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Bus Story: Eyeing the Past

July 1, 2010

There are times when past memories come slamming back so abruptly that it feels like someone opened your skull and shook your brains. I have a terrible memory. It’s just a fact. But today, boarding the ole 54 after a long day, I came face to face with unpleasant memories from first grade. Staring at me as I got on the bus was a man – couldn’t tell you much about him except he was in his mid-to-late 40’s and average height and build. But his eyes were those of the school bully who tormented me every day of first grade. It was as if he was right there on the bus. Suddenly, I could feel my heart beat faster, my breathing got shallow, and my flight-response almost had me turning around and getting off the bus. A moment later, I managed to get into a seat where I did not have to look in those terrible eyes, except I could see him in my peripheral vision, so I could tell if he was on the move. I wish I could say for certain that this guy was not the cruel child that kicked me regularly, or that he’s actually a kind and generous person. But after looking into the eyes of a bully as a child, even those of us with bad memories can rely on our senses to recognize one when we encounter them in the wild.


From → Bus Stories

One Comment
  1. Elizabeth permalink

    Makes me so sad to think of you being bullied in first grade. Sweet, funny Richard. If I could, I’d go back there and tell that bully off for my little brother. No one should be bullied…

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