Bryon admits he cannot accept authority.
Bryon reflects upon his inability to accept authority while he is sitting in the hospital cafeteria after visiting his mother. As he looks at the menu, fantasizing about the food he cannot afford, he comments that he "could put away more food than anyone (he) knew". At sixteen, Bryon is "five-ten...and still growing...and (he has) a good build". Bryon says that he probably should have gone out for football at school, but admits that he wouldn't have been able to "put up with a coach telling (him) how to play".
Bryon apparently has "never...been able to accept authority". He traces the development of this attitude to an experience he had when he was thirteen years old. He had been "a dumb kid" and had gotten drunk, and as he was "staggering around alone on the streets in the dark, these two cops (had) picked (him) up, drove (him) out to a hill on the other side of town, slapped (him) around, and left (him) there". Bryon had never forgotten that experience; he says "it didn't stop (him) from drinking, but it sure ruined any respect (he) ever had for cops". Bryon extends his feeling of dislike for cops to other authority figures as well, and his tendency is to mouth off to those who try to tell him what to do (Chapter 2).