The day my life changed,
It was in middle school. NO. Let me back up a bit. How far? I think age five is enough.
I was five. And I was just introduced to a most distressing environment.
My father laughingly recalls when I asked, after my first day “How old do I need to be to quit school?”
Yeah. It was kind of like that. Let me preface this next part by mentioning that I could read at a high school level at five. (which really says bad things about today’s high school students)This perplexed the administration greatly. At first they did not believe me. I was trotted out to see various people over the course of my first week. I wish I had been able to watch this over again, from a third person view. I wonder if it would offer me any insights.
So that was it. They decided that first grade wasn’t enough. They bounced me up and down grades for another week. It was finally decided that they would put me up two grades, They had wanted more, but I was too emotionally immature to handle it.
I agree. Early into my educational career, I had said something, I don’t remember exactly, except that I had used the word queer in its original meaning. ( I was a voracious reader, and I had recently read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). Yeah. It escalated quickly. So, boiled down to the essence of the matter: I got a beating. I got a beating from an ignorant hick who doesn’t understand context. I got a beating from an ignorant hick TEACHER who didn’t understand context.
This moment, I think truly caused my vague understanding of adults and teachers specifically, to congeal into a jello mold of disdain. From that point, I tried to look objectively at the teachers I was jailed with for an hour of each weekday. All I saw was a string of burned out teachers who no longer did it to help children, but rather to collect a paycheck. This leads me up to my final year of middle school.
Now, I am what you might call a nerd (No! Say it ain’t so!) and my abilities made me the alpha nerd among my peer group. The only reason I went to school was to interact with my friends. I had failed a grade because of apathy. I just didn’t care, because I knew I was smarter than the children around me. I skipped school a LOT. Did I go out and cause problems? Nah! I sat at home and read. Reading is where it was (and IS!) at. (and at the end, I was STILL a level above the my class)
So, the final day. The day I snapped. Being a nerd, and generally speaking, pacifistic, I tended to avoid confrontation. This, as we all know, is like drugs to bullies. They flock in to abuse the weak. But I had had enough. I proceeded to beat the ever-living shit out of this kid, this stupid kid, who thought it was funny to spit on me. He found his head mysteriously in between my knee and the curb with a loud clonk, like a melon being dropped. He has a scar across his forehead, and wil hopefully have learned that the meek don’t always stay that way.
At that point, the world changed for me. Everything was brighter, And I knew that others opinions of me held no sway over me.
I was free. Free to live, free to die, free to make my own mistakes.