Killing is Easy, Living is Hard

Killing is Easy, Living is Hard

Length: 994 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Killing is Easy, Living is Hard

I did my best to kill Bobby Ackerman late one April night when we were both seventeen.

We were speeding down a two-lane highway, a narrow trail of asphalt that sailed off a ridge and down into a long, sweeping right-hand turn and then rushed past a white stucco house with a tile roof, a house that crowned the hill beyond a quaint covered bridge over a dry creek bed running parallel to the road. We were descending toward a little town named Crane, and we were flying.

"Geez, man," Bobby said. I looked toward the passenger seat as the Plymouth dug into the arc of the curve. Bobby’s eyes were wide.

"Slow down, slow down."

Bobby grasped the armrest with one hand and braced his left leg against the hump in the floorboard. I could smell the beer on his breath as he fought to stay in the seat.

The old sedan wallowed back toward the right lane.

It was the first time I'd driven his car. But it wasn't Bobby's car, really. It was his dad's. His dad was a railroad engineer, complete with the traditional bib overalls and cloth cap.

Bobby was my friend, trapped like me in the last year of high school. But he was different. I was secretive, sullen, and sarcastic, but Bobby was outgoing, with an ever-present desire to please sometimes amplified by a brittle manic energy. I liked beer, the drug of choice for our generation, but Bobby liked beer too much. That night he needed someone to drive him home.

Now I had the old car racing down the road and off the ridge at something close to 80 mph simply because that was all the speed I could wring out of it. I'd made one turn, but there was one more ahead before we entered the valley and the town that lay astraddle a creek. The next turn was a sharp, banking left-hander, edged by a dozen or so white posts laced together by steel cables, and oncoming traffic was obscured by a little hill.

I caught a glimpse of a yellow sign ahead, one marked with a black arrow curving around the words 35 mph, but I didn't lift my foot from the accelerator. My hands chased the steering wheel, persuading, begging the car to stay off the limestone bluff to the right, and the old sedan was reluctant, never steady, demanding one correction after another.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Killing is Easy, Living is Hard." 30 Mar 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Killing Of The Unborn Essay

- Every time a person talks about abortions you hear someone say they are for it or against it. Some people think every life matters and some think women have the right to choice on the matter. Some people believe it’s only okay to have a termination of pregnancy if the life of the mother or the life of the child is in danger. There are so many different ways people are okay with the killing of innocent unborn children. I myself believe that the killing of the unborn is wrong. Definition of abortion- induced expulsion of a fetus from the womb before it can survive on its own....   [tags: Abortion, Pregnancy, Human rights, Fetus]

Research Papers
2174 words (6.2 pages)

Too Easy Essay

- The Illinois countryside was sweltering in July. The flat earth invited the harsh, dusty winds that hummed a lonely tune. The sky never took on a hue of blue but instead was always soaked in reddish yellow as if the sun was bleeding into it. There was a worn out house that stood wearily in the middle of a desolate plain. It wasn’t beautiful. The windows were covered in a veil of dry, brown dust, suggestive of its detachment from human contact for years. The roof had a gild of fading red paint that would have once looked pretty and bright....   [tags: short story,]

Research Papers
1420 words (4.1 pages)

Systematic Killing in Darfur, Sudan Essay

- A disaster is unfolding in Darfur, a region on the western side of Sudan. Currently, the people of Darfur have been continually assaulted by the Sudanese army and by other private armies controlled by Sudan’s government. One of these armed forces is called the Janjaweed and some believe it means, “Devil on horseback” or from the Persian language (Farsi) believe it translates to, “warrior”. In Darfur, families are being murdered, raped, and starved by the thousands. Innocent civilians in Darfur continue to be victims of unthinkable brutality since 2003....   [tags: Genocide]

Research Papers
946 words (2.7 pages)

Is Free Trade Killing Theu.s Industries? Essay

- Is Free-trade killing the U.S industries. As Trump is allegedly trying to force a high-percentage tarrif on the Chinese imports, and Bernie Sanders to oppose the former trade agreements with the Asia-Pacifics, international trade has became one of the most heated topics on the presidential political debate. Everything has its own good and bad, free trade is no exception. On the brightside, in a perfectly competitive market, free trade maximizes economic efficiency, promotes economic welwares of both consumers and suppliers....   [tags: International trade, Economics, Free trade]

Research Papers
1215 words (3.5 pages)

Hard Time: Worse of the Worse Essay

- A life behind bars is not an easy life, but a life that many people become accustom to, not because these people want to, but because they have to. The prison life is one that includes adverse challenges, dangerous situations, gang violence, and unpleasant living conditions. As shown in the documentary, Hard Time: Worst of the Worst, the inmates at the Southern Ohio Correction Facility in Lucasville, Ohio are no strangers to the prison life. Opened in 1972, the prison houses some of Ohio’s most dangerous inmates, totaling 2,200 inmates....   [tags: prison, violence, inmates, culture, safety]

Research Papers
1273 words (3.6 pages)

Killing And Death In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men Essay

