J. Shepherd asks: When was the last time you punched someone?
I have something to admit: I have never punched someone. I also have never slapped someone. The Nabob recently offered to let me slap him, since I had never done so. I have never been in a girl fight. I have thrown a bottle at a dude. I have thrown a bicycle tire at a dude. I have yelled at a dude. I have been in crying, yelling fights with girlfriends. I have given hundreds of silent treatments.
But I have never punched someone.
So I will have to give you my closest story:
When I was in sixth grade, I walked in Ms. McCoy’s reading class (6th period. I can’t remember my fucking wallet in the morning, but I can remember I had sixth grade reading 6th period, right after lunch.) I was wearing a very super cool pre-Units-but-Units-type outfit, complete with stripey skirt and matching stripey cardigan thingy. Also, glasses. Very sixth grade geek couture. In retrospect, probably looked more like a malnourished this than a runway model. You'd never guess it today, but at one short point in my life I was 5’8" and 88 pounds soaking wet. (You never know it’s good when you got it. Damn, Gina. Is there anytime more awkward than age 12? And age 19? And age 23?)
Stephen Fletcher was in my class. I’m sure he’s a very smart, attractive, interesting kind man now, but at the time he was a Napoleonic sixth grader with a reddish bowl cut and a penchant for rugby shirts. I can’t remember exactly what was said that day, pre-class, but it must have been something very harsh indeed. I don’t recall being really heavy into man-battery those days, but it was also West Nerdville Township for me when I was 13 so WUT TO DO but defend myself. Story continuing, I found myself in a sitch, holding onto SF's prized rugby shirt. He was almost-but-not-quite holding me up against the bulletin board wall by my cardigan and a piece of my training bra. Somehow, in my supremely awesome state of 6th grade anger, I ripped his rugby shirt. Then the teacher walked in, and everyone sat down at their desks and pretended nothing ever happened. The end.
Well, kind of. The whole school knew by the end of the day. I ripped Stephen Fletcher’s rugby shirt. I spent the rest of the week terrified, because Stephen Fletcher said he was going to get his dad to call my parents AND PAY FOR A NEW RUGBY SHIRT.
Luckily by Friday, Stephen Fletcher forgot I existed. Then Stephen Fletcher moved away and that was really the end, forever. Some of my closest friends now remember Stephen Fletcher as the boy who’s name they used to pen on their PeeChees or green puppy Trappers or whatever because he WUZ CUTE. I remember him as the boy who I almost killed in a violent, bloody battle for feminine equality and all womankind, maybe.*
hey, it’s MY memories.