They also want their fathers to be proud of them. If you got knocked out or if you yelled stop, you lost. Also when they fought they painted their faces with the camo grease that their fathers had left behind.
We were trying to make each other tougher. So in the grass, in the shade of the pines and junipers, Gordon and I slung off our backpacks and laid down a pale-green garden hose, tip to tip, making a ring. Then we stripped off our shirts and put on our gold-colored boxing gloves and fought.
Every round went two minutes. If you stepped out of the ring, you lost. If you cried, you lost. If you got knocked out or if you yelled stop, you lost. Afterwards we drank Coca-Colas and smoked Marlboros, our chests heaving, our faces all different shades of blacks and reds and yellows. We began fighting after Seth Johnson—a no-neck linebacker with teeth like corn kernels and hands like T-bone steaks—beat Gordon until his face swelled and split open and purpled around the edges.
Eventually he healed, the rough husks of scabs peeling away to reveal a different face than the one I remembered—older, squarer, fiercer, his left eyebrow separated by a gummy white scar. It was his idea that we should fight each other. He wanted to be ready.
He wanted to hurt those who hurt him. And if he went down, he would go down swinging as he was sure his father would. This is what we all wanted: This was in Crow, Oregon, a high desert town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
In Crow we have fifteen hundred people, a Dairy Queen, a BP gas station, a FoodLess, a meatpacking plant, a bright-green football field irrigated by canal water, and your standard assortment of taverns and churches.
Nothing distinguishes us from Bend or Redmond or La Pine or any of the other nowhere towns off Route 97, except for this: The marines live on a fifty-acre base in the hills just outside of town, a collection of one-story cinder-block buildings interrupted by cheat grass and sagebrush.
Throughout my childhood I could hear, if I cupped a hand to my ear, the lowing of bulls, the bleating of sheep, and the report of assault rifles shouting from the hilltops.
All of them, just about, had enlisted as part-time soldiers, as reservists, for drill pay: Beer pay, they called it, and for two weeks every year plus one weekend a month, they trained. They threw on their cammies and filled their rucksacks and kissed us goodbye and the gates of the 2nd Battalion drew closed behind them.
Our fathers would vanish into the pine-studded hills, returning to us Sunday night with their faces reddened from weather, their biceps trem bling from fatigue, and their hands smelling of rifle grease. Coors-drinking, baseball-throwing, crotch-scratching, Aqua Velva—smelling fathers. In January the battalion was activated and in March they shipped off for Iraq.
Our fathers—our coaches, our teachers, our barbers, our cooks, our gas-station attendants and UPS deliverymen and deputies and firemen and mechanics—our fathers, so many of them, climbed onto the olive-green school buses and pressed their palms to the windows and gave us the bravest, most hopeful smiles you can imagine and vanished.
Want to keep reading?Benjamin Percy is the author of four novels, The Dark Net (HMH, ), The Dead Lands (Grand Central, ), Red Moon (Grand Central, ) and The Wilding (Graywolf Press, ), as well as two books of short stories -- Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk -- and a craft book, Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction.4/5.
In further referring to this ‘natural law’ presumption as espoused by Hippolyte Taine and S G W Benjamin, Fink (, p. 85) concurs that in accordance with these scientific laws which direct human and social development, with the realization of identity, would come the affirmation of the nation’s aesthetics.
Like Gates, I argue that the act of canonising signifies a mark of the interpreters efforts to prevent what they find unforgettable from falling into oblivion. Analysing the process of canonisation leads to consideration of the fear of being forgotten and the desire to be preserved in memory.
Analysing Benjamin Percy's "Refresh, Refresh" In Benjamin Percy?¦s?§Refresh, Refresh?? the boys develop into men while trying to become like their fathers. They also want their fathers to be proud of them.
Analysis of “Refresh, Refresh,” by Benjamin Percy points Due Dates: Sun 4/Mon 4/ Thesis sentence due for Analysis #1.
E-mail me your sentence by midnight, Sunday 4/10, and bring a paper copy to class to work with. Fri 4/ Due in writing groups.
At least 2 full pages, word-processed and double- spaced. Bring 3 copies. Refresh, Refresh” is a short story from The Author, who is Benjamin Percy, published his story in The Paris Review. The narrator is Josh, who is an omniscient first person.
The text takes place in the unincorporated area Crow in the U.S.
state of Oregon.