- Death comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are considered accidents and others are murders. It doesn’t matter what you call it, death is still death, a small black cloak over the world that will someday pull an entire generation into its icy grasp. There is a fine line between mercy killing and murder that few people see the difference in. Euthanasia, or mercy killing is usually interpreted as a painless killing of a person suffering from an incurable and painful illness. The practice is illegal in most countries....   [tags: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression]

Research Papers
849 words (2.4 pages)

Purpose of a Living Will and the Morality of Euthanasia Essays

- A living will is a legally binding document people create in advance that dictates their final wishes in time of their last counting days. With the living will, ill patients express what they want to happen to them if they were to become too sick to refuse or consent to medical treatments. Euthanasia, also called assisted suicide, or physician-assisted suicide, offers one of many options for terminal-ill patients or those with intractable pain. Many infer euthanasia as the action that brings about the end of a patient’s life because it has been decided they would be better off dead....   [tags: legal, suicide, patient]

Research Papers
815 words (2.3 pages)

The Mystery Of The Hard Drive Murder Mystery Essay

- How did the Hard Drive Murder Mystery happen. There are many theories about what actually occurred on this memorable day. There was a college student living in his home. He let in someone he knew, and that person proceeded to kill him and steal his hard drive with his schoolwork on it. The facts are that the two people walked in through the door,  the owner of the hard drive was murdered and the hard drive was stolen. Also, it seems as though schoolwork was taken by a student from another student....   [tags: Murder, Homicide, English-language films]

Research Papers
1400 words (4 pages)

Capital Punishment Is An Easy Way Out Of Serving A Life Sentence Essay

- Capital punishment is still recognized in many countries, including the United States, as a form of punishment for horrendous crimes, such as aggravated murder. There are always large debates about whether or not that capital punishment is an easy way out of serving a life sentence. My thesis is that I agree with Mill in believing capital punishment is kinder to prisoners than serving a life sentence. John Stuart Mill believes that capital punishment, or in laymen’s terms the death penalty, is kinder to a prisoner than having the prisoner serving life in prison....   [tags: Murder, Prison, Capital punishment, Penology]

Research Papers
1238 words (3.5 pages)

Fear Of The Atomic Age Essay

- Have you ever experienced that feeling when your heart beat goes into hyper drive, your palms start to perspire, and your muscles tense up. Fear is an emotion that everyone has succumbed to at least once in their lifetime. Our fears are like our shadows, for they follow us around to wherever we may go. They are lingering in the back of our minds from the moment we wake up in the morning until our heads hit the pillow at night. Fears are so powerful, however, that they can even crawl into our dreams and manifest into other beings....   [tags: Night of the Living Dead, The Zombies]

Research Papers
919 words (2.6 pages)

Related Searches

That's the way I remember that night. Alone within the dark, chasing a black ribbon of road, the sour stink of Bobby and the beer, the wobbling of an old car forced to its limits, an adrenalin buzz pushing fear aside while I played to a captive audience.

And I lived to remember more. Like the story of the man who owned the house at the top of the ridge, the place with the little covered bridge. He served forty-two months overseas in the big war, rose in rank to command a tank destroyer unit, and came home without a scratch. He came home, hired on with the railroad, worked twenty years or so, slipped on an icy railcar ladder, and had his legs nipped off above the knees. He built the miniature covered bridge after that.

I remember that Bobby was an only child. In a small town dependent upon the railroad, his dad, a locomotive engineer, was a working man's aristocrat. Bobby's father eventually went blind, around the time he would have retired anyway, but he still had his fiddle. He fiddled for dances, playing old tunes brought across from the moors, hills, and bogs of the old country. He fiddled for college professors who came to his house to record the old mountain music, and he fiddled simply because the music sang to him for as long as he could draw his bow. "Soldier's Joy." "Devil's Dream." "Mahoney's Reel."

I could tell you more, but the only thing you need to know to understand that night is that Bobby was drunk, and I was stupid.

I was stupid, but I knew enough not to hit the brakes and send the car spinning, tumbling off the road.

I was stupid, but I followed the instinct to turn in from the right and push the car into the apex of the curve in the left lane, the wrong lane, the blind lane, the only lane that resulted in the correct combination of mass, motion, and traction to traverse the arc of pavement.

Blind curve. Blind luck. I pointed the Plymouth in the direction of its headlight beams and let momentum and the banking of the roadway carry us home.

"Shit, shit, shit," Bobby said.

But no one was coming north in the left lane to meet us. No truck. No car. No one heading out for the night shift or home from a church or club meeting. No family who'd been to town to visit grandparents. No other fool or angel.

We traveled alone in a perfect April night. Every star was visible, horizon to horizon, and it was warm enough that we wore only light jackets and had the windows cranked partway down. We rode on in silence, the radio crackling with a song I cannot remember.

And so I drove the old Plymouth on to Bobby's house. It was late, and the house was dark. He slipped in the back door. Another friend had followed us there. I got in his car and went home.

I think about that night often. If Bobby thought about it, he never said a word about our wild flight along that deserted highway curling down the dark ridge. I think maybe he already knew what I was still learning. Killing is easy. Living is hard.

Bobby proved that fifteen years later when he killed himself with a pistol while parked in front of his ex-wife's house waiting for her lover to leave.
Return to