Sucker Punch to the Nose

4 Jun
The Six Million Dollar Man

The Six Million Dollar Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was only 5 years old and summer was quickly approaching.  I was finishing up my first year in school of afternoon Kindergarten.  Besides the new things I was learning academically (like how to walk quietly in a straight line), I was enjoying all the new and interesting people in my class.  There was Dan, who would become my best friend through high school.  There was Douglass, who even in Kindergarten, exuded cool and always was the leader of the pack.  And then there was my other new friend, Tommy.

Tommy lived 1 block away from my house, but he lived across a street that I was not allowed to cross by myself.  Getting to go over to Tommy’s was always a big deal, because I had to have special permission and mom’s help to go back and forth to Tommy’s house.  Besides being playmates, Tommy and I would also walk to school together.  At age 5, the quarter-mile walked seemed like a hike on the Appalachian trail.  But we always had fun, discussing the latest Saturday morning cartoons, or the newest Six Million Dollar Man episode.

I think Tommy was a little jealous, because my parents had bought me a Six Million Dollar Man action figure.  The only action figures he had were his older sister’s Ken and Barbie dolls.  No comparison, in my humble opinion.

Out of the Blue

It’s funny how certain moments seem to be etched forever in your memory.  I can still remember the warmth of the June sun.  The fact that I was wearing my favorite motorcycle t-shirt.  And that I had been waiting for Tommy at the outside exit, on the far end of the elementary school, right at the edge of our concrete playground.

Tommy was a little late today and as he exited the building he said something to me.  I don’t remember what he said.  But then, out of the blue, he clenched his fist and punched me square in the nose.  It knocked me to the ground.  I remember feeling light-headed as I struggled to get back to my feet.  As I stood, I realized that there was a warm liquid gushing down my face and onto my shorts.  I had a bloody nose.

I looked to my left as I clutched my nose to see Tommy sprinting towards home.  As I coughed on the blood, a classmate and her older sister exited and were shocked to see me bleeding all over the pavement.  They helped me to the nurse, where my bloody nose was attended to.  After the bleeding stopped,  I was escorted to the principal so that I could report what happened and who had done this.

The principal asked if we had been fighting.  No, we had never fought.  She then asked who hit me.  I told her it was Tommy.  She wrinkled her nose a bit, sighed, and then told me to walk home with the two good Samaritans that had peeled me off the pavement. They we’re more than happy to escort me home, where my nose got some motherly attention and some chocolate milk to help ease my injury.

Sometimes,You Never Know Why

After the incident, a few phone calls were made and Tommy came over to tearfully apologize.  He never did say why he punched me. We never really played again and he moved away after school finished that year, so I never saw him again.

Just like that, a sucker punch to the nose and the relationship was over.  No explanation, no reasons given. Done.

Now that I’m older, I realize that something must have been terribly upsetting in Tommy’s world for him to lash out violently.  Were his parents getting divorced?  Was he being abused? Was he a foster child?  I just don’t know.

But that’s how life is sometimes, you get sucker punched in the nose.  By the time you’ve regained your footing, life has changed and you’re not really sure why.

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14 Responses to “Sucker Punch to the Nose”

  1. Jack June 5, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    What a sad story. Sad on so many levels. I read your blog daily, and have been touched so often. Thanks for sharing your life with us. This story however, touches something deep inside me. I’ve read it several times already this morning(I’m writing from East Asia), and I can’t seem to get on with my day. I’m you, I’m Tommy. I was sucker punched almost every day in elementary school. But never by a friend. In elementary school I had no friends. Even now, it seems that there are people who ‘..lash out violently…” not with their fists, but with their attitudes and judgements. Still trying my best to walk in a community of ‘christians’, I sometimes wonder what happened to so many people that make them become like Tommy. Worse yet, I wonder what’s wrong with me that I continue to subject myself to their violence. Hummm…it’s difficult to change at 56. But I’ve found some refuge in your blog. Thanks!

    • christianagnostic June 5, 2012 at 6:01 am #

      Jack…thanks for reading the blog and for your honest comment. My heart aches for you. I wish I had some “deep” advice to help you out. I’m glad you find some refuge here…feel free to stop by and share your thoughts anytime.

      • Jack June 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

        I think the scary thing is that I’ve given almost 40 years of my life trying to live out a Christlike life style through our denom. But the past several years have been a down hill battle with the conservative take over that happened back in the mid 80s? All these years, I’ve just kept hoping that things would turn around, and we’d become concerned about the world in true ‘kingdom’ fashion. But on the denom level, the local church level, and even in international fields, people continue to take such NON Christlike stances regarding gender issues, womens’ issues, and over here, culturally sensitive issues. There have been times in the last 4 years or so, that I’ve all but packed by bags, and walked away from the faith. And to be completely honest, I have nothing to fear because I’m confident that I’m the only person within our org that reads your blog, have had long stretches of deep, deep doubt about the very motivation behind the last 40+years of my life. It’s really sad when you realize that you’ve given your life for a movement that, in the end, has become a joke! I could go on, but don’t wanna end up being booted from you blog. Thanks for listening!

