligence, and my 'history', whatever that meant. So the school district had to pay.
And so they paid to fly me out to Massachusetts on a big airplane. I was so excited. I had never flown before, but had always wanted to. I loved it. The feeling of power, roaring up into the sky. Looking down and seeing everything so tiny.
Compared to my previous incarcerations in detention homes and hospitals, my adventure in the wooded hills of western Massachusetts was just that-- an adventure. It was a vacation. I had the time of my life. The freedoms there were incredible in contrast to the gulag in Chicago. We lived in a big stone mansion that had once been a private home but now served as a dormitory building for teenagers, where we lived rather like spoiled brats at a private club. We even had a a chef who came in and cooked our meals in the big kitchen downstairs. Breakfast was often blueberry pancakes or crepes or something made with cream cheese... plenty of good food. In another building on the property there was a big swimming pool. We went to classes in another building-- regular classes with regular teachers. We had a tennis court behind our dorm building. There were wooded hills all over the place. We went sledding in the winter.
[...] (Damn this thing is long!)
During my time there, we rode bicycles to Cape Cod and jumped in the Atlantic ocean. We went on several different camping trips involving canoes. We had cookouts and went to town festivals in local towns. It was one big fat adventure. Plus, they let me go home to visit my family several times. I would fly home, spend time there, then fly back to the school. It was so awesome. I felt rather special.
On the first of these trips back home I met the evil neighbor boy Mike again. Last time I saw him he was 9. We took a bunch of weird pictures and played video games. It was so cool to be home, to be completely free, to be myself.
When I went back to Kolburn I was getting to be better friends with some of the guys there, including an Evil Boy named Steve. We went on an Evil camping trip in May... Yes, I said an EVIL CAMPING TRIP!! Actually it was great fun. We paddled around in a canoe on a lake, and set up our camp in an isolated area. There was Me, Steve, Kevin, Ricky, two morons, and the husband and wife team who took us camping.
Me, Steve, Kevin and Ricky were all sharing one tent, while the "two morons" shared another tent, as did the husband and wife. Well, Steve was my buddy by now. He was 16 years old, very intelligent, with a weird sense of humor, and he was also very strong. He played every kind of sport known to man. He had blue eyes and was cute, and he was a spoiled rich brat from Maryland. He was a few inches shorter than me but he could've picked me up and thrown me across a room. The first time he shook my hand I felt it hours later... damn, he had a powerful grip.
Anyway, he liked me. He liked my way of thinking about things. So here we were in our tent, enjoying the great outdoors. Me and Steve got to talking about the subject of murder. Was it okay for superior people to kill somebody who was inferior to them, somebody who was annoying and stupid? We decided that yes, it was. And we were talking about a particular somebody, too... a kid named Ron.
We did not like him. In fact, neither did Kevin or Ricky, our other two tent-mates. The four of us huddled together there and talked about killing Ron. We planned to walk someplace with him out by the lake, where Steve would be waiting and would jump down out of a tree and land on him, and then we'd all stomp him to death under our nikes and reeboks and then throw him in the lake.
Needless to say, that was my plan. The other boys loved it. Boys just naturally love the idea of stepping on things, or on people. We talked about it for a significant time. Ricky and Kevin went along with it more as a mental exercise... but Steve and I were not joking. I was thinking it might really happen. We disliked Ron. he was noisy and always complaining about stuff. And he looked like a frog too. We were normal, good looking boys, and we wanted to kill him.
Then, as such things happen, nothing came of it. The other boys went to sleep. I lay there on my side, looking across at Steve nearby. He looked like a statue of an evil teenage brat.
In May 1988, the school year ended. My buddy Steve left the school and went back home. I was sad to see him go. He was a good kid, he was my friend. I, and many others, were staying there during the summer though. There was a new boy, too. His name was Randy. He was 13 years old, and he was the most evil spoiled brat in the history of evil spoiled brats. Naturally, I loved him.
The Only thing Missing is the Fursuit
I was 18 and bigger than him, so he had his work cut out for him. He loved reading my stories too. I was by this time the "Group Manager" of our dorm, meaning that I was responsible for assigning chores and also signing the other kids "Point Cards"... we carried cards around and got points for being good, and lost points for being bad.
So I was in the position of authority just because it was natural for me. I was the most mature, responsible, intelligent kid there... and the oldest too.
