The Bully

We boys were marching up to Rodman Hall for supper when he stopped and I bumped into him

He whirled around and pointed at me and touched his lips with his middle finger and slicked it back over his head

I protested

He said yes you touch my butt

I said accident not see

He said not believe you

Before breakfast next morning he saw me watching Gilligan’s Island

He switched the channel


He laughed

Next morning he did the same thing

I said oh that better thank you

He frowned and pressed the remote

That interesting awesome

Switch switch switch

Then Gilligan’s Island was back on and I said no no not that

He laughed and left Gilligan’s Island on

One time I was in the shower room and a rocket of water slammed into me

Fire extinguisher

I couldn’t see anything except for a baseball cap

It was his cap

I laughed and said more more feel good come on

His last year I was still learning the art of the white cane

Sometimes I got delayed tapping around for landmarks

One night I was tapping between Noyes Hall and Frechette Hall and a boy offered his arm

I didn’t know who until under a lamp I saw a baseball cap

Inside Frechette Hall I thanked him and he smiled

A few minutes later Gary Karow our houseparent came up to me and told me that the bully was so happy that he had helped me

A week before he graduated he grabbed my bag of books while my nose wa buried in a book

As I searched for it he gave the bag back and said that he did it because I wasn’t paying attention

His last words to me before leaving were you take care man

Some years later he drove down to Texas with a friend to help him pick up a pickup truck

On his way back alone it was twilight and still in Texas when he turned off his headlights

He steered into oncoming traffic

A car swerved in time

Another swerved

Then it was a truck which couldn’t swerve and that baseball cap

John Lee Clark