“Youth” is a weekly feature of mkelley.net. I will tell stories of my youth,
some funny some just meta discussions of memories that pop in my head. I had
a nice childhood, nothing too f-ed up. So there will be no “revelations” or
hidden memories here. Honest.
My youth is really becoming a blur. I’ve had a few different ideas about
what to write here, but they are all so hazy, only a few will stand out.
I remember hanging out with my friends the twins and they had built this really cool log cabin. I still think it’s cool some 17 years later. They had built this log cabin with their own tools and bare hands. They were 10….but I digress. So they had this club of most of the boys our age in the neighborhood. In order to be in the club you had to jump off of the roof of the log cabin. So, there I was…scared little boy on top of what was 10ft tall cabin. I wasn’t nearly as brave as I am now or even as I was a year ago. I was on top of this roof with about 3 others and with 2 of the twins and a few others below. They were chanting “Jump Jump Jump”. So, I lept out and fell to the ground. I landed on my feet but with the ground being dirt, I slipped back and fell flat on my back. I closed my eyes and made them think I was dead. I laid still and didn’t breathe. They poked and prodded me to move. They were never scared…they knew I was alive. I got up and the cool Fall air went about me. I was ok.
I was let into this club because you had to be in at least two fist-fights…and
win. I fought this boy who had stolen my pocket watch. It was a nice little
pocket watch my Papaw had given to me. I don’t have it now, but when I did have
it, I kept it on my dresser. This boy, let’s call him “Pete”, went
to my house and saw that watch sitting in my bedroom and thought he would liberate
that watch from my house. I didn’t know it was gone until we went to school
the next day and someone said he had stolen that watch from me. My good friend
Kevin showed me the watch and I knew it was mine. Our teacher found out and
she got on to both of us. Pete was offended by being called a thief and proceeded
to tell me how he was going to kick my butt after school. So at 2:45 the bell
let us out and I ran my ass home and went to my Grandmother and told her someone
was after me. She told me something about if I don’t take care of it now, I
would have to deal with this forever. She pretty much pushed me out the door
and into the front yard. Surrounding my front yard was about a dozen kids of
all ages and “Pete”. We stood up and he asked what I was going to
do. I immediately hit "Pete"in the nose. He never layed a punch on
me and I hit him in the head a few times before we rolled around in the dirt
and stopped. We got up and he ran home.
Next day the teacher, who I found out this week was a moron, pulled us aside
and said that she had heard we fought yesterday and if everything was ok. We
said it was and shook hands and said ok.Well after recess, he said he was going
to kick my butt again.Well he never kicked my butt to begin with, and he had
broken a hand shake agreement. So it was the same as teh day before, he ran
home to touch his yard, so the school wouldn’t punnish him, and ran to
my house. Again my yard was packed with more kids. We went out and to make things
short, I still punched him and he never laid a had on me. He ran home crying
and saying he was gonna tell his dad. I never played into the "My daddy
can beat up your daddy"bit, quite simply because I never knew my dad, but
I sure knew my Papaw was tough enough. I don’t ever remember anyone else
saying that to me.
This same kid, “Pete”, tried to become my friend later in the year, but once again he stole from me. So he followed me home with his friend Paul, who was older and could kill all of us, and I think I said something to the effect of, “You shouldn’t steal”, and popped him in his nose. He started crying and both he and Paul ran home. So, this is where the twins come in, he had called them and told them of this horrible thing I just did to him, their fellow club member. They laughed and kicked him out of the club and that they would come to his house with me and get back all of the stolen items. So, I was summoned to the twins house. This was a really cool time, because in 4th grade they were the cool kids. So I went to the house and they type me up a membership card and shook my hand. We then went to “Pete’s” house where I wasn’t even allowed on the front porch. He returned the items to the twins and then we left.
Now I really hate fighting, it’s something that is overrated. But I knew, thanks to my Grandmother, that If I didn’t defend myself, then I would have to deal with this forever. The kids thought of me something as a “wimp” but when the bully of the class tries to kick your ass and you kick his…they seem to forget it. Not to say I was never picked on again, but I wasn’t physically picked on again.
Me and My Mom talked about this earlier this week. The teacher was going to
give the watch to the first parent who showed up. Mom called "Pete’s"
Mom who said the ole’ “Boys will be Boys” routine. Mom said she
hung up on her. I hated that teacher anyway. She was annoying and I didn’t learn
a thing from here. She had a mustache anyway. I swear it was a man.