Josh Stories is a series of stories from my past. They don’t all have to do with running or my weight-loss journey. Some may, but not all. More than anything they are just short little stories from my past that I find amusing, endearing, strange or downright odd.
Whenever my family gets together. for Sunday family dinner our dinner conversation always turned to stories from our childhood. Undoubtedly, once a year, horror stories of what our older brother did to each of his siblings are retold and rehashed. I mean he was bad. Once, he locked me in a dog kennel for nearly two hours while my mom was doing errands and he was watching TV.
Then there were the countless bomb evacuation drills he would do. He would end up escorting all us younger kids outside in the back by telling us there was a bomb in the house. He would instruct us to lay low to the ground while he BRAVELY went back into the house to grab the pets. He would waits for minutes if not a half or hour for him. But, he simply went back into the house, locked the door and turned on the TV.
I have many other stories about my brother’s babysitting techniques.
But, this past weekend, our conversation went back to our first fights as kids. All four of us boys got into at least one fight as a kid. My older brothers fought neighborhood bullies, a drunken cowboy and whoever decided to pick a fight with them retaliating under self-defense.
Then there was me.
If there is anything you should know about me, I am a pacifist. Especially when I was a kid. Any kind of conflict would usually end up with me in tears and extremely hurt feelings. For one, I didn’t really know much about conflict resolution. But, what kid does at age 9 or 10? So, for the most part I would just avoid people in general.
When I got into the sixth grade I had to move schools. Mainly, because my old school didn’t have a special education program that fit my needs. Don’t worry, I have PLENTY of stories from my time in special ed. I don’t think I will ever run out of those stories? BUT, moving schools was a new opportunity for me to be someone different and I jumped onto that opportunity.
The transition was somewhat liberating for me. Not only was a new kid in a new school with others that didn’t know me, but I was also in a smaller class full of … other special ed students. It really was a great opportunity for me to not only speak up, be more bold, but to also be a leader within the group. And, for the most part I really started to gain a voice in my new surroundings.
Along with being more bold, I also didn’t shrink so much from conflict. Especially, within my class. If I didn’t agree with you I’d tell you, I wouldn’t remain silent like my previous school and set of friends. And, yes, sometimes I didn’t know how to deal with the transition.
During my first month of school one of my classmates, Lance, had a schoolyard crush on my sister who was two years younger than me. It didn’t annoy me as much as it did my sister. He was actually quite annoying around her. He would constantly stand around her, touch her hair and be overall annoying. Obviously, she didn’t like it at all.
After complaining to me about Lance for over a week I mustered up the courage to confront him. My request was simple. Stop bugging my sister. But, he was deviant. He told me that he could be around her if he wanted because it was recess. But, I told him that she didn’t like it. But, these requests went through deaf ears (he really wasn’t deaf by the way).
After I had told him to stop bugging and touching her for the fifth or sixth time he looked straight at me and touched her on the shoulder. He was deliberately pushing my buttons.
At that moment, my blood began to boil. This anger brewed within me that I couldn’t hold back this urge to punch poor Lance in the face. So, I swung back my fist and with the limited knowledge I had about fighting I hit him squarely in the shoulder in what was probably the weakest punch thrown. Ever.
As soon as my punch landed he swung back, but from the gift of angels I was able to avoid his swing. Again, I tried to punch him and again I threw a weak punch that hit nothing but air.
As soon as Lance could land any punch the recess supervisor came running towards the “fight” blowing her whistle. At the sound of the whistle I dropped to the ground cupping my ear and started crying. Despite the fact that he didn’t land any punches just the sight of me in pain swung the recess supervisor’s opinion of who was at fault … Lance.
Despite the fact that I started the fight and landed ONE miserably weak punch that probably didn’t even leave a mark, it was Lance that was in trouble. And, the thing is … I didn’t feel bad about it at all. If I couldn’t have caused him physical pain with my sad attempt at a punch then I could very well get him in trouble and cause him to lose privileges in class.
This is probably one of the many reasons why I am going to hell.
But, as I recounted this fight to my family I thought I would have gotten ridiculed for such an attempt. But, to my surprise the majority of the family agreed it was rather ingenious of me. Considering I was in special ed and all.
But, hey, you gotta do whatcha gotta to survive the system, right? And, look where I am now.
Just don’t pick a fight with me though.