It's funny-strange how one thought leads to the next, how you can be thinking about your clogged downspouts and only moments later, through whatever weird wiring is in your brain, you're thinking about that kid who beat you up in middle school.
What happened to that kid? The one who was a year behind so he was enormous and strong compared to you? The one who would select someone at random and throw them to the ground and laugh? The one who was completely at ease in rounding up 20 of his closest friends and encircling you, pushing you, taunting you, yelling in your face, humiliating you, punching your chin, your gut, holding your face against the ground with his foot while his friends laughed? If a guy can do that to a girl when he's 12, what can he do when he's 38?
I decided to find out, so I went to wcca.wicourts.gov and looked him up. It appears he's been up to cocaine, drug paraphernalia possession, battery, disorderly conduct, failing to pay his bills and felony drunk driving. This is Wisconsin – it takes a lot to get a felony drunk driving charge here. The first offense isn't even a crime. His current address is the jail in a county north of here. His wife filed for divorce last year. Small wonder.
I escaped him relatively unscathed. He scared me, of course, and I did everything I could to avoid him after his little gathering of friends. I saw him on a bus once years later, and he smiled at me and nodded, flirting. He didn't even remember me. I about had to jump off the bus.
What prompted his ire? One day at lunch recess, he hip-checked me and sent me flying down a small hill, sliding over the snow and ice and landing against a pole. I was mad as hell. He and his friends thought it was hilarious. I was never one to turn the other cheek, but obviously I couldn't hope to retaliate physically. So I wrote something about him on a desk. It was, frankly, hilarious and terribly crude. Whenever anyone read it, they laughed and read it out loud, and everyone in the class would titter. I was pleased.
But he found out I was the one who wrote it. One of his friends said he wanted to see me after school. I said I wouldn't be around. "He'll get you at lunch then," he said, smiling. And he did.
It was the worst I ever had it, and it was a pretty tiny event in the world of abuse. The only thing it's really done for me is make me worry about my kids. I never told my parents. What aren't my kids telling me?
But that's a lily pad I don't want to jump on right now. Eggs. I think I'll have some eggs. Toast. Jelly. Tangerine. Cumquats. Mom. Feet. Saturday night British comedy on TV. Need to pick up that DVD from the library. Canadian. Idaho. Van. Summer.... Lily pads.
Oh! If you go to that link up there to find hardened criminals, you can find me! But I already blogged about that.