when i was at school i was a bit of a bully. i didn’t mean to be, i didn’t think i was, but i was. it took a really good friend to show this to me. she was called gabriela and she showed me that i bullied other kids because i was scared. she showed me how weak and pathetic bullies are and she was right.
i would shake in my boots, with fear that i might be like them, that my peers might see my weaknesses. i used admire the people that i tortured, on a daily basis, i punched them in awe of how brave they were. i could never have turned up at school if i had thought i was going to be treated like that. they did though, they never failed to show up. what balls that must have taken. on occasion i would do the decent thing and return the stolen lunch money and feel good about myself. generally though i played along with my own fear and gave into it. i was good academically too. i was even good on the sports field. never naturally athletic but i was a demon on the soccer field. not a goal scorer but a defender. i couldn’t really play but i could stop you playing. the other teams would look at me and just pass the ball, not because i was good or talented but because they were scared of me. i feel so ashamed of myself today for the way i behaved as a youngster. i’m not talking about childhood, i was 16 and 17 when i behaved like that.
i am really lucky. i have had the chance to say sorry and to feel sorry. it still hurts though, to know that i was such a little shit as a kid. i met one of my victims a couple of years ago. he was so cool about it. he is doing really well and has a lovely wife and family. i felt so bad but he was so cool about it.
it has taken me a long time to grow up. after school i became a nasty little hooligan and did some awful things. i discovered politics and used that as an excuse to be a thug. i broke a police woman’s nose once during the poll tax riots once and spent time in jail for it.
today i am still not a pacifist but i hate violence, i understand the damage it does. i mean, fuck with me, or, worse, someone i love, and you can consider your self in deep trouble but i have learnt that violent people are cowards, that violence is a sign of mental weakness, that people who express themselves through their fists and feet are pathetic and puny examples of masculinity. that is all i have to say today.