?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

nightlife

Blood is binding

  • 20th Jan, 2005 at 9:59 AM

Inspired by my recent writing, I went back into my archived childhood and dug up something. It's the only piece of writing that I'm truly proud of, from my entire school career. At least, for its artistic content. It had been so good that my English teacher read it aloud to the entire class, without my name attached. It was the first assignment of the year, and the time I felt that I could actually write. The words flowed from my fingers then, as easily as they do now. After my brief glory, my writing faded to the dull, prosaic prose that was its standard. But psychology plays a strange role in life, and I got solid As for the rest of the year.

To look back on this piece is to cast the gaze of the cruel editor. What primitive phrasing I used here. What a contrived device. How could I have been so… so immature? Of course, I was immature then, just as I am immature now. But it doesn't make it any less valid.

It's still interesting to read once again, and it still captures the basic essence of my memory. So I think I'm still proud of my 17 year-old self. And I'm sure he'd like you to read it too. Here it is, reproduced verbatim, errors and all.


Blood is binding

The school bell cried out. Back then, school bells were not flat tones on the intercom; they were the shrill rings of real metal bells hit by real metal rods. With whoops of joy, a swarm of third grade students would rush out of the classroom, dash down the staircase, and fill the playground with their laughter. Worries and cares were cast aside, as we savoured the liberty that bell granted. It was recess, that magical moment in the middle of the day when one could pretend to be somewhere else for the nonce.

I stood out from the rest of my classmates. I will admit, I was petty and self-centred like the rest of them, yet the thing that made me stand out was the lank and frail frame I sported. This made me the favourite target of many an insecure bully, as they looked for someone small enough to pound into the ground.

I knew this kid who would always follow me around. I did not know his name, he had never mentioned it to me. This anonymous kid was a friend of mine, in a twisted sort of way. I think he was in first grade that year, and just like me, had no other friends. Wherever, whenever I turned, it seemed to me that his ubiquitous, curly, red head was hovering around.

It was nearing the end of the school year. The dewy scent of spring had faded and the sun began to beat furiously upon the asphalt. Although it was a beautiful day outside, I had not noticed that fact, as I was busy contemplating the worldly worries of a kid with only one marginally intelligent friend and so many enemies. My carrot topped pal came up and asked me one of those grating, life-shattering questions. In the face of those mood depressing speculations, it was easy to see that even my infinite patience would have been hard pressed to withstand the simple, “Wha’cha doing? Ya wanna play?” I politely refused, stating that I was thinking Very Deeply about some Very Important Things. With a puzzled look on his face, he repeated his question. My infinite patience rapidly dwindled to a small finite quantity.

It happened in a flash, my hand snapped back and released. Suddenly, there was a crimson line running from his nose. His face registered shock—then disbelief—before turning into an accusing look of betrayal. His visage seared into my brain, as I glanced from him down to my blood-slicked fist. Horror struck me as I realised the enormity of my actions. I had become what I loathed: a vulture, preying on the weak and the helpless.

He did not cry, although his eyes glistened as they burned through my skull with incriminating power. I returned the gaze for a moment, unable to pull myself away; and then wheeled and broke into a run. Faster and faster my legs pumped, I knew that his stare was drilling into my back. I could not look behind me as I fled from my crime. I wanted to hide: from him, from my conscience, from what I had become.

I never knew what happened to him. Like a faerie, he vanished into the mists of memory. I wanted to apologise, but I could not, not anymore. I carried the burden of guilt, and that "damned spot” would not come out. I was no longer a carefree child, innocent and pure. I had spilled someone else's blood, and it stained deep into the fabric of my psyche. Realisation dawned on me, and I knew from that very day that I would be a “monster.”

Once in a while, I would think that I had caught a glimpse of him, peeking out from behind the slide or the swing set. I wanted to be forgiven, for only he could unlock those shackles that bound me to the deed. I would approach slowly, preparing myself for the encounter as my mental chains jangled; but it would only be a ethereal mirage, a cruel trick of the light. Some people said he had moved away, to some far off place. He had. He moved away and took a piece of me with him—that naïve innocence I once had, was gone forever.

Simon Law.
23 September 1998.