Middle school revenge

It’s still quiet here.

It’s currently 3:45 am, and I can’t seem to make myself sleep. I’ve done what I can to relax, but here I sit still, slamming keys around in an effort to write. I’m lacking a certain motivation to lay in bed and stay awake, so I’m just doing it on my own up here in the dormer.

I’m currently listening to Pearl Jam, thanks to Chris, and I’m throwing myself back into the early high school years — the awkward years when I forgot how sucky middle school was and began trying to make a name for myself. I can’t say I enjoyed Axtell Park Middle School but, as my grandfather would say, I certainly built a shitload of character by being a constant target for ridicule.

I’m not sure that anyone ever knew how much it hurt being a “dork” in middle school, but that’s the time in a child’s life where you really begin to understand what you have… or what you don’t have. Middle school was hell to me, and high school was my ticket out. I knew that I could start over there, and I did what I could to change whatever image had surfaced of me in years past.

Now, looking back with all of my tender 26 years in check, I understand that Axtell was a perfect trial — the ideal place to learn how tough life could be. I think a lot of my beliefs sprouted from watching myself and others be tormented by “bullies;” people who wouldn’t steal my lunch money but would attempt to steal whatever dignity was left after two years of feeling less than human.

I know that everyone’s had a hard time at some point in thier life. But I’d be willing to bet that most people’s worst times came during those awkward years when you didn’t recognize your own self — when you couldn’t predict your own body or mind any better than you could predict the month’s weather.

High school was escape for me. I made friends that I had never thought I would have — friends that were *gasp* popular. I won people of all backgrounds over, and I owe everything to the kids who gave me shit in middle school. They strengthened my inner fibers, tempered me to nearly everything. They made me realize how precious my own ideals and feelings could be and forced me to lay them out in the open for everyone to see, regardless of how lame they seemed at the time.

I know it’s horrible to say, but I always imagine that those kids who made fun of me — the ones who gave me shit because I looked like Screech from Saved By the Bell and gave me tongue in cheek review of anything I cared about — to be struggling in life, with karma pressing it’s thumb down on thier spines until they develop a painful gait. I imagine them wishing they would have been nicer to me…to everyone, really…and realizing that they spent what could be the best years of thier lives creating the worst years of mine.

I think about that and realize that I, myself, am not free from negative feelings. I think about that and know that I’m really no better than they ever were.

I’m just a lot quieter about it.

That is, until now.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 19th, 2005