Thursday, November 04, 2004

I'll cut you!

Have you ever been bullied as a child? Did you ever stand up to your bully? Did it work?

I was 13 at this time. I remember watching "My Bodyguard" and wishing that I had someone who could help me with my problem.

Me, my mom, the guy she married and my new sister had moved from the area where I was running around letting the air out of tires to a condo in the area of the Junior High that I would have gone to if we hadn't moved in the first place. Got that?

This was the second JHS that I was attending and I can't recall for sure if I started midyear. I'll bet I did. I had left behind the new friends that I made (and there were simply TONS. TONS I SAY!) and was having...

Wait... My brain just uncovered some of the dusty memories of my long forgotten past. Holy crap! Hang on just a bit more while I call my mom and try to straighten this out.

... *ring-ring!*talkietalkietalkie*click!* ...

Oh man. I WAS abducted by aliens! Just kidding. But here we go. This is an accurate timeline of my whereabouts through school, corrected after talking with my mom:

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1st-6th grade: Penrose Elementary School (year round hooptidoop, although for the life of me I don't remember 1st or 2nd grade being there. She assures me that I was though. I could SWEAR that it was in 1st grade that I was hiding in the culvert rather than going to school like I was supposed to, and that wouldn't have been Penrose, but I suppose that might have happened in Kindergarten.)

Part of 7th grade: Sabin Jr. High (where I was supposed to go before divorce and new love and subsequent moving occurred.)

Other part of 7th grade East Jr. High (flat tires and other mischief ABOUND)

Part of 8th grade: Sabin again (where this story takes place.)

Rest of 8th grade: Freed Jr. High in Pueblo.

9th grade and part of 10th grade: Centennial HS in Pueblo.*

Rest of 10th grade through 12th grade: Mitchell HS in Colorado Springs.
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Continuing. This time at Sabin I was a moody kid. I didn't mix well with others. Kept to myself for the most part. And one bully prick who was a grade or two ahead of me took notice of this fact and figured it would be fun to try to make my life an even larger slice of hell than it already was. I think I must have looked at him funny once, or perhaps he had something against my mom who had worked at Sabin in the office at one point. I don't know for sure. He never really elaborated.

He traveled at all times with three to five like minded subhumans, of course. That whole "pack (of assholes) instinct." He was also well known for carrying through on his threats and beating the crap out of kids that he didn't like, and occasionally his goons would join in on the thrubbing.

I tried to be reasonable with him once and it got me knocked to the ground, kicked and my glasses tossed into a field. Yeah, he was a prick. No doubt about it.

I did my best to avoid him from that point on, but one day he informed me that he and his giggle-buddies were going to kick my ass after school. I guess it was my turn or something. I was scared as hell. I didn't know what to do. This was back in the day before most children and teachers were packing heat. And I know there is no way you could tell it by looking at me now, but I was a skinny little guy. A strong wind could knock the crap out of me. I REALLY didn't want to get beat up, and was SO tired of being scared at school as well. Telling a teacher just wouldn't have worked.

So.

I did what I figured was my only option.

I went home at lunch that day on my bike, got a steak knife from the kitchen, hid it in my bike seat and went back to school.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about how I might have to try to kill this kid. I was also worried about him getting the knife from me and killing me first. Or he could back off and then get me another time. I knew once I pulled out the knife I was committed to see it through regardless.

The last bell rang and I was out of the building like a shot, figuring that my best bet was to get gone as fast as possible and avoid him for at least another day. Perhaps he would forget about me. I fumbled with my combination bike lock, shakily got on my bike and rode for home.

Except they knew the path I was taking and were waiting for me with their bikes. I veered off but they were ready and after me like wolves on a bunny. I wound up in a sandy area and had to bail off my bike. I was fumbling under the seat for the knife when they surrounded me. It was stuck in the damned seat covering! One of his goons knocked me aside and looked under the seat to see what I was after. He pulled the serrated steak knife out and showed it to his "boss" saying, "Look at this!"

Bully boss looked at me and said, "What? Were you planning on stabbing me?"

I was visibly shaking and I looked him in the eye and shouted, "YES!"

That seemed to catch him off guard a bit and he told his goon with my knife to give it to him. He looked at it, looked at me then told his goons, "Let's go." and they all rode off. He kept the knife, but I never had any trouble with him again. For a long time I was worried that he was going to commit a crime and leave the knife there with my prints on it. I think things like that.

A couple months later I had moved to Pueblo to live with my dad and start my third Junior High (fourth if you count the two times at Sabin separately). There was a bully there as well, but that one went VERY differently.

So, how about you? Any stories of childhood terror you would like to share?

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*In my day, in Pueblo, High School started in 9th grade (Freshmen) and ran through 12th grade. In Colorado Springs, High School started in 10th grade (Sophomore) and ran to 12th grade.

So I went through one year of High School in Pueblo as the lowest class rank, got hazed, picked on, etc. THEN moved BACK to Colorado Springs in the middle of THEIR lowest class and had to start it all over.

They tried to haze me, but I was tired of the shit and let them know it wouldn't work. It didn't hurt that I was the only Sophomore in Junior level English, and had made some friends in the upper classmen. Well, maybe not "friends", but they did know me, and I was holding my own there.

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"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."