Pain and Gain

Medical mercury-in-glass thermometer showing the temperature of 38.7 ºC. by Menchi, 2005

This is the story about my childhood bully.  I was born in a small house in Butte Montanna.  My mother was an ex-prostitute working in the Butte red-light district. She told me she is so glad she got pregnant with me and that my father was such a great man for staying.  She said most men would not have stayed.  My father was a copper miner.  He was fired from the mine and we were kicked out of our home after we failed to pay rent.

Therefore we migrated west hoping to get lucky.  My father found no job until we reached portland organ where my father found work repairing cars (something he had gained much practice on during the trip).  My mother continued to raise me and enrolled me in the local elementary school.  I was very small, likely due to a diet of rice and beans.  This made me the prime target for Big Billy, the school bully.  Everyday during my walk to school Billy and company would corner me against the wire fence.  Then Billy would either punch me in the stomach or knee me in the groin.  I would fall and he would take the apple juice from my lunch.  Then he and his friends would walk away laughing.

I guess Billy knew I wouldn’t tell anybody of authority in order to prevent being labeled a snitch.  And he was considerate enough to never punch me in the face so as to keep my bruises hidden.  Nonetheless I did hate Billy, and desired to find a way to kill him.

After four months of daily punches to the kidney I started noticing blood in my stool.  My mother was concerned I had some sort of illness and brought me to the doctor.  The doctor didn’t look for more than five minutes before he realized what was going on.  My mother was informed that I was being hit by somebody and she needed to get my father to put a stop to it.  My mother started crying, even though the doctor assured her that I would be fine, which made me feel a lot better since I was concerned about my health.  When my father arrived home from the Body shop my mother told her what was going on.  I was listening to the radio in the living room.  My father walked in and turned it off.  He asked me if I was feeling okay, and if I had something to tell him.  I said no.  Then he looked at me intensely, I guess he thought he could scare me into telling him. I wasn’t scared though.  My parents were very nice to me.  They didn’t do anything, and allowed me to keep my secrets.

The next day I stole $2 from my mother’s purse and I purchased two thermometers from the local druggist.  I said my mother was very ill and we always broke thermometers.  I had recently read “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll.  I didn’t like it very much, but the origins of the Mad Hatter fascinated me.  I decided I would experiment on Billy.  He would be more silly and fun if I fed him Mercury perhaps.  So everyday I would take a bathroom break and add an eyedrop of Mercury to my apple juice.  Over the course of a two weeks I managed to use both thermometers and Billy continued to steal my apple juice.  My parents worried a lot because I was still bleeding.  They knew I was being bullied, but I continued to deny this.

One day during physical education Billy was playing short-stop and suddenly fell over and started having a seizure.  I got scared, realizing that using Alice and Wonderland as a symptom reference manual was a stupid idea.  Billy was out of school for an entire month, and I finally stopped bleeding but felt very guilty. I stayed up at nights worrying about death and Billy.  When Billy came back he was fully recovered and as mean as always, but he didn’t punch kids anymore.  He just verbally abused them now.  I much preferred this.


2 thoughts on “Pain and Gain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s