Saturday, June 5, 2010

keith

he never saw it coming, too busy playing to the crowd of buddies, gathered to witness his latest pummeling. eyes flashing wide at the wet crunch of knuckles smashing into his temple, then roll back into his skull. no one breathes, in that moment, as Goliath falls into a crumbled, bleeding mas, quivering on the ground, and i am the only one smiling.

only, it doesn't happen like that...

i am the one getting intimate with the tile floor, cheek stuck to a tacky puddle of piss, left by some third grader with bad aim, while Goliath dismisses me with a wave of his hand before back slapping his buddies, making jokes about my masculinity. swallowing the shame, i let it burn slow, until just the right time to extract my revenge.

only, it doesn't happen like that...

when the mousy teacher asks me in the hall, i lie, covering up for him, because tomorrow is coming and it's only going to be more of the same. perhaps if i keep quiet, i will get a reprieve. he'll see the error of his ways and let me into the circle of friends, watching the next poor shmuck sweat it out in the center of the ring.

only, it doesn't happen like that...

now, years later, he's in jail, pants around his ankles, planted face first in the bathroom floor, mewling 'daddy' to his own Goliath and i can't help feeling sorry for him, instead of the anger i once carried, because no one deserves that.

only it doesn't happen like that...

because sometimes, i want bad things to happen to bad people, too. because justice is crippled, blind and fumbling the light. because he showed me no mercy, so why should i...each day, i climb this mountain, built on the rags of my own righteousness. some days, reaching the summit seems almost attainable, yet others i am back on that bathroom floor, picking myself up, then putting one foot in front of the other.

This is a 10DOM post.

102 comments:

Jingle said...

Very impressive writing,
loved reading it...

Tabor said...

Good stuff. I like the repetition which gave it a neat flow.

Mrsupole said...

You know what they say, what comes around goes around, and so somehow bullies always get it back and then some. It just shows that there is justice in the world and for all the ones who are bullied I just wish they knew that someday the bully will pay.

Great flow and story, really enjoyed it.

God bless.

Birdie said...

I love it, way too many times in my life I asked myself where is the justice? and why? another pearl from you Brian :-)

Rob said...

Very well written

Mr. Stupid said...

Nice tale. Even though, his actions were wrong when he was young, its sad to see him locked up there.
Have a good day...:)

Lorraine said...

oh hell, this is so well written, above all, you must be honest with yourself, I know that there is balance in this world, Iknow that a soul has to live what he has done to others, like a sense of powerlessness...it is the law of the universe, some may view something as 'a worse punishment' but there is no such thing, to improve your soul, you must know the pain you inflicted...still knowing that it's natural to want that pain inflicted to be felt by the inflictor...

Vicki Lane said...

Love this piece-- gritty and thoughtful --spinning from outcome to outcome.

Joanie M said...

Good story. Karma, my friend, karma. It'll get you every time.

Katherine said...

What a thought provoking post Brian.. it reminds me of the saying "What goes around comes around"
Sometimes I wish for this statement to be true, especially when I see malicious & cruel intent being the focus of some people. It is very difficult not to wish that they get there just deserts. But in all truth what would that then make me, wishing bad on others.
A great post Brian!
It is hard, very hard, to

Nessa said...

The revenge fantasies can be so satisfying. Thank goodness some of us never act on them. If only some people didn't live them into reality.

TechnoBabe said...

The key word in this to me is righteousness. Most of the time that is such an ugly word. Waste of energy. I like the way your writing helps us to see both sides. I always want to be able to see both sides not go through life with blinders on.

California Girl said...

Hi Brian, I think these memes you do are sharpening your writing to where it is just descriptive enough, yet spare, to contain all the elements for the reader. I was back in Third grade with your protagonist.

Daniel said...

I play out scenarios in my mind very often. Sometimes they can seem so real that I get emotional. When things get too far, it is then that I have to snap back to reality and decide how I have to proceed.

Cheryl said...

Sometimes your writing is so visceral, I'm right there with you. Doesn't matter if it's fact or fiction. When it's this good, I feel every single action or thought as though it were mine.

Brilliant, Brian, simply brilliant.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

If only it didn't happen like that.

Well done Brian.

Baino said...

