Nice Guys Finish Last (excerpt)Aug 15th, 2007 | By jmanheimer | Category: Student 2007
By Jerry Manheimer
“It’s time to cut the s–t and get down to business,” he said to himself as he sat down to look at the still blank sheet of paper. Almost instantly he knew how to start his paper and began writing.
I used to believe that love was a feeling that two people share with one another. I believed that love was something great and wonderful; there was no other feeling like it. I used to think that if you’re in love, nothing can ever bring you down.
I was in love once; I had those feelings. I used to think I was on top of the world, I could do anything. It was indeed the greatest feeling ever. I felt as though nothing mattered, just the feelings I had. I couldn’t go one day without seeing her. I felt as if my day wasn’t complete till I’d seen her. She was my first thought when I got up in the morning and my last thought before sleep.
But sometimes things aren’t what they seem. Sometimes you don’t know how high up you’ve gone until you have to come back down. That’s when it hits you the hardest. I believe that the most painful emotional experience ever is to realize the one you have feelings for does not share the same feelings as you. That you’ve poured out your heart for someone and it wasn’t appreciated is heartbreaking.
She hurt me a great deal; I wasn’t really myself after that. I felt as if that whole experience changed me. As an artist I saw beauty in everything. After that I saw things the way they really were. I felt as if my whole world had darkened.
After all that she started dating a guy that was a complete jerk. He treated her badly; he would say mean things to her. I hate men like that, and yet they get all the women, leaving us nice guys with nothing more than friendship with the women they steal. It hurt me even more to see them together.
I guess that’s just the way things are. Love is something great and beautiful, but it is also something painful and miserable. Love is a hard thing to explain; it’s like touching something hot and cold at the same time. I’m confused at this moment as to what love is, but I’ll know if I ever experience it again.
With that, Nathan decided he was done. He put his pencil down and looked at his paper. “I hope Mrs. Fast Elk won’t complain about my paper,” he said to himself as he read through it again. “I don’t think I want to write about my experiences again.” Nathan got up from his seat, stretched, looked at the clock, and saw it was 5:30. “Man, it took me an hour and a half to write two pages. S–t I must be losing my knack for writing,” he said to himself with slight amusement.
Nathan picked up his Monster can, which was less than half way full of spit. He took it to the toilet and flushed the contents. “Properly dispose of my spit,” he said to himself as he crushed the can and tossed it into the wastebasket. Lance hated it when Nathan left spittoons lying around the room. Just then Lance entered the room.
“Hey, Nate, you ready? Let’s go.”
“Now? But it’s only six,” Nathan said as he was lying on his bed.
“I want to get there early to find a good parking space. There’s going to be a s–t load of Indians there.”
Nathan got up. “Okay, man, let’s go.”
“Okay, man, where’s my hand drum? Oh, there it is.” Lance found his hand drum under a pile of clothes.
They made their way to Lance’s car in the parking lot – it was what you would call an Indian car. It was a 1981 Buick with red paint chipping off more on its top than anywhere else; rust spots marked the chipping. The driver’s door was a different color. The bumper was held on with bailing wire, and the front grill was missing. On the rearview mirror was an eagle plume, and the rear bumper had a sticker which read “Indian Power.” The interior vinyl seats were duct taped so they wouldn’t lose more foam padding.
Nathan and Lance climbed in. “What the hell is that smell?” Nathan said as he covered his nose.
Lance responded with, “How the hell should I know?” He said this with slight amusement. “This is an Indian car.” Lance and Nathan were laughing as they drove to the party listening to Apache Spirit’s rendition of the song “Indian Car.”
It was difficult to find a parking space, but they finally parked a block away from the apartment. After they walked in, Nathan and Lance stood a moment looking around.
Shawn Hawkeye approached them saying, “Well, glad you guys could make it. You can help yourself to anything you want to drink. If you don’t want to drink, that’s cool. Just kick it with us. We’re all having a good time.” Shawn was a Crow Indian from Montana; he was a guy of medium build with short hair cut in the military fashion. He had just completed almost 6 years of active duty for the U.S. Army and was now starting an artistic career at IAIA.
Lance made his way to the other side of the room with his hand drum. “Hey thanks, man, catch you guys later. I’m going to serenade the ladies.”
As Nathan and Shawn stood talking, Sharon Daniels walked into the room. Sharon was a Canadian Cree from Saskatchewan, Canada. She was beautiful with long black hair that she let hang loose and free. She was definitely a Northern Cree; her features were so distinctive. Nathan liked them northern girls, especially those Crees – there was just something about them that he found attractive.
Jerry Manheimer (Diné), who resides in Shonto, AZ, is a 2007 fine arts graduate of Diné College in Tsaile, AZ. Manheimer was on the Diné College Archery Team, which ranked ninth in the nation in May 2007.