The only thing I wish…
I wish a nigga would
He probably think he could
But, but, I don’t think he should
After Karol refused to let me go to the gym yesterday, insisting that I fall asleep in my recliner eating Apple Jacks, instead, I decided to sneak out of my house early to go today.
And for those of you playing along at home, when you’re unemployed, 11 is early.
So there I am doing my leg lifts on the Nautlus machine when a black dude in a hooded gray sweatshirt stands in front of me. I assume he’s waiting for the machine, so I look away. Nobody jumps in between Dawn Summers’ sets. I finish and get up to walk to my next machine when I notice he’s still blocking my path. His lips are moving. I pull out my earpones and say “Excuse me?”
“I know you. You got me in trouble in ninth grade. You lied on me.”
What the fuck?
I look at him closely and sure enough I recognize the — older, more haggard, yet still ugly, visage of Eddie Ward.
I had been going to prep school for two years. I took the school bus there everyday. The first day of my third year, Eddie boarded. He made quite the impression because he was three feet tall, if that, with a huge watermelon head. I assume that he had been teased about this at his previous schools because he had a chip on his shoulder almost as big as his head. Almost. A few days later, he decided to make his stand and, reputation, I suppose, by bullying me. And I admit, the overweight black girl with jherri curls sitting in the middle of the school bus, is often an excellent bullying target. You know, just not this one.
So he stepped to me with some you’re so fat line or another, I laughed in his face and said “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear what you said from down there, could you speak up?” Everyone laughed at him, I want to say it’s because I was funny. But I’m guessing it’s cause they were more afraid of me than the new boy. They had seen me smash heads into the glass windows before. He backed off for a while but then started calling me whitey and Oreo in general school populations. Unfortunately, these charges had much more traction than simple fat jokes, so we had to resort to different means of putting a stop to Mr. Ward.
And we did.
I think he spent a month in detention for copying the answers on a Bio quiz. Which he did. And he got a stern talking to for calling me names, hurting my feelings and making me cry, which…hahahah…come on now. Hostilities were at an all time, though, I clearly had the upper hand, when fate dealt me my miracle card…on the turn (yes, somebody is playing poker again). My mom decided to switch hairdressers to a woman she heard about on Lincoln rd. So, one Saturday morning we take the bus there and walk into the beauty shop. We sit down and I pick up one of the magazines. I’m flipping through bored out of my skull, when who should I see wearing one of those plastic aprons and washing hair! EDDIE!!!! It was his mother’s shop!
Okay, I don’t know if you’re following me, but if you’re a fifteen year old, three foot tall boy working in your mommy’s beauty shop, the last person you want to see anyone from your high school class.
I dropped the magazine. And walked over to him.
He went white in the face.
(Watching color drain from his football head was a thing of sheer joy.)
“What are you doing here?” he stuttered.
“Taking notes.” I fired back.
In his defense he did the absolutely best thing he could have done at this point.
He told his mom on me.
I’m guessing he must have said “that’s the girl that’s picking on me at school,” because later when my mom told me that his mom spoke to her, she something like “yeah, she told me that you kids are fighting and you probably like each other.”
And then my mom put her finger down her throat and pretended to gag. And I laughed. I did mention he was three feet tall, with a football head right?
But so anyway, his mom told my mom all this stuff about what a tough time he has at schools and how he’d been to four schools in the last two years and how he has all these freaky disorders, blah blah and how she just wants him to make friends.
And of course, my mom tells me all of this and I cannot wait to go back to school on Monday. I don’t think I slept all day Sunday.
Monday morning Eddie gets on the bus and sits in the very front row. He doesn’t even so much as look at me.
In Bio class, again, he sits as far away from me as possible, instead of taking his usual seat behind me where he would sing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song because I was white like the Banks family.
Finally, after lunch he walks up to me and says “so did you tell everybody already?”
I smile at him and I say “Not yet…and if you behave I might not.”
He never said another word to me and he was gone by the next year.
I never thought of him again.
And now something like 18 years later, here he was blocking my path. Thankfully, he had maybe grown an inch or two, so I’m still taller than him. He did look pretty fit, but I was pretty sure that I’d cause as much damage to him as he would to me, if it came to that.
I stepped back.
“You still haven’t really grown much.”
“HAHAAHAHA. No thanks.”
“Ooh, good one.”
It’s weird, I was kinda hoping he’d so much as brush my shoulder. I’ve very much been feeling pugilistic lately and getting to punch Eddie in the face a couple of times would pretty much be what the doctor ordered.
We stared at each for a few more seconds and he turned and walked away.
“Loser,” I said, disappointed.