Pretty compelling Brian. Nicely written and a great entrant for 10thDom. I wish it was true that bullies received retribution they rarely do. What's even more hurtful is when your kids come home and say 'nice guys really do finish last'. Tough one to handle. All a good Christian man like you can do is . . turn the other cheek.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Ah, myriad possibilities in your sling, David.

Jill said...

Brian! Oh, this makes me CRY. I hate this bullying stuff SO VERY MUCH! IT is AWFUL! AWFUL!

Jill said...

Brian! Oh, this makes me CRY. I hate this bullying stuff SO VERY MUCH! IT is AWFUL! AWFUL!

Pat said...

Great imagery, great writing, great honesty. We all, well, I'd hope the majority of the human race, try to be good human beings, but deep down, SOMETIMES, we DO wish for revenge....

like this morning when I wished that my husband would stub his toe on this board that is on the floor. (I won't go into the why's, just accept that it's there for a reason.) I asked him when he was going to move it. WHY, he says. BECAUSE I'VE STUBBED MY TOE TWICE ON IT AND IT HURTS!! He shrugged his shoulders because IT DIDN'T HAPPEN TO HIM!!

Revenge? Yeah, sometimes it could be a good thing. :)

˙·٠•●❤Sh@KiR@ ❤●•٠·˙ said...

very well done.
what a great read.
thank you, Brian.
Have you a great weekend.
hugs
shakira

Kim A. said...

I was bullied as a kid. I don't carry that baggage anymore. I trust in Karma...it hasn't let me down yet. Good stuff today.

♥namaste♥

Lisa said...

Great writing this morning. I like the rethinking of events--which is a brilliant mingling of our memories, reality, and our feelings about it all. :)

Mighty M said...

Very powerful post. I have no tolerance for bullies and worry about the day when my kids have to start dealing with them.

mama-face said...

Real life is rarely fair and damage done doesn't just go away because it 'ought to'. You always get me thinking. Which is dangerous. "rags of righteousness". wow.

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

Well planned presentation of what we all think at some time in our lives.

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

A well planed dialogue of what most think sometime in their life.

Menina said...

Hmm what goes around comes around, huh? Although it's not always ok to think that...

It's a very well written post, Brian. Certainly got me thinking.

Jingle said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/i-love-your-blog-tagging-game/

tag game,
it could be considered as an award.
u need not to do anything...
;)

Yodood said...

Is it a summit if built on the nadirs of others?

buffalodick said...

There has been, and always will be a pecking order..I always fought back, because if you hurt them, they remember pain just like you do...

moondustwriter said...

nice one Brian
like the way you shift just like our minds switch scenarios.
Glad you are such a decent person

Teri said...

It's always important to do the right thing, no matter how hurt we are. Growing up is such a traumatic deal, for all of us it would seem (even those whom we thought "had it made" and that we looked up to wanting to be part of the group.) Karma is a bitch, isn't that what they say? I believe in Karma!

Goofball said...

I wish there were no bullies in this world


only it doesn't happen like that

Jannie Funster said...

Holy cow. Masterful. Gripping. Powerful. Riveting. Butterfly brutal. Honest. Introspective.

And I thought it had left me speechless!

xo

tony said...

We like to think what goes around:comes Around... .I am sure he never had the Power he thought he had.

Sam Liu said...

Indeed, I think we all face this problem in our lives, what is justice? Is revenge ever acceptable? As always, the deepest of philosophy touches our lives and as always, your writing beautifully conveys this.

CatLadyLarew said...

What is it about our inner joy when we see a bully get their comeuppance? It shames and somehow satisfies us at the same time... we just don't usually like to admit that second part.

Monkey Man said...

Karma.

Heartspell said...

Freedom comes when we forgive those who have hurt us;only then, do we reach the top of a very long climb to peace. Beautiful poem Heartspell

lakeviewer said...

Ah, that old religion, an eye for an eye, graced by a new thought, forgiveness, all mixed here, for a few stanzas, the time it would take for us to take a deep breadth and realize being human is not so easy. Good one, Brian.

Michele Spectorq said...

Brian,

I loved the meaning in your words. I sometimes play out these scenarious in my head when someone does me wrong. In the end you get what you give. Nicely written as usual!

transparentnow? said...

summiting those rags of righteousness never feels as good as we imagined does it? victim begats abuser begats victim...and the cycle continues. i'm still thinking about the boy with an attachment disorder. anger is a powerful coping mechanism for some. very thought provoking!