Randy was like my pet. I looked after him and let him stay up later than usual. Most kids had to go to bed at 10:00. I got to stay up until 2:00 if I wanted. I let Randy hide behind my chair in the lounge watching TV until 1:00 am by peeking out from under the chair behind my legs.
Another time we were both sitting in the lounge on a couch, and he was sitting right next to me, he leaned up against me with affection and rested his head on my shoulder and we just sat there like that for a while.
I loved Randy like the cute evil brat he was, and he loved me too. One time Randy was not feeling well, and he was laying in bed. I sat near him and talked to him, and gave him a chocolate bar that I bought in town for him. He smiled in appreciation of this. He was about five foot two inches tall, and he wore size 10 Nikes. He also liked to pretend that he was going to get me. He came up behind me one time and grabbed me around the neck with his hands and sort of strangled me while I was sitting on a chair, and that was fun. I did the same to him of course. Another time I was in bed and he came creeping over and just sat there looking at me in the dimness, smiling in an evil way.
And the most outrageous thing of all happened in early August. There was a boy who lived with us. His name was Pat "The Roachmaster" Robertson. He got his name because he kept pet cockroaches in a dirt-filled walkman tape player that he carried around. I am not kidding.
Well one day I discovered this, and flushed the cockroaches down the toilet in outrage. His reaction was pure comedy. His face fell in dismay. Then he blurted "NOOoooo!!! They look like ME!!" He was talking about his cockroaches.
Later that day, he was viciously mocked by everyone. At lunch, Randy dumped a pitcher of milk over his head, and then everyone chased him out the back door onto the lawn.
The college student staff member who was supposed to be supervising our lunch hour was in the office talking to her boyfriend on the phone. I was in charge of this now. And I didn't say anything. It unfolded naturally.
They beat him up on the lawn, sitting on him and hitting him. Then they pulled his pants down and shoved him down the hill. It was a steep hill and he rolled all the way down to the tennis court with his pants around his ankles. Jimmy was tied to a desk chair. Randy and two other boys were winding duct tape around his head. It was over his mouth, it was covering his eyes. They were wrapping it around his hair and then ripping it off, torturing him. Randy looked over at me and smiled, then closed his fingers over Jimmy's nose and pinched it shut, and Jimmy couldn't breathe now.
I could not believe this. Was I really seeing this? Randy was smothering this guy, apparently to make me happy. He just stood there with his hand over Jimmy's nose. The slick grey tape did the rest, sealing up his mouth and holding his jaw shut.
"We're gonna kill him." Randy said softly, looking at me with mirth in his brown eyes. Jimmy was shaking and struggling in the chair. I watched from the doorway almost in a trance. "This is fun." Randy said after a bit longer. One of the other boys said something like "Oh man, I can't watch this anymore" and he went and sat down facing the other way and pretended to ignore it. The other kid there was holding Jimmy's shoulders and laughing as he smothered. Jimmy was really trying to shake his head back and forth and making noises of panic and fear like "MmmMMM!!!" and "HHMFFHH!!" but Randy just held on.
I finally said words that were hard to say, but necessary. "You should let go." I said calmly, as if in a dream. Randy was still looking at me. And he would have done it. I could see that in his eyes now. If I had said nothing, or just smiled, he very well may have held on and allowed Jimmy to suffocate to death. He was my perfect evil brat warrior, and I had to make him stop. I didn't want us to get in trouble.
He let go of Jimmy's nose. Jimmy sucked in air with a snorting piggish noise that made the other kids laugh. Even the kid who had sat down looked back over and laughed. They untied his arms from the chair. He ran and hid in the bathroom. The evil boys left the room. I went with them, outside.
Randy climbed on my back and rode around on me like I was a horse for a while, until I dumped him in the grass and rolled over him, then went running away laughing.
He chased after me and we ended up on the back porch, sitting there talking about stuff. We never really discussed that day very much, but on the porch then I told him I was proud of him but didn't want us to get in trouble, and he nodded and said he understood, and then he hugged me. He was never shy about showing affection. "Nathan, Nathan, Nathan." he said, holding onto me. "What are we gonna do with you? You've made me such a bad boy."
"I think you were already that way before I laid eyes on you." I said, or something similar.
You gotta cut me some slack here, reader. It's been 18 years and I didn't have a tape recorder or video camera running, so I may be misquoting people or confusing details, but those are the basic facts of what happened..."
Nathan Keefer is part of a series on