3rd grade. The first time I played wall ball. It was practically a school tradition. I beat everyone in the line. When it came time for the rematches, they all knew my strategy. The guy got me out. I went to the back of the line, feeling defeated. My friend, Tommy, laughed in my face. He said it all had been beginner’s luck. I should have shrugged it off. Instead, I let the anger boil inside of me. Frustration simmered into the mixture. Adrenaline was the resulting concoction. I made a fist and drew back my arm. The next thing I knew, I had punched Tommy in the face. He stumbled back, but did not fall. I hadn’t broken his glasses, but I didn’t know about his nose. He just turned around and didn’t say a word. The guy in front of Tommy turned around and said, “Tommy! You’ve got a bloody nose!” Sure enough, he did. Tommy went to the recess lady and asked for some tissues. I stood nearby so I could hear what he was going to say. She pressed him for how it had started. He said that it had just started. I had been saved.
Wall balls and blood
December 20, 2011