Kay said...

your talent lies in discriptions that place the person right there in the moment...

karma. that's a belief to keep one trudging on.

Magpie said...

I guess it's poetic justice that he got what he had coming...he made his choices. But I couldn't bring myself to rejoice in his misery...it is what it is. I think I would feel sorry that one more piece of humanity couldn't rise above and change his course. Beautifully written, Brian, and thought provoking as always.

slommler said...

And it must feel just like that. I have had glorious daydreams of sweet revenge only to come to myself and realize that is not what I am about. But then...it seems so sweet...almost attainable. And then we get back to reality.
Fry the sucker!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Just Be Real said...

Good one Brian. At first I had a fleeting moment you were talking about Keith Richards. Only a fleeting moment that was, thank God. Blessings.

Ocean Girl said...

I see how to quench a revenge.

The name Keith sounds like a nice person to me.

secret agent woman said...

No matter how angry I am at someone who has hurt me, I just can't want horrible things to happen to them. Although I have ample reason to want revenge against some people, especially from my childhood, I just feel sickened by violence against anyone.

Brian Miller said...

thanks for all the feedback today. i was a late bloomer and skinny as a rail, which made me a great target...i am not a fan of revenge in the sense that violence begets violence and creates an endless cycle...but i will honestly say that in that moment of feeling helpless to your tormentor and there seems no other answer it does go through your mind...not saying its right, but...anyway, glad that it stirred the pot and thanks to those that sent me offblog emails with your own stories...bullying cant be tolerated...

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Makes you wonder if the bullies of grade school think about their actios and cringe in embarassment when they become adults.......

AngelMay said...

I absolutely despise bullies. They are the losers of the world.

signedbkm.com said...

i heard a chinese proverb once... "if you seek revenge, dig two graves", well said here....bkm

Respectfully Yours said...

In response to Kathys Klothesline...my daughter was bullied in school for years. About 3 months ago as she was paying a bill at a bar she was in with friends. The waitress recognized her and told her she was one of the kids that bullied her. She told her it that how she had treated my daughter had haunted her for years and wanted to tell her she was sorry.

Meant alot to my daughter.

Great post, loved it. Too much bullying going on with kids, adults alike. Sad.

covnitkepr1 said...

It'does me good to know that there are others that struggle like myself.
Thanks for sharing.

I came across your blog through another blog I follow and have signed up as a follower. When you’re free, please do visit me and let me know what you think of my blog and leave a comment. If you like, do follow as well. I am always open to great new people and interesting websites. Look forward to hearing from you.

william said...

indeed, what goes around comes around, fab story mate, happy weekend :)

Tom said...

sometimes i wonder about the bullies i had to contend with...but of course now they are grown, and most likely blissfully unaware of the tortures they inflicted. probably they still do it, in little ways, to their children spouses and coworkers--i wonder about people and the obliviousness of their actions. Great piece, and a tough climb--something to aspire to!

Tracie said...

I love Karma when she's sticking it to someone else!

TALON said...

I love the raw honesty in the last paragraph. As I read it, I wondered how you would tie in the summit and you did it magnificently, Brian.

Betsy said...

Sweet revenge really isn't so sweet.

Ed Pilolla said...

fabulous human struggle here. it is climbing a mountain, of forgiveness and letting go, attainable and not. you do this piece so well.

Unknown Mami said...

I guess there is a part of me that always wishes people will get their comeuppance.

Alice Audrey said...

Compassion is one of the hardest, and most important lessons in life.

JeffScape said...

Dig the angst; the forced perspective shifts work quite well. This can go several ways... Rashomon-esque story in the making, perhaps?

Hmm...

magiceye said...

wow!
a brilliant write!

sheri... said...

stunning, nothing short of a stunning piece of work, brian. you've spoken volumes of wisdom in just a few perfectly selected words, especially the struggle we have when justice is doled out. i have often wondered to myself why is it that the victims are the one who have to fight to come to grips with difficult things?
your post was magnificent!

drybottomgirl said...

Interesting....lots of truth in your writing. I still want bad things to happen to bad people, it's something I need to work on and leave the justice to a power greater than myself....

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian,
Mrsupole, took every word that I was thinking or going to say...
...right out of my...mouth!
like other commenters' said, before me great use of repetition and smooth transitions.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Prayer Girl said...

