Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Food Chain

Recess is like a zoo opening every cage for a few minutes just to see what happens.

A sun-cooked asphalt abattoir protected under the blanket of parents and teachers broken record repeating “kids can be cruel”like they were giving us permission.

I didn't always get it as badly as I could have, thanks to my schoolyard superhero.

He'd appear as if from nowhere, his very presence ensuring I would not be picked on when he'd don a mask of red that I'd pull from his nose with my fists.

I was the 2nd most bullied kid in my class

And if today’s regrets could speak to yesterday’s dilemmas,they’d say “Stand up for him. He needs a friend.”

The hardest thing to accept is that it wouldn’t have done any good.

The survivalist in me knew that times I picked on him were my own moments of sick celebrity and acceptance.

The social food chain was speaking, and it did me no good to be eaten alongside him.

I didn't have to outrun the bear, I just had to outrun him, and keep my eyes trained off the marks its claws would leave.

I don’t feel I have the right to soften hearts with tales of torture at the hands of other children without first admitting that I, too, cranked the wheel on the rack. I can’t make myself judge,jury, and executioner without including defendant – found guilty,to the list.

It didn’t matter that the adulation faded faster even than the stains on my knuckles – I never missed an opportunity to transfer the schoolyard magnetism onto him, who deserved it far less than Idid. Because in him – there was not the ghost of cruelty. There was not a trace of cowardice. There was kindness, and interest, and all sorts of positive things to break him of.

Today, I just want to scream at the top of my lungs at the faceless fists and feet who wrought hell on the tarmac.

Just rear back and scream “Go Fuck Yourself!” and find myself unable for fear that the volume may crack my mirror and find me visibly outnumbered by jagged glass moments I wish I could take back.

We should have stood together…should have raised voices in unison making “stop” less of a plea, and more of a command. We should have been brothers in arms, but I took up arms against him,even when under the same uniform of matted mud hair and split lips –that hatred took a hold of me and I spread damage wherever I could like a friendly fire – with kindred my kindling.

The hardest thing to accept is that it might have done some good.

You don't have to outrun the bear when you're bigger than it, you link arms and make enough noise to send the bastard scampering back to its den, but this is more than the panic of children can comprehend, so I ran.

I ran, and I want to apologize, and I want him to tell me to go to hell.

I'm not looking for forgiveness or absolution.

I'm looking to tell people that this is what bullying is:

It's scared kids hurting scared kids before the group of scared kids hurts them.

There are no forest predators in this place. Just a herd of deer, some of whom have learned to sharpen their teeth.

No comments:

Post a Comment