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'Another Victim'
A Dante Justine Update: Ocean City, Maryland, 8/3/21
When I wrote The Sunset Saga the few readers thought that the action hero character in the large cast, one of the three main protagonists, Jay Bracken, was based on me, if I were what I wanted to be. I did base Jay's high school experiences on my own. A writer wants to put a piece of himself into every protagonist in order to connect on an empathetic level with his creation.
However, Jay was based on a man who I have known since he was six-years old, who I have written about as Dante. He is the best friend of a close relative of mine and I coached him in boxing a long time ago. You can search Dante using the search function on this site for some of his stories.
Suffice it to say, that to be Dante, I would cash in a decade of my life for a month of his—that if I could swagger in his shoes for the next four months, I would gladly embrace sorrow-winged Death in Her cold forever with gladness. Of course, with my luck, I'd get the four months Dante spent behind bars. Even then, he imposed his will on lesser men. Rather then beat the shit out of his cellmate, who he hated, and earn extra time in The Joint, Dante shit in the dude's pillow case and left that as a parting gift just before walking out...
Next to beating up rival knuckleheads, Dante's main life-long avocation has been acquiring, enjoying and discarding babes who rank between 7 and 9 on the Judgment Scale. But due to these babes knowing that they are not tens, and finding themselves gracing the brawny arm of a man who cuts a wide swath through life, their desire to keep him propels them to a functional 10 on the Usement Scale.
Needless to say, these girls take it hard when he grows as bored as James Bond backstage at a burlesque show and moves on to the next jetty of feminine self-esteem. He is quite notorious for this with his close friends and family developing an immediate tragic empathy for the next girl to walk in on his tanned, jaw-breaking and chest-crushing arm.
As my Eldest Son and I finished posing for a picture with my mother on the beach yesterday, he looked at me and said, “Have you heard the latest in the Dante Saga?
“Well, he grew tired of his latest conquest, that really nice girl he's been seeing for the past five months. So he goes online to find another victim!”
[mutual laughter]
“He finds this chick who he dumped four years ago and he decides to try her out again—you know, let her have a spot on Team Dante for the second half of the season until he sends her back down to the minors.”
My Daughter-in-law smiles and opines, “Dude is a pitiless womanizer.”
“Well, anyhow, he hits this girl up on the app and reminds her, “Hey, we dated four years ago—remember me?”
Daughter-in-law interjects, “Oh, the godlike asshole who ditched me because I fell in love with him—like she's forgetting that right!”
[laughter]
“So, she says, speaking of that: I've been raising your kid for the past three years and three months and I could use a little help here.”
“He's like, 'No way. I just thought you were being clingy when you made up that stuff about being pregnant!'”
“Well, unfortunately they didn't go on Jerry Springer, so there is no footage of him knocking out the security goons in detail...but its his kid. Dante has made sure that Banno [Hero Goon of the Logic of Steel] has left another seed upon the earth.”
This has moved me to a selfish prayer right now:
Dear Grim and Pitiless Lord God Almighty,
One of your undistinguished broken toys here—
If I could be Dante today, or just tonight,
I swear by your Thunder to sacrifice the scalp of my most worthy foe to Your Eternal Glory before they come to take me away to the locked berths reserved for We, Your failed experiments.
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