Karma. It's gonna getcha.
Wow, what a wonderful weekend this was. Didn't do a lick of flying, but my wife and I did spend time with my sister and brother-in-law at their place in beautiful San Diego.
My brother flew himself, his wife and one of his sons over from the high desert to visit my folks here at home. Lucky guy flies a full-scale Cessna Citation for a living and hopped over the mountains in his Piper Cherokee.
Turns out he's reconnected with some old high school chums. Successes, all. I couldn't be happier for them. One couple, like my wife and I, were high school sweethearts and are still married.
My oh my, did they ever have some news regarding classmates.
You see, these folks who contacted my brother were some of the nice people. The ones who got no mention in the yearbooks. The ones generally disdained by the "popular kids." We were in the band, in the theater. Sports? Don't make me laugh. We had one of the worst losing streaks in all of high school football going on when I started there. I turned my attention to the band, mostly because my mom objected to the thought of my getting smooshed on a football field despite my size. While the band was winning awards (I lettered in band, for that matter), the football team was out getting pummeled.
Naturally, they were the ones lauded at the baccalaureate, the prom and in the yearbook. We were largely ignored and hung around other band members and the occasional "Star Trek" fanatic. In short, were were slightly nerdy and damned proud of it.
Thirty years has a way of bringing some serious karma into play.
Two of the class bullies, one of whom terrorized both my brother and I, have passed on. That one was part of a coordinated attack on me one afternoon after school that left me with nightmares for years to follow. No violence, just taunting and the occasional cheap physical shot. Lots of it by lots of people and I think that a "friend" of mine set it up; it occured right after I left his house.
I feel sorry for this man's family, believe it or not. Nice folks. They and my parents were friends and they used to drive her "demon spawn" and I to weekend Catholic CCD school. Of course, the demon spawn was on his best behavior.
He died ten years ago at the age of thirty-five.
I can't help but wonder whether or not he brought it on himself. He and his brother hung out with the toughs for as long as I knew them and I couldn't take either of them on physically. I tried a couple of times when I was very young. Didn't work. Not until much later was I able to give back. In grade school, he was part of a clique that hung around the corner of the school's grassy area during recess. Anyone with a lick of sense wouldn't go within a hundred feet.
He's gone now and it amazes me that hearing his name for the first time in nearly three decades and learning of his fate would prompt me to write this.
Perhaps I should be thankful for having known him. As I got older, I fought back harder. I stopped being his doormat and both he and his brother gave me a wide berth when they realized that I wasn't going to take their nonsense anymore. In short, I grew both physically and spiritually. His actions toward me toughened my own resolve and made me who I am today.
The geek shall inherit the earth, after all.
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