You know I will get what I deserve for this— Tristan’s always been the sucker-puncher who spent every evening trashcan-bowling his rummed-up Cutlass around A-town with the devil in his ear bud. He peed on every coffee table that wasn’t his, and when the branch snapped like a skateboard in the middle of the Mardi Gras party, when he fell from a tree three-stories- high, when he smashed two vertebrae, everyone thought he deserved it. He champagne-bottled my neighbor’s right eye, a scar forever, and bailed, and left me with a broken window, with a mag-lite in my bedroom, two cops rousting me awake, two cops I lied to for him, to them I’d never heard of Tristan, and now I’m thinking about my neighbor with a scar and no one to own it. I think about that face Tristan and I didn’t have to live with. That was two weeks before he jumped for that tree. I remember that same old Tristan and all of us backing him. People thought he deserved to be broken, but I never told him when I came to see him in the hospital. The words wanted to speak for themselves, and now I will let them, the “get well” balloons hugging close the linoleum, the room laughing when he told us he thought he could fly, the room saying I am glad he didn’t get drunk and die, and now saying we had been hoping an ambulance would find him and stop him because we couldn’t, and now everyone in town is waiting for a big enough fall. Tonight, the Plaskett Creek campground whispering behind him, he can’t hear my fist in my pocket, a key jutting out between each finger. After eleven years, I might finally receive some elbow or foreign object to the eye-brow, and I should get what I deserve for my dreaming tonight I’m the best I’ve ever been, and I’ve been ready to have my cheekbones knuckled for that, but the whole campground heavy-foots toward us, and as if I am nineteen again, in the name of Atascadero and justice and childhood, I duck into my tent while they bash Tristan’s ribs in.