Building on my topic from yesterday I thought I’d post this very poorly written assignment from my English 111 class. It covers an incident that occurred while living in Miami. Maybe it will help answer Andalucy’s question: “Has there ever been a time in your life when your positive outlook failed you? When you felt really lousy and cried for a whole day? When you felt like killing someone? When you did something unspeakable???”
‘I hate patrol! I hate every kid and teacher in this whole stinking school! It’s either “Hey, Four-Eyes, your glasses thick enough?” or “Hey! Big Teeth! Where’s your carrot?” Ha, ha, ha! Very funny.’ My thoughts were interrupted by a distant chink! chink! I could hear my sister, Vanessa, unchaining our beat-up, second hand bicycles from the rusty bike rack. As I rounded the corner of the cafeteria I heard shuffling, a grunt, and the chain falling to the ground. Then Vanessa screamed, “Help! Stop him! He’s stealing my bike!”
On instinct I ran. As soon as I saw who the thief was I hesitated, but only for a moment. My legs pumped faster and faster as I tried to catch up to Dante, the school bully. (I have no idea why he was termed the school bully. He was just as short and skinny as the other sixth graders. Maybe it was because he had more of a ‘tough-guy’ attitude or the fact he was part of a gang and his brother happened to be the leader.) As I raced closer and closer to Dante all I could think of was getting the bike back, seeing it was the only possibility (other than walking) of covering the two miles home. I was only a couple of steps behind the rear bicycle wheel when I decided to make one desperate grab at Dante’s shirt. The next thing I knew, Dante, the bike, and I were all on the ground. My thick lensed glasses had fallen off, and a good thing too, a fight was coming on, I could feel it.
All my life I had been taught it wasn’t good to fight; that instead of fighting another alternative should be found to solve a problem. I knew was different in this case. Fighting was the only solution. Ever since I can remember when, I was different from others. I had higher values, a different religion, a different ‘social’ status. My glasses and big teeth weren’t a plus either. I never had any ‘true’ friends to help me out of situations. In my 11 year old mind felt I needed something to happen to show others how I felt. That I wasn’t what they thought I was. I had always been labeled the underdog, the nerd, because one day I was called that and it stuck. I often found myself feeling lonely, rejected, dejected. I needed a change, a new start. Justice most always seems to prevail and I saw this as my chance to make it happen.
Silence boomed in my ears as Dante and I both started to rise, slowly, from the ground. The humid Miami heat sharpened the musty scent of wet grass and dirt. I felt nauseous, anxious. . . . and nervous. Dante met my quivering gaze, and just like the good ole westerns, all hell broke loose. I could feel adrenaline surging through my whole system. I saw nothing and everything. All emotion I had went into every blow I gave and every emotion was given back with every blow I received. A million thoughts swirled and spinned in my head ‘Why did others mock me? Why was I the unlucky one chosen for the onslaught of laughter, pain, humiliation, and embarrassament? Why? Why? Why!!’
POW! a hard punch across my chin. I was brought back to reality and to my dilemma. My fists and feet flew with all the force and determination I could muster. The urge to win was pounding through my blood. I must have hit in all the right places because the fight ended just as fast as it had begun. I put on my glasses, Vanessa picked up her bicycle, and we pedaled off for home, leaving the defeated bully lying on the grass, moaning.
I had made an impression on the kids at school that day. From then on they said ‘Hi’ to me. Not once was I referred to as ‘nerd.’ I became friends with almost everyone. . . . .including Dante. I still wore my thick lensed glasses and I did get razzed on once in a while, but it was all fun and games. I had won a victory; I was no longer the underdog.
Now for the rest of the story….
My little brother Pere was also there as a witness along with Vanessa. I swore them both to secrecy because I did not want to get in trouble with my parents for fighting. My parents didn’t find out until years later when we were eating at a DQ and reminiscing.
|Me (age 11) in sixth grade when this incident occurred|
Towards the end of the school year there was another incident with Dante. It was after school when a car slowly pulled alongside the playground with its windows rolled down. Someone in the car yelled, “Yo, Dante! This is for your brother!” and started shooting. Those of us on the playground ran for cover wherever we could find it. Nobody got hurt but everybody was definitely scared. Gang violence is very real!
Hmm…don’t remember if we ever told that one to mom and dad. ☺