Saturday, May 18, 2013

The shark in the pool...

One of my most unpleasant memories from childhood concerned the neighborhood bully, Alan Aragon.  (oh hell no, you don't deserve the anonymity of the Internet, Alan - I am calling you OUT) Alan lived just down the street from my family, and he was about the same age as my older brother..maybe a little older (I guess to me, he seemed like a really, really big kid) and I was very afraid of him.  He would push kids around at the bus stop, he threw my backpack under the bus as it was approaching, he stole my brother's bike and hit my brother when confronted, and worst of all, he played a mean, mean trick on me.
There is nothing worse than someone pretending to be who they aren't.  One day, after school, the phone rang.  We were latchkey kids back then (do they even exist anymore?), so I answered.  The male voice on the phone started out by making sure I was the 'pretty girl who lived in the white house'.  (creepy huh?).  But it was a young kid's voice... so I wasn't thinking that it was a predator.  That was before they existed. (ha!)  The voice continued to lay on the charm, and eventually revealed that he was a boy that lived one street over.  I didn't know this particular boy very well, but I thought he was cute.  He invited me over to his house, where he said he would be waiting out front to give me a 'great big kiss'.  (Ewww).  My 8, 9, 10 ?? year-old self was so incredibly flattered by this. This had never happened before!!!  Go me!!!  So I told my brother I was going to a friend's house.  (This was the 70's, remember?  Back when it was safe for a child to walk 50 ft. down the street.  Alone.)  So I walked.  I approached his house.  There was nobody outside.  I don't recall exactly what happened next - most likely because I've repressed it - but it involved Alan and his buddies approaching, taunting me, laughing and being really shitty.  I ran home.  I. was. mortified.  I have carried that emotional scar for a long. long. time.  I don't like pretenders.  Fakes.  People who pretend to be something they are not, just so they can get a laugh at the expense of others.
I've had more than my fair share of fakes in my life.  My ex-husband claims the #1 spot, followed by more than a few sleazy bosses, customers during my waitressing days and a few friends from my school days.  It hurts the worst when it comes from someone you think you know.  It is the pain of the surprise - you didn't see it coming, even though you were evidently swimming in the pool with a shark for the entire time.

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