Friday, December 26, 2014

With Friends Like This...


When I was about 12, I was at this kid's lake house one weekend in the summer. He lived next door to me in the suburbs so I saw him a lot. Back then, I was super friendly and attracted the friendship of a lot of strange, outcast types. This kid was like that.

He was also hyper-competitive.

We were playing ping-pong on the lake house porch and I let him beat me a couple times. He got cocky and started bragging, telling me I sucked, etc. I got really angry and didn't let him score a point for about 4 straight games, insulting him the entire time. I really lost my cool, really laid into him. He responded in kind, and then started threatening me. I told him to bring it on. He ran at me. I was a lot bigger than him so I just pushed him over backwards, hard, and laughed in his face. His mom rushed out to break it up, and took me down to the lake house basement. I was at the bottom of the staircase and she was about two steps up, interrogating me and trying to figure out what had happened.
And I'll never forget how time completely stopped and how cinematic it was, seeing first the long, thin barrel of a rifle, and then the rest of the gun, and then the kid, and then the look in the kid's eyes as he slowly descended down the stairs behind his mom
.
Turning, the mom saw this, screamed, snatched the gun out of the kid's hands and called for the kid's father. He came and took the gun away. They sent the kid to his room.

And then... it was like nothing had even happened. The kid stayed in his room. I stayed in the basement. A couple hours later, the kid came down and apologized, and we just kept right on with the weekend.

Thinking about it now, I completely de-realized and dissociated the event while it was happening. I completely denied its plausibility. And everyone else did too. The kid literally tried to shoot me with a hunting rifle and no one said a fucking thing. I haven't even thought about it 5 times since it happened, over 15 years ago.

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