Yesterday was the 24th anniversary of Kurt Cobain‘s death. Still miss him.
On a personal note, I thought a lot this morning/today about past mistakes I’ve made, as a kid (fighting-wise). Two incidents stand out in my mind:
I was bodyslammed in 4th grade during recess (onto concrete) by a kid named Craig (Walnut Street Elementary School in Toms River, NJ). It was a long time ago, so not a lot of teachers around were monitoring recess activity. I was crying. I hurt a lot. I heard some kid say “hey man, don’t cry” but it sounded like “don’t cry, you wimp pussy.” I went into a frenzy and beat the shit out of my friend Norberto Flores, who said “hey man, it’s ok… don’t cry”. When I was being lectured by the principal and some teachers in the empty cafeteria afterward, I saw teachers walk Norberto in… his face was mangled. Bloody and cut up. I was still crying and I said “oh my god, I am so sorry man.. I’m sorry. I’m sorry… I didn’t know I was taking it out on you… I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it!!!”
I regret it to this day. Norberto just stared at me as he walked by. I never saw him again (he changed schools I guess). Another sad detail- Craig never got in trouble for bodyslamming me onto concrete (he was a big kid for our grade, and people picked on me all the time because I was skinny/artsy/weird/nerdy). Since I beat Norberto up really badly, the administration was only focused on that detail, and not the person who prompted me to go into a violent frenzy.
Then about 4 or 5 years later, I was living in Cape Coral, FL. I looked up to an asshole named Aaron (a lot of my life, I’ve looked up to asshole people who I perceived were higher on the food chain). Aaron and I hated his neighbor across the street, Scott Jones. Scott made fun of us for listening to heavy metal and punk. He was a jock and his dad was a coach or something at our school. One day we were hanging out and Scott was talking shit to us. Aaron said “just hit him… kick his ass.” So I punched Scott in the face. He stood in shock. I kept punching him in the face. He started crying. I stopped when he put his arms up defending his face, begging me to stop hitting him.
I didn’t see Scott much after that, as he was like a ghost.
Aaron was always an asshole. A cocky little shit who had this smug attitude about everything… girls, playing guitar, Dungeons and Dragons, whatever… he was always just a smug, cocky little shit.
Aaron’s daily ritual was throwing his bookbag at my head every day for months, before the bus took us home. I was in 8th grade (he was in 7th). We’d sit next to each other on the bus on the way to and from school (we lived two streets away from each other). I was always on the bus first (for the ride home), and as soon as he got on (usually after me, but before everyone else showed up), he just threw his blue and white Reebok bookbag at my head from the front of the bus. It often hit me, but sometimes he missed. It hurt a lot. I asked him to stop. He didn’t for months, but finally stopped when he got bored of it. I guess my hate for Aaron spilled onto Scott, even though Scott was harmless. Aaron and I got physical a few times, but he always won, so that’s why I often let him hit me with his bookbag (even though I did brace for it every time I saw him enter the bus, especially after the first 2 or 3 times).
I regret all of that shit, though (the Norberto and Scott things). I’ve looked for Norberto and Scott on the internet for many years, wanting to contact them to apologize. I still look them up on facebook but can’t find the specific person that has the same name.
Punching Scott was the last “fight” I took part in (with a kid my age). I had a lot of fights with my dad, though. Sometime in the 90s, my dad tore my shirt up, broke my necklace, and hit me repeatedly because he had a bad day at work. I defended myself by punching him in the temple several times. When I saw him in the kitchen later, I told him to never touch me again or I’d kill him. He left me alone after that and never touched me again.
Let me be clear that I despise violence and the awful, negative karma it brings. I never wanted to hit anyone as a kid, but sometimes I guess I had to. I was picked on too damn much. I guess this is what caused a lot of my anxiety in life. Who knows. But I guess that’s what dumb boys do, especially when their own dads and moms hit them at home (especially when they were drunk). It’s no excuse, taking it out on other kids. But, I did. And I fully regret that.
I’d still like to get a hold of them, someday. They might just laugh it off or say they forgot all about it and it’s no big deal. But what if it is? It certainly is something I’ve held onto all my life. So I’m blogging about it.
I’m sorry, Norberto. I’m sorry, Scott. Yeah, I was a dumb kid, but it’s no excuse. Life is hard enough. And while it was a completely different time than today, I can’t imagine it was ever the right decision, even if my temper made the decision for me.