My son has an arch nemesis. He’s this little white haired kid who is a year older than him in school. The two of them just don’t get along. As far as I can tell, the other kid is kind of a shit starter, but I know my kid is a complete shit starter as well, so aside from the whole you’re-my-son-and-I’m-always-on-your-team-no-matter-what deal, I’m not really taking a side or placing any blame for this mutual distaste. They’re little bitty kids and they just don’t like each other’s faces. It’s funny. My kid has started talking about this kid (who I’m gonna call Steve) and saying things like “dad. I hate something.” “What do you hate?” “I hate Steve.” That shit may not sound funny to those of you out there who have no kids, but this is like the first real loss of innocence that my son has experienced and all in all, I think it’s going pretty well. In fact, he seems to be loving it.
I tell him to stay away from Steve and at the park when Steve comes over and gets in my kid’s face, my kid usually runs away (the times when he doesn’t run away he kicks him in the shins or knocks him over, which is not as cool of a move, but that’s the law of the land when you’re three to five and male. Shin kicks and bodyslams are a lot like hand shakes and high fives are in the adult world). None of this is really that interesting to you guys, I know. But here’s the interesting part: When I was a really little kid, I also had a little white haired arch nemesis, and his name was Nestor Wheelock.
Firstly, let me point out that Nestor Wheelock is an amazing name and even though I haven’t seen him in thirty years, his white bowl cut and his name are burned in my memory for eternity. Someday, if I’m lucky enough to live long enough to develop dementia (a guarantee, since 3 of my grandparents had it and the fourth likely would have but died too soon for it to fully kick in) I’m sure I’m gonna be tottering around whispering “Nestor Wheelock” under my breath all day long. This blog entry is, in part, an attempt to explain that shit away now, while I’m of sound mind.
The second thing about Nestor Wheelock and my perception of our mutual enmity is that I don’t really have any idea if he felt the same way that I did, though I seem to recall the feeling was mutual. The thing about an arch nemesis is that there’s a begrudging respect there (as opposed to a sworn enemy, who is someone you despise and would happily kill, piss on, fuck the mother of just so you could tell them about it and so forth), and I think my kid has that nemesis respect with Steve (though he’s way too small to articulate it) and I recall having an embryonic feeling like that for Nestor Wheelock. We used to fight on the playground, we’d argue in classes and we’d glare at each other in the halls. We also used to go over to each others’ houses and play after school (not often, mind you, but it happened). I’d be willing to bet that Nestor Wheelock doesn’t remember me at all, but as he had a huge bowl of snow white hair and a name straight out of the Shire, I remember him, and my kid’s nemesis has only served to remind me of my own nemesis who lurks somewhere south of here, over the Mississippi in the land of Missouri.
Full disclosure, before writing this I looked Nestor Wheelock up via google just to make sure he wasn’t a deranged lunatic or dead or anything too terribly sad and it turns out he’s currently a gay tech professional who seems to be having an absolutely lovely life.
In the off chance he looks me up, what will he see? I bet I have more twitter followers than him (quick research suggests he has no twitter nor any facebook, which is great), but really, look at me. I’m a bit of a failure as a man. I can’t fix anything, I’m grumpy, I don’t like people, I fly off the handle and get super angry. I can’t keep my cool under any circumstances whatsoever. I’m easily frazzled. I’m dispassionate and disinterested in almost everything that doesn’t relate directly to serving my best interests and generally, I’m a bit of a pud. I saw on the internet that someone took out a restraining order against Nestor Wheelock a while back, which, well, I’ve never had a restraining order taken out against me, but it sounds like his restraining order is a bit of a grey area situation anyway, and besides, whatever. I don’t know the situation and I can’t presume to speak for or against my former nemesis. Although, if I know anything about the arch nemesis relationship, it’s that once a nemesis, always a nemesis. My kid’s gonna be locked in an iconic battle of wills with Steve until the day they both face off to the death at the top of spaghetti mountain (or whatever the lore says) and I can only assume that Nestor Wheelock and I will come to a similar fate.
If nothing else, next time he googles himself, this article is SURE to be the number one most Nestor Wheelocking article out there, right? Do you think there’s another place on the internet that has this kind of concentration of the words Nestor and Wheelock? Fucking impossible.
Unless of course there’s an “All work and no play make Nestor Wheelock a dull boy” list somewhere, in which case, that restraining order is probably justified and well, uh…look, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf here and not have arch nemeses anymore. You hear me, Nestor Wheelock? Neeeeeeeeeessssstooorrrrr! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeelooooooooook!!!!
(looks at sky, falls to knees, fists up, collapses forward onto the cold earth, END)