Male. 30+ 1145 words. Bobby: Full Monologue. From: Wheel of Fortune.
By Paul Pasulka
Man, you suicidal or what? You know what you just did? That guy you almost knocked down, rushin' over here to get a beer? Yeah, that guy standin' by the door working the cup with the Salvation Army lady. No. No! You gonna hang out at this bar you’re gonna be educated. So just shut the fuck up and listen. That's Joey Fortunato... Oh, yeah. You're not from here. Dickwad, Indiana, right? Still, I thought everyone knew Joey. Wheel of Fortune, they call him. Not to his face, though - not if they got any sense. Naw, he wouldn't hurt you. Not now, anyhow. Don't get me wrong. He still could, no doubt. But he wouldn't…. Yeah, I know. Looks like a punch-drunk rummy. Bashed-in face, gray and puffy. Eyes like they're filled with smoke. Teeth either missin' or should be. But for all I know, he never touched a drop in his life. Maybe he shoulda.
Oh, so you’re ready to listen? Okay, listen. Joey and me hung out together when we were kids. He was funny. Goofy-like. Used to tell these little jokes and riddles and shit. Like one time, my parents were takin' us to the circus. He shows up at the house with an umbrella. Perfect sunny day. My ma says, “Joey, why do you have an umbrella?” And he looks at her and he says, all polite-like, “Well, Mrs. Mazzoni, it's in case the man on the flying trap pees.” She got such a kick outta him. He was first-class. Altar boy. And if he wasn’t in school, he was workin’ - deliverin’ papers, groceries. Whatever. His dad died in the war. He did everything to take care of his mom and two brothers, Luke and Mattie.
Mattie, he wasn't right. Retarded, I guess. In his own world mostly. You'd see him sittin' in a tree for hours, whistling to himself, cawin' like a crow. It was funny. Lotsa times they'd caw back like they 'as havin' this whole conversation. Joey always looked after him. Hold his hand walkin' to school. Pick him up every afternoon.
One day - Mattie musta been nine or ten. Tommy G - asshole bully. Wouldn't never mess with anyone even close to him in age or size. But Mattie, Tommy G just had it in for him. Teasin' him, makin' jokes about him. So Joey talked to him. Explained about Mattie and everything. Tommy was like, "Oh, yeah. Sure, Joey. I didn't know, man. I'll watch out for him, okay?" But one day Tommy G sees Mattie crouched on the ground in front of school, just studying a caterpillar. Tommy asks him if he wants a closer look. Mattie, he don't say nothin'. He didn't talk much. And so Tommy picks up this caterpillar and smashes it in his face. But that ain't enough for him. He says, like, "Oh, I'm sorry, Maggie. Did you get it on your face? Let me wipe it off for you." And he starts rubbin' his face on the sidewalk, ridin' on his back. Got this grin on his face, like he’s got a big boner, right? He's on top, right? Wrong. Wheel of fortune turns.
Me and Joey come outta school, hear Mattie makin' those crow caws, only this time like the crow's gettin his beak ripped off. Tommy G, he sees us, gets off Mattie's back, but he - Tommy - ain't really afraid. He should be, but he ain't. 'Cause up till that time Joey never hurt nobody. So Tommy laughs and makes some joke, how he was, like teachin' Mattie about nature and shit. Only Joey, I don't think he heard it. You know what they call white rage..? No, seein' red don't do it, 'cause Joey wasn't hearin' or seein' nothin'. Man, I never seen a beatin' like that in my life. In a matter of minutes, Tommy ain't doin' nothin' but bleedin'. I mean, everywhere. And he ain't movin' no more, 'cept when Joey kicks him. Then he just shakes like a big fat bag of Jello. Maybe I tried to stop him. Really? I don't remember. Joey finally calms down and picks Mattie up and takes him home. Never saw Tommy G again.
Anyhow, the trainer from St. Andrew's hears about this - Joey delivers his papers. He talks to him and gets him to come to the gym. Turns out Joey's got talent. And he gets skills. Golden Gloves champ three years runnin'. Three divisions. In those days he was known as Typhoon. Then he gets some pro fights. Undefeated. Actually started makin’ good money, but that didn’t seem to matter to him. Far as I know, it all went to his ma and Mattie.
Luke, Joey’s younger brother, starts boxin' too. Joey's teachin' him. They spar together all the time. Luke's good. Maybe bettter'n Joey. So, one day they're sparring. They both got big bouts comin' up - Joey, something that could lead to a title shot. Luke, Golden Gloves. Anyhow, they're sparrin' and Luke ducks a left jab, and pops right into a roundhouse. Bam! Wheel of fortune. He's dead before he hits the mat. Doc said it was a busted aneurysm, sittin' like a time bomb in his head. Coulda gone boom any time. Not Joey's fault. Joey just shut down. Nobody - not his mom, Father John, the trainer - nobody could do nothin'. He started livin' on the street, sleepin' in doorways, eatin' out of the garbage cans, when someone didn't put food in front of him. And we did. I used to get a coupla burgers on the way home from work, sit with him, talk about the neighborhood, the Sox. I don't know if he heard me. He never said nothin'.
Till Sister Marcia - yeah, that's her, Salvation Army. She hears about him. Had a crush on him in school, before she was sent away - for nine months, you know? She comes by, looks him in the eyes, takes him by the arm and gets him up. Before that he wouldn't let no one touch him. And she leads him to the shelter, like she's leadin' a deaf and blind man. Now, wherever she goes, he's with her. She’s probably the safest person in the city. (Beat.) Oh, yeah, you notice that? Yeah, that's right. Nobody passes him what they don't put somethin’ in that cup. Might be their last nickel, but it goes in the cup. Gotta respect the Wheel of Fortune. Hunh...? Yeah, sure. I'll watch your beer for a second.