I’ve been kicked in the face, beaten up by a bunch of boys, cried in the middle of a class and nobody asked why. I’m terrified, sad, miserably, whiney and my English teacher said something, very poignant “In this world, it is very hard to escape happiness.” – Unni Chacko” (Manu Joseph, The Illicit Happiness of Other People). Of course she was quoting a book, of course it’s a she. It’s poignant because it simply means we’re looking for sadness.
But what about that day in class when I sat listening to my hippy professor talk about Bloody Mary (Yes the Drink) it was projected on to the screen and it was used that to introduce Marie Antoinette. Out of nowhere, in the middle of the class like a stranger walking and punching me in the gut, I wanted to cry. I wanted go sit in a corner, scream, pull my hair, bawl eyes out and set everything on fire. I clearly have a flair for the dramatics I mean come on, if that doesn’t shock you, Call Me.
Oh. Wait. No, you can’t call me. E-mail me. Well, now because of that Asshole who mugged me I don’t have a phone. His shrill laughter is still not out of my head. I was walking on the street at 9 pm, playing Pokémon Go and it was a well-lit road, with a huge canopy of trees under the street but it didn’t even cross my head. I stepped aside to let an idiot park and I was still admiring the onyx I just caught. I was staring into my phone when an auto came in front of me and snatched my phone from my hands. I yelped and he laughed at me, I think.
In that short period, for a few nanoseconds I was back in School. I was that fat, dark, ugly and effeminate boy who was pushed around and made fun of or beaten up and always cried. Now of course the teachers knew, they aren’t blind. I’m not walking into the staff-room for no reason. I mean for heaven’s sake I told the god freaking Principal about it in class and she didn’t have much to say. The story of the school boy who killed himself last week because of troubles, at School just put me on the edge ever since and it’s something I’ve contemplated a number of times in school. This story of running and hiding from bullies isn’t just mine, there are many girls and boys I’ve met since school who’ve been through the same or similar story.
So why does nobody have anything to say anymore?
Are high school teachers still busy gossiping about the boy and girl holding hands or still busy chasing rumours of affairs of students and teachers? Maybe if they did their jobs and didn’t just ignore that pathetic kid, with no talents or flare, passion or talent maybe they’d see his drawings or writing or whatever. It’s okay to have a favourite, but that isn’t reason enough to ignore the rest of the students in class. I want to say do your jobs, but whose job is it really to put a bully in his/her place? Mine got off my back for a few months after my brother’s death. But that was because the teacher interrogated me in front of the entire class for fifteen minutes when I came back a week later and didn’t stop till I told her I’d rather not answer any more questions. How do such people even get jobs? Let alone have a child the same age as I was.
How do you even deal with parents of bullies? These parents are sometimes the reason their goddamn child is being a dick to their classmates. And years later this dick wants to sleep with the same kid he’d punched and bullied in school. These bullies of mine are now adults, with a job and career. 10 years from now their children would be in school, will it be a cycle or will it finally end?
I ran after the auto with four goons and my phone, it was like every time I’ve chased a bully who pulled something away from me. This guy just like my bullies seemed to have been getting off on my fear but I didn’t give up. I ran after the auto to get what is mine, but life had other plans. I tripped on the stones on the road and fell scraped my palms and knees. One knee and palm worse than the other, followed the auto but it was a futile effort, never have been a runner. Some delivery boy chased the auto on a moped but it was just as much a joke, nobody else offered to help. The one guy I asked said, “Sorry, I need to pick something” or something like that. I gave up and just walked. The moped boy came back of course no luck and he said there was no number plate on it.
It’s not Pokémon Go’s fault, I wasn’t careful enough, clearly because you always have to stay alert when you step outside the door.
I’ll never forget the silhouette of the creep and his wannabe beard while the shrill laughter still rings in my head. The entire day next day in class all I heard in my head was his laughter, during a lecture, after, while eating, talking a leak and finally that night I realised I could get through it.