The first time I can remember facing off against an adversary that was not purely imaginary, was the spring of my fifth grade year. A lifelong contrarian, I did not mix with enough other people in order to make many enemies. My brother and I may as well have been home schooled for the amount of friends we collected prior to this current year.
It could have been the fact that, when we were living in Texas, we did not fit in with the local children as easy, or it could just be that the desire to confide in them wasn’t there. Being a twin is a strange thing that way. You always seem to have enough company.
Regardless, In fifth grade, I came into confrontation with a kid that decided he was going to be mean to my “girlfriend”. I do not know if it is the rosy glasses of memory that I view my actions as chivalrous. I know at the time I just thought I was doing what was expected, not right or wrong. But I pushed the guy.
Unknown to this young not so gentleman was that I, for some reason, had an extremely high pain tolerance for a fifth grader. I seemed to have my head in the clouds so much at all times that pain would flutter in as an afterthought. My father said I had dense bones. He said the same thing about the reason my hair and nails grow so fast. So, when pushed, the bully did what bullies are expected to do in these scenarios.
He hit me in the face,
I pushed him again.
This pattern repeated several times with only one variation
He would back up and I would advance.
This awkward dance lasted four full revolutions before it came to a crashing halt. Before I knew what had happened, the kid was gone. I looked around and saw that he was now several feet below me on the next level of a common area stair case. In my rage, I had neglected my surroundings and had inadvertently pushed this kid down the stairs.
So that was the first time I was invited to be confined in the pejorative cubicle known as In School Suspension.
A few weeks after that, I was walking through the hallway with my classmates and happened upon another anecdotal bone density situation. I was definitely not “present” for this journey. My typical routine for such mundanity was to perform the vital functions of the status quo with my body while my mind fluttered about. At this point, one would wonder if all of that imagination could have had a more productive end result. As to what happened, it is common enough in the cause and effect truth of inattention. I was leaning against the wall, kind of shuffling down it, lost in my own world when:
I jerked and fell back a pace or two. I had crashed into one of the grate covers that are over the thermostats to keep jackass children from their worse instincts. Of course, nothing was there to protect this covering and I full on crashed into the sucker. Mrs. Fields came over to check on me, as quickly as she could.
She put her hand on my head to check.
I told her I was fine, and truly felt so.
Her hand came away bloody.
I went to the school nurse,
The next day, all of the thermostats had a protective foam covering over them.
Dense Bones strikes again.