My glasses were a major trigger for me for most of my life. Almost as much as being called a pig. I was constantly breaking them myself and since Dad only let me get one new pair every year or two (or when my prescription changed dramatically) I often had to suffer wearing them taped up in several places. Not a cool look in Jr. High School.
One time (not long before the day I stood up to Bruce) I was in math class and leaning back in my chair against the back wall of the classroom. Balancing on the back two legs with my head lightly touching the wall. I don’t remember who it was now, but some bully reached over and shoved me back. I wish I could say it was Ricky Speck but I’m sure I would have remembered if it had been him. My head smacked the wall and I ended up doubled over on the floor.
“Nice one von Ahsen” he laughed. The bell rang (the bully had timed it perfectly) and everyone was soon rushing out into the hall. I was probably cursing the asshole on the way out of the classroom because when we were both out in the hallway, he turned and slapped my books and folder out of my hands. The folder (overflowing with papers and my schedule) fell and scattered everything all over the floor. “What are you gonna do about it dork” he taunted and as I bent over to start picking them up, he slapped my taped up glasses off my face. They flew apart into several pieces.
I went after him.
Just like I’d gone after Keith the year before, when he called me a pig.
Unlike Keith however, the bully who broke my glasses ran like the coward he was. Like all bullies are. Like when Ricky Speck backed down to me in the toilet. I was standing up and didn’t even know it. Next thing I knew, I had chased that asshole who’d broken my glasses all the way down to the (now not so active because of the clampdown) commons. There was hardly anyone around and I had murder in my eyes so that bully ran up to some adult (I have no idea who) and pointed at me. Saying I was going to beat him up.
Like I was the bully!
I was never a bully! I was blind with rage at the indignity, unfairness and the frustration of now having to deal with my broken glasses… AGAIN!
It is clear to my adult self now that I was beginning to stand up to the bullies. To stop just taking it. I was getting bigger physically and everyone could see that. Bullies only go for easy targets. I wasn’t that, but I wasn’t a tough guy either so there was no active recruitment. Gordon Trudeau and his fellow asshole pho-nazi friends had stopped trying to get me to join them a long time ago. So I was being left pretty much alone. Except at home. I had yet to realize that I could actually stand up to Bruce.
Getting bigger also lead to me being considered a possible asset to the football team. I was no longer going to be a tackling dummy. I was to be a big kid on the defensive front line. They just had to work on my aggressiveness and that would require a different kind of bullying. And I will write about that, when this will have to be…
To be continued…