A Bully Revisited

“Superman’s a little too ‘milkman and war bonds’ for me.”

So, allow me to take you down memory lane with me. Many people don’t know this, but when I had my lone year of public school (7th grade), I was victimized by a bully. Sure, it was nothing out of the ordinary bullying, but I had never experienced that before. I had attended all of these utopian schools where everyone was equal and nice. Sure, I had to pay for it, but it was worth it. But now, in the throes of Parkland Middle, there was no utopia. And Avery was the asshole who made me aware of this.

You see, Avery wasn’t especially big, nor was he tough. He didn’t beat me up or take my lunch money, but it was more of a psychological bullying. In hindsight, if I told you some of the shit he pulled, you’d think I was stupid, but it really had an impact on me back then. He made my first semester a living Hell. I remember that Mommy even had this Bible verse she used to read every night which was supposed to make him go away or wake up covered in sores or something. I forget which book it was in. The point was that this guy, I believe, was the beginning of my whole “pessimist-depression” world tour I’ve been on for the past few years. Surprisingly enough, I was once a sweet, happy kid. But now I don’t trust too many people.

So, why do I bring this up? Well, what do you do when you find out your former tormentor is now a flaming homosexual?

Yup. I was working at H&M the other day, and noticed this fidgety guy standing in line. Just as with any Sunday, he seemed like your average restless customer. “How do you know he’s gay, Will?” Trust me; I KNOW. You didn’t need a litmus test for this one, but even so, I KNOW. Anyway, he was also kinda giving me the eye. It was a cross between the “gay eye” and the “do I know you from somewhere? eye” To tell the truth, I didn’t even really recognize him. But I didn’t feel like getting hit on (I’m not vain, but as one of the few males working at this store, it’s inevitable), so I tried to slow down my line so that he would have to end up going to another cashier. I’m a master of working the line to my advantage, but this day was not going to work out in my favor. He ended up as my next customer, thanks to the new stupid french chick who’s still learning how to count american money…

Rang him up, still didn’t recognize him. But didn’t make eye contact, ’cause that’s when they get ya! So, he hands me his credit card, and that’s when I see the name “Avery Peters”. Son of a bitch. If my life had been a TV show, there would’ve been quite the flashback montage at that moment. And most of the images would’ve shown me as quite the little porker. Either way, it opened up the floodgates.

Now, I had a small window in which to react. Do I say, “Hey, remember me, cocksucker?” Surely, he wouldn’t. I’ve tried that on other tormentors from that era, and met with similar responses. Seems like I’m the only one keeping a grudge lately. Does nobody respect the idea of an archenemy anymore?!

So, at that moment, I looked him in the eye, and I think he got it. And he seemed kind of embarrassed. Maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe I was simply too sexy for him. But there was a slight chill. And man did I want to say something. But at the same time, I kinda felt bad for ME. I mean, THIS was the guy who tormented me? Hindsight certainly is 20/20, and if I’d had a glimpse of the future back then, I’d probably have kicked his ass. But no. I didn’t know what I know now. We’ve both grown, and learned from the past. We’re probably not even the same people we were then. I’m certainly not. But a lot of that I blame on him, for being my “encounter phase”. He ruined my innocence. At least, he ruined my happiness for quite some time. Was it all his fault? No, but I don’t remember being as happy after meeting him as I had been prior. My only hope is that Karma is the bitch that I believe her to be, and I hope that cocksucker gets what’s coming to him…