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Circle Jerk City by Mark Anthony Given

 My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet.
-Rodney Dangerfield


I BUSTED OUT OF every juvenile home they placed me in when I was a kid.  Industry, The New York State School for Boys, fifteen miles south of Rochester, New York where my parents were, was the largest juvenile reformatory in the Empire State. I thought of this escape hundreds of times throughout the years as the seminal moment I became bad. Not real bad mind you, but bad none the less. Still thinking I was Matt Helm or James Bond, I plotted my daring escape from the moment they brought me there from a local juvenile detention facility which I also broke out of. To be honest with you I thought it was my duty to escape. I don’t know really why like I said I was a bad kid. Rolling thru the beautiful upstate New York countryside in the back of state car in the early morning hours to the famous “Industry,” the place you didn’t want to be, I considered for a few minutes the possibility of me going thru 'the program' and being a good boy, getting a job at Kodak or Delco or Bausch & Lomb, all in Rochester, like everyone else seemed to aspire to. But that didn’t last long. I don’t think I was there a week I split. I had seen other kids run off and get caught, but with no fences, no twenty-four-hour perimeter patrol, no security at all that I could see, except they were watching me like a hawk. My history of running away or breaking out of nearly every place they put me, they watched me good, and I tried to blend in waiting for the right time make my move. It was kind of like a group home setting with each big house; housing maybe twelve boys from all over the state, mainly New York City, like every other place in New York.

               A House Mother and Father and a couple of hourly workers keeping an eye on us. The only thing that stands out is that at night kids would all sit in big couches and chairs in the living room openly beating off watching TV. About the third night I was there everyone is sitting around like always, but most of the kids were whispering and acting real shady, and they all got up and walked into the back to a big washroom. After a few minutes, one of the kids comes and gets me and tells me my presence is required in the back. I get back there in the washroom, and it’s like eight or nine kids standing in a circle, and they tell me they are having a “Circle Jerk,” they turn off the lights, and the first kid that gets off gets to have this bag of candy they show me. Hell yeah, I’m down, seemed like another male bonding moment and opportunity for me to fit in. We are standing around in the circle, some kids got socks or rags in their hands, and the lights go off, and I hear zipper’s flying and slapping and smacking sounds and groaning and just when I was fixing to work up a lather when the light Flip's on, and I’m the only the one standing there jerking off! They got me good! They were laughing and slapping me around, and I didn’t know if I was going to laugh or cry or just die I was so surprised. After that any new kid that came in there I was the first one to try and set them up for the “Circle jerk!”

 I WATCHED all their movements for almost a week, and I came up with a plan. The couple escapes I seen, I noticed they would all mobilize and saturate the area and round up the wayward charge. I waited until Friday afternoon about 4 pm, right before crew shift change. I got out of their site just long enough to bolt for the fields, but I didn’t keep going, I found a place to hunker down undetected where I could watch the front gate and the house I ran away from. After about 15 minutes they started looking for me by hollering around, looking all around the place, the Security Vehicles pulled up and took off. I waited until about 8:30 at night after I see everybody come back and settle down I got up and walked away….

Copyright 2016 by Mark Anthony Given 
All Rights Reserved 

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