Bully For Me

My bully is dead. Allow me to clarify. This was not my personal bully that carried out nefarious deeds at my behest. No, I’m going back quite a few years to my high school days. I was actually fortunate. I had 3 bullies to choose between to pick on me. And why not? I can’t really blame them. I was about 5’2″, barely over 100 lbs., and looked like about 10 years old as I entered 9th grade as a high school freshman. I was perfect bully bait. If I was bigger, I would have picked on myself.

I may overstate how much I got bullied. I never got beat up or seriously hurt, except maybe psychologically to the point where I have to work out my issues decades later through strange blog posts. But I do recall being called names, books knocked down, and a few uncomfortable headlocks.

By the time my 10 year high school reunion came around, I was a grown ass man almost a foot taller and many pounds heavier. Okay, I wasn’t heavily muscled, but I was in shape and carried myself well and confidently, especially after a couple beverages. I had my sights set for revenge on one of the bullies who was more of the name-caller and mental bully. I can’t recall how I knew he would be there, but I was gunning for him, without any guns, of course.

And then I saw him. He was not how I expected him to be. I almost immediately abandoned my plans to spill hot coffee on him. Here’s why …

He hadn’t grown much. He seemed to still be high school size. He appeared to be very meek and mild, possibly because he was prematurely bald in his late 20s. Look, I know the pain of hair loss. It’s real. I decided he had suffered enough. From that day forward, I never drank coffee again, just to be sure that I didn’t spill hot coffee on my old bully. Oh, I also never drank coffee, so it was pretty easy.

But he’s not the bully who died. The bully who always physically threatened me, but never touched me also hasn’t died. I found him on Facebook. He’s a Democrat and a Biden supporter and appears to be an okay person. I think I could have a beer with him without incident. I guess there’s always a chance he could threaten me for old times sake, but I noticed that he’s also still high school size. Do little bullies never grow?

The bully who died was a big guy in high school who physically intimidated me with knocking books down, headlocks, and other standard bully stuff. He wasn’t very creative with his bullying. Maybe that lack of creativity is what led him to a career as an accountant out west, survived by a wife and no kids, according to his obituary. It kind of makes me sad. All that’s left of him is an obituary and memories. Is it weird to mourn for my bully? I didn’t want to track him down and confront him about his behavior in high school. I didn’t have any need to exact revenge. I just don’t want him to be dead. Outliving him feels like the ultimate revenge, and I don’t like the feeling. I wish he could have lived a longer life, surrounded by kids and grandkids. RIP, Greg, you big goon.