The Brief Life of Percy Waters, pt. 1

A Brief Biography

Here before us lies a boy. A boy barely born in a pyrex-like glass basin with white blankets and the slight glare of fluorescent bulbs with their buzz.

The aforementioned hospital lay across the street from an old movie theater with a tall neon sign. It’s letters stacked one on top of the other displaying the name of that Southern town. As years would pass and the boy would age, the theater would regress to a bookstore then become tenantless and serve as a kind of spooky welcome mat to that part of town.

The boy we speak of goes by Percy Waters.

As all children do, Percy grew in stature. He learned many things about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

He was inclined to solitary pursuits with flashes of boyish physicality. He would stare at a box of plastic construction toys and divine a structure out of them, playing out a scene from Christian cartoons and impressions of Star Wars movies.

On summer days, he was found playing sports in the yard with his brothers and neighbors. Prone to duck his head toward an opponent in touch football and wielding a heavy stick in backyard baseball, Percy lived the many lifetimes of a professional athlete on that rock laden, green grassed yard.

Some lessons better learned than others, he would get into fights with peers over half-truths and misdirected anger. Fights with others often ended in fast friendships forged in the fires of passion.

He learned what it meant to love a woman in the back of his car in some remote, suburban neighborhood to a girl whose underwear said PINK and who had pink, perky nipples and who laughed entirely too much and loved it when Percy would run his hand along her nape.

His parents would chastise his penchant for enjoying himself on weekends with friends drinking beer and kicking down roadsigns to pass the time. They would riot through quite neighborhoods in their vehicles and smoke pot and spit out the window like miscreants in some halcyon summer movie.

His school days were characterized by a lack of interest and preoccupation with matters of the world not directly addressed in the classroom that seemed more vital and pertinent than the year 1598 and its significance as the year the British Royal Navy defeated the Spanish Armada. Chiefly, the wonders of the female anatomy and the glint of the sun off the side of a house.

His parents would beckon him to church where he became learned in the ways of the Lord only to shuck them later in life for the thrill of the unknown. The possibility of an anarchy of belief.

In the spring of his eighteenth year, Percy would graduate high school and spend the following summer between the legs of his girlfriend or driving fast in his car. The hot, swampy summer days giving excuse to all libations for merely existing in peace in such a place.

Finally, the summer ended and Percy was in his car with a collection of belongings fit to bolster a man in a college dormitory for a considerable period of time.

And there he is now as the Southern sun droops in the sky while the crickets and insects without can be heard over the roar of the highway. An orange, parabolic, distant horizon cut against the sky as from the leathered hand of an old artisan.

He is a conquistador in his black car, blitzing through the summer, wind whipping behind him like some invisible cosmic wake. Etched in the firmaments of all whose past started and ended on the high road to a higher education, Percy was there, just the same. A well-meaning, well-educated miscreant riding a black steed in a coat of metal arms on the path to plunder his treasure.


Thus begins the story of Percy Waters. Read Part 2 here.