Very creative writing. But that is to be expected from you. You always please.

PG

Vodka Mom said...

holy crap.


THAT WAS AMAZING

Vodka Mom said...

you become more and more amazing by the day. I am very proud of the writer you ARE, and of the writer you are becoming.



sniff. sniff.

Mama Zen said...

Absolutely excellent.

The Retired One said...

Funny you posted this today, Brian..we were just talking about this at lunch today...we were discussing how many people don't go to their class reunions because they were tormented in high school and we were discussing if the bullies even remember the torture they put some people through and whether they have remorse if they even remember it....
I agree...bullying can no longer be tolerated. It changes a victim FOREVER...
if a parent does no other teaching they should talk to their kids to assure they do not bully another human being...it would make the world such a better place!

Jingle said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/lets-send-love-2-viola-and-ibok-today/

Please help send hugs and good wishes to Viola and Ibok...
thanks a ton!
:)

The Empress said...

I don't know how you're able to write from such an angle that sounds as if you truly are that person.

I must tell you: I did volunteer work with teenage runaways about 10 years ago, and when they'd do something awful to someone, they'd say, "hey...it was done to me, why shouldn't it be done to someone else" or "no one's been good to me, why should I be good to anyone?"

You caught it all perfectly, don't know how you knew that side of it...but you were dead on.

Vodka Logic said...

Great story, great message. You certainly know how to get a point across, compelling.

Cloudia said...

Male experience




Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Leah said...

Amazingly well-crafted, Brian.

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LadyFi said...

I feel sorry for bullies - but as you say, sometimes you want them to get a taste of their own medicine (if you look deeply inside yourself).

lettuce said...

i've read this twice and will come back to it - so well done and it strikes a cord...

island of peace said...

bullies never live a happy life themselves because in the end they end up with greater bullies but they leave innocents scarred beyond repair while they pursue their own fate.

She Writes said...

I don't know Brian. I should feel sorry for the bully, but I don't. I like the narrator though. Him I like. Well done ;).

Valerie said...

You know what I like about your writing, Brian? Well, apart from being damn good it's also thought provoking.

Eternally Distracted said...

Karma bites everyones ass in the end...

Zuzana said...

This read like lyrics to a song...
I have always believed that justice exist, it simply comes in a different shape than we expect.;)
Wishing you a lovely Sunday Brian, with plenty of sunshine,
xoxo

Kat_RN said...

Excellent. You are good with emotions.
Kat

Hilary said...

Bullying is such an ugly act which I suspect is so even for the bully and where its roots may lie.

D.S. Lear said...

Wow! I erased all the other words I typed I'm left with just Wow!

Caty said...

Sometimes Karma can be a great friend. This was such great writing!

AmyLK said...

I love this! Justice is not blind. It just comes in its own time.

naramalone.com said...

I like the rhythm and repetition here. It's a subtle element but when you team with the emotion of each stanza it really packs a punch. I learn so much reading your work.

Ms. Gibson said...

YES! I made myself your 500th blog follower (I'm following you both as a bloger and as a Tweeter).
Ha.

Syd said...

Revenge isn't very sweet. And resentments are killers. Ultimately we all pay dearly for both.

Cricket said...

Wow. Powerful writing. Congratulations on the potw.

I wrote about this sort of thing myself in my post Becoming Porcupine. It is an experience that sticks with you, one way or another.

An odd postscript: recently, I saw my son getting hassled in the schoolyard by a bigger, older boy. I could see the look on his face - he had tried to get the kid to leave him alone. Now, he was getting mad.

I almost wanted to warn the older kid, leave him alone before he kicks your a--. Too late, in a few seconds, the older boy was on the ground and bleeding. I collected my son and brought him home.

I didn't praise him, but I didn't punish him either. Sometimes, you do what you need to do.

Daryl said...

Wow ... touched me deeply. Congrats on the POTD mention.

Nancy said...

Wow, great writing Brian!

Pauline said...

an inspired way to talk about disturbing topics

Joanna Jenkins said...

Congrats on your POTW mention.

That was one intense story and one that I know all too many kids face. As I watch the younger generation of loved ones hit that "mean girls and guys" stage I pray they take the right path and don't end up in a bullying situation.

Wow Brian, that was great writing.
jj

Krys said...

OH wow.......

Marla said...

Wow, Brian.....wow.