      • christianagnostic June 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

        It’s really sad when you realize that you’ve given your life for a movement that, in the end, has become a joke! I could go on, but don’t wanna end up being booted from you blog. Thanks for listening!

        First off, you’d have to really, really try hard to be booted off my blog! I’m pretty much a fan of free speech. I’m not a fan of nasty, in your face throw downs…that might get a warning and a ban (no bans to date). So far, I think you’re pretty safe to keep speaking your mind 🙂

        As for the 40 plus years…I totally get it. So much of your life and life’s work are wrapped up in your denominational work and faith. Probably all of your significant relationships (besides family) are connected, as well.

        I don’t envy anyone facing that type of outlook. I guess my only question would be the one I faced. I had a similar (though not the same) type of situation. 30 plus years as a Christian. Over 20 years as a volunteer worship leader. Over 20 years in the Christian bookstore industry and I was working for a Christian company when I realized I could no longer even hold up a facade of faith….what to do?

        For me, it was a question of sanity. I knew that I would eventually go insane from the cognitive dissonance and appearance making. Maybe, I would have done it if my marriage depended on it. Luckily, my wife was finished with church, whether I believed or not.

        Anyway, please feel free to speak your mind anytime….

        peace to you Jack.

        CA

  2. christianagnostic June 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Jack-

    Just ran across this blogger and thought of you.

    http://questionablefaith.wordpress.com/

    Might want to check it out when you get a chance….

    • Jack June 6, 2012 at 2:51 am #

      Thanks for sharing your story again. I’m a fan of TWW and found you there. Your blog has become a highlight of my day. Amidst the honking and the hawking, grey skies and humidity, I know that christianagnostic is just a few key strokes away! Thanks for the link to questionablefaith. I spent an hour or so there, and plan to visit often. Hey, no need to apologize for stirring up pain. I agree with Lorena, it’s therapeutic! Looking forward to your next post!

      • christianagnostic June 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

        Thanks Jack….I’m glad you found it therapeutic.

  3. questionablefaith June 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Looks like we are from the same generation, I remember the 6 Million Dollar Man from my childhood too! I’m looking forward to reading more!

    • christianagnostic June 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      Looks like we are from the same generation, I remember the 6 Million Dollar Man from my childhood too!

      Let’s not forget the Bionic Woman, lest anyone think I am being sexist! Thanks for the comment…

  4. Lorena June 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    As I was reading your story, I was thinking. Lucky him. He got everything I never had: toys, a loving mother, friends in kindergarten. No wonder he is so much better adjusted than I am.

    Then, I read on and thought: he was punched by his little friend. I was emotionally hurt by my entire family my entire life–the last time this past August, when my brother said my husband should hit me for being the way I am– for no reason at all. It’s not that I was fighting with my husband or that he’d been complaining.

    Then I read your conclusion: Tommy must have been a hurt boy. I felt your compassion as if it was I you were forgiving.

    When the very people who are supposed to love you … hate you. There is no place to hide. The pain is raw and never ending.

    • christianagnostic June 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      “When the very people who are supposed to love you … hate you. There is no place to hide. The pain is raw and never ending.”

      That is a hard place to ever be…unending pain. I don’t know what to tell you other than I’m sorry it’s that way. I will say that I admire your fighting spirit in it all. Maybe you had no other choice but to be a fighter.

      Maybe that’s why Tommy had to be a fighter, I’ll never know…but I certainly can’t judge those who have had to endure so much unfairness and unkindness.

      I am sorry this post has stirred up pain….

      • Lorena June 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

        Hey, it was therapeutic. So, thank you.

  5. thebiblereader June 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    so what ur really saying…is that u lost ur first fight..ouch..lol

    I understand, we go around telling people “God is Good.”….”This is the day the Lord, has made and I will rejoice.” or “Isn’t God good today?”

    and to everybody, their life isn’t Good. And we sometimes take that for granted as christians, and wonder why the unbeliever does believe that.

    • christianagnostic June 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

      “so what ur really saying…is that u lost ur first fight..ouch..lol”

      yeah, I was down and out before I knew it was happening. Not that I would have fought back.

      On a more serious note, I’ve actually been surprised at the amount of emotions this post has stirred. It’s certainly stirred some deep and painful memories and I didn’t expect it.

      Honestly, when I pushed publish on this post, I wondered out loud if anyone would even comment. Shows you how much I know….

      It also has me thinking about childhood struggles, which I think I’ll post on later.

      Thanks again for all those that have taken the time to comment!

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