Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oh What Fun I had...When an Uncertain Situation was Inverted...

I don't mean to sound vain, but for some reason my aunt and grandma last night said I had this "sharp" face.

I don't believe them. I find my eyes too penetrative, though of course that's how I see them. They probably aren't very penetrative at all, unlike my mother's eyes, whom my father once described as fatal if she looked at you. It's why I like to wear shades often enough, because then I can practically hide behind them. And it's cool.

When I was in grade ten once, I was helping carry tables into the cafeteria from a different room - this was after school - and I was uncertain about how dangerous I was to my surroundings - I mean, I was carrying a moderately-sized table, held up in front of me, and so the legs stuck out sideways while I couldn't very well see through the solid wood surface held in front of me (my eyes aren't that penetrative). I was worried I'd hit someone with the legs, so I walked sideways across the foyer keeping near the wall.

Of course, I hit someone. And, of course, I hit someone quite big and muscular.

I'm walking sideways, then the table legs ricochets off something. I look around and see a large guy at the fountain - I'd forgotten about the fountain - and he's glaring at me. I know I must have hit him pretty hard, but maybe not. He was big after all.

I mutter 'sorry' very quickly, then retreat to the cafeteria without luckily hitting anything else that wasn't alive. I was pretty lucky the big person didn't do more than glare at me (with eyes even more penetrating, I bet).

Two years later I'm in grade 12 and I'm walking down the hall. I'm slightly taller, I now wear eye glasses for my 20-200 vision, my hair is longer and I'm wearing jeans everyday instead of black sweatpants. I have a beard. Otherwise nothing else is different.

Suddenly, someone's heel rears back, into my leg, in an attempt to kick their locker. The small kid, who looked like a grade nine, looked up at me in shock when he realized he'd inadvertently kicked the side of my leg. He has a freightened look on his face as he breathlessly apologizes. 

I nod, not in the least hurt or angry or deterred, and continue walking away. The guy didn't hit me hard anyway, and it was inadvertent.

Then, looking straight down the hall through the window at the end, I see my friend Tyler with his other friend Cyril walk by it. Feeling like I want a quick chat with them, I spin around and dart straight back down the hall I'd come.

Running fast, I notice that kid and what looks like his posse of friends, all grouped at their lockers. They're all staring at me with haunted looks on their faces - and shrinking back against the lockers as I come closer. Were they scared of me? Were they afraid I'd suddenly changed my mind while walking away, from benign to malevolent? Peaceful to violent? Green to Red? Whatever? Did they think I merely walked away so that I could get a running start at them, make an entrance by bearing down on them at an incredulous fifteen miles an hour?

The whole thought was ridiculous enough to make me laugh about it later. I simply ran past them as they melted together, raising one eyebrow at them as if I were wondering why they seemed so scared. Well, I was wondering that. After all, it's not like I've inherited my mother's fatal "basilisk" eyes, neither are they so penetrating that I could look through their souls. It wasn't like I was physically imposing either, like that muscular guy from two years ago. After all, I'm only 5'6." What were they seeing in me? Geez. I exited the doors and met up with that old friend of mine, Tyler, and I'd go on to watch as Cyril knocked himself to the ground by a broken tree branch, which also tore a pant leg in the process. Mother Nature prevails.

Oh what fun I had...when I was on the other side of the situation. No, I didn't necessarily have fun. I just found it extremely funny that they would find me scary, or that I could intimidate them simply by looking disgruntled or being a senior or something like that. Or running past them.

I guess things always invert as you get older. People intimidate you when you're young, then you do the same. Parents take care of their children, then they grow up and take care of the aging parents. Black hair turns white with age. Situations arise more than once, but backwards the second time. It's all crazy. Maybe one day I'll become a novelist or screenwriter (I can only hope) and Suggs from Madness will come to a book signing or premier and tell me he's a fan, just like I've been a fan of him and Madness.

We can only hope and see.

Justin C.

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