Playground Loner

When I started first grade, I was walking to school on the first day, and as I crossed the very first street, I heard the school bell ring, meaning I was late. I turned around in tears and started to go home. An older kid ran back and got me, reassuring me that it was okay, and walked me to school.

At recess, I used to go to a corner of the playground where there were some trees sprinkled about and hang out by myself. In the winter, I would trudge a boundary line around that little corner of the playground. An impossible real estate grab to defend, if there ever was one, but for the longest time, nobody seemed to bother with me. Eventually some girls talked me into playing tag, and I was a fast runner, so I started playing with the other kids. I think there were only a couple of girls who were faster than me, and I think that probably made one kid jealous, but I don’t really know the reason he came up from behind me, lifted me up under the arms, and tossed me to the ground. I got up, a little hurt, but didn’t make anything out of it. 

By the time I got to second grade, I had started picking fights with kids a couple grades above me. No idea why. Part Irish, I guess. For the most part, not much ever came of it. I only got hit once, and it hurt plenty, but for the most part, they just toyed with me, probably amused at the little runt more than anything.

I got in a few fights once it got around to noticing girls age. Won some, lost some. No drag out hollywood affairs, just little playground contests of will and strength. Won the ones where I was stronger, lost the ones where the other guy was.

I’ve written before about once I got to high school, My folks put me in an all boys school, and I wasn’t too keen on that, so I deliberately set my mind to getting kicked out by standing up to jocks on the sports teams when they’d make smartass comments. I knew they would get kicked off the team if the fought, so it wasn’t a matter of whether or not I could win the fight. I got kicked out, and sent back to a public juniour high school. Same kind of issues with the jocks on the sports teams, with the added benefits of the gym teachers all kind of trying to make an example of me. I liked doing push ups, so I never minded the extra punishment they tried to give me.

My best friend happened to be a fun lovin’ girl who got a lot of attention from the older boys, (17 goin’ on 18), who all pretty much resented me and her hanging out all the time, so I got plenty of threats that I was gonna get my ass kicked on my way to school. So, I showed up, walked up to one of the guys, and said “I heard you want to fight me?” “No, I’m gonna kick your ass.” – Nothing came of that, until years later, and while it’s related to that girl, it didn’t happen in relation to school. Did end up spending a night in a jail cell with that guy, though.




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