That summer my mother took my
little brother, baby sister, and myself back home to California. My demons three were happy because that’s
where they first tried to take my soul.
The darkness inside had consumed me
by this point and I learned to embrace it.
Being a Star Wars nerd I realized that I was not a Jedi after all, I was
a true Sith.
Every day during the summer I
trained in our back yard. I would stack
up 2x4 boards and practice my punches and kicks. I would imagine they were my bullies back
home in Texas. The only blood I drew was
my own whenever I broke a board, but it would have to do, since I could not
draw theirs. I was never going to lose
another fight, no matter who it was.
The summer passed quickly and I
found myself enrolled in school in California once again. I was the last to attend the same middle
school my three older siblings had before me.
I was prepared for any bullies that may come my way, but my demons three
threw me for a loop.
One good thing came from being in
California, I had a place to play and run around so I lost a lot of weight by
the time school started. I was still
fat, however, I was not the push over I once was. I had a few students who picked on me,
breaking into my locker and flushing my books in the toilet. Gym class was the same, a bully’s hunting
After two weeks the biggest bully
in school decided to get physical, they always do. This guy was huge, a muscle head, and there
was no way I could match his strength. As
he began to choke me my inner darkness took over. When the fight was over, I left him on the
floor, as I walked away, his blood on my shirt and the thought of picking on me
again a thought far from his mind. The
only thought on my mind, I would need to buy a new gym shirt.
Word got around quickly and the
students left me alone, until the ultimate bully came along. This was a bully that I never even thought
existed, I’ve always been taught to trust them because of who they were, my teachers.
One teacher in particular started
on me and all the other students jumped on the band wagon, literally, as this torment
came from band class. This was a kind of
battle and I was out numbered, defeated, and losing.
Christmas time brings a high rate
of suicide. Despite all the jolly cheer
everywhere, death and darkness fills the air.
My demons three kept whispering in my ear what my bullies were saying to
my face, everyone would be better off if I would just kill myself.
I was fascinated with the Samurai
culture after my grandmother had given me a book about Bushido, and I knew how
I would do it. I was going to kill
myself under the same tree I almost ended everything the first time, and this
time I would not fail.
I was so full of hate, full of
rage, full of deep dark emotions. I was
mean to my cousins and siblings for no reason.
I wanted the world around me to burn.
Death was always hanging around me and I could feel his dark breath
breathing down the back of my neck.
I had an anchor that kept me from
falling into my dark abyss forever, my grandmother who would make me breakfast
and read to me from the newspaper at 4 in the morning before I went to school,
but that tether was wearing thin as time went on. It was not enough to keep me from my seppuku.
Before we broke for Christmas break
a bright light came into my life. She was
able to draw me out of my abyss and bring me back to the land of the
living. She kept me from returning to
the darkness. As the new year started I
was happy, something I had not felt in almost a year.
My demons three did not like this
twist of events. They decided that I
needed to be punished. We were at war
and who was I to think I could ever be happy.
They were to teach me another harsh lesson. I did not want to fight anymore so they hit
My birthday was supposed to be perfect. She had planned something special for me when
I got to school, so did my demons three.
They took my light away, plunging me into the darkness, drowning me in
it. Death did their bidding. Another life I loved had been lost for no other
reason than I loved them more than I loved myself.
Two weeks later we left California for
Texas. School was almost over so my
summer started early. I was back in my
old hood but unlike before, I stayed in my room most of the summer. I had slimmed down enough in California that
the weight I had put on over the summer balanced me out to be more muscular
than I was before.
My solitude came to an end as
school started once again. I was back to
the arena where I got my first taste of blood.
While a few of my original bullies still attended this school, I found
out that the one that broke me, the one who’s eye I blinded, was no longer
there. At least I would not have to face
None of the students had recognized
me, even though we had all of our academic classes together for an entire year
before. I was known as the transfer
student from California. Girls who had
laughed at me before were suddenly wanting to talk to me. The darkness inside me told them to fuck off,
but that only made their desire for me worse.
I was a bad boy without meaning to be.
It took three weeks before things
began to settle down and old routines took place. I was betrayed by my love of music. I was too poor to buy my own trumpet so I had
to use my older brother’s hand-me-down coronet.
What gave me away, and made me the laughing stock of the band before was
the bent bell on the coronet.
Word spread quickly about who I
really was and how I tried to fool everyone.
The bullies in Texas were much more hard headed than the ones in
California and they fought on a much harder scale. They didn’t care that I wasn’t the same plump
“butterball,” as they use to call me, they wanted their old punching bag back.
The girls who wanted me now hated
me. They were teased by the guys that
they were stupid and how could they like me.
They wanted their revenge as well and poisoned their boyfriend’s ears
with words of violence. Tension was building
and it took a week before it finally broke.
As I walked out of my history class
history repeated itself. I was jumped
from behind. Two guys had shoved me into
the lockers and held me there, while another held my face against the metal
grate of the locker.
“You don’t have the balls to fight
me one on one,” I taunted.
My answer was a punch to my kidney,
awakening my darkness. I began to smile.
I was spun around, which is what I
was hoping for. Letting go of me briefly
was their mistake. I kicked the boy in
front of me as hard as I could in the balls and when he doubled over my knee
came up to break his nose.
My hands were free so I throat
punched the boy to the left of me and punched the boy to my right across his
jaw. He took off running, leaving his
friends behind. The girls looked on in
horror as my smile continued to grow.
The blood on the floor was fueling my fire.
The last time I received a beating
by this boy and his friends I was bombarded with kicks to my back and stomach
as more and more boys joined in on the beating.
It was only fitting to return the favor.
I kicked and stomped the boy who could not breathe as it was, chocking
on his own blood from the broken nose he never expected.
I kicked and I kicked, cussing at
him until I was tackled to the floor from the side. I tried to fight my way free of this man’s
grasp but I couldn’t. He was much more
well trained than I was. Despite his
age, I could not defeat this Marine. He was
my history teacher.
The other teachers in the hall took
the boys away quickly. Only after the
halls were cleared of students did I hear the deep dark voice whisper in my
ear, “Another victory… for us.”
To be concluded...
After the first war my demons left
me alone for five years. Life was good;
calm and peaceful, well for the most part.
Bullies have always been a part of
my life. Like my demons three, my
bullies attacked me mentally as well as physically. They beat me but never defeated me. I couldn’t tell anyone because every time I
did I was dismissed.
I had to learn to defend myself and
defend myself I did. My bullies seemed
to serve as my battle trainees, testing me on a daily basis. They helped to harden my skin, sharpen my
sword, and build my armor.
In 1989 my second war began. Unlike my first war, which only lasted four
months, this war would last three years.
My demons three had to make up for the long silence. The taught me a few hard lessons that I
learned, and learned well. They forced
me to grow up quickly.
I had been shielded from a lot of
things but the first thing I learned was that there was another demon out there
that would assist my demons three, but one that I will never be able to
defeat. He has come near me twice before
but we were never introduced. His name
Death seems to be the shot across
the bow that would awaken my demons three.
This second war was to bring new battles, battles I could not win. Nothing my bullies ever did could have
prepared me for what was to come.
Our house had been blessed with two
new babies. One full time while the
other stayed ninety percent of the time.
I was the watcher and protector over the one partly named after myself.
One day I was running home from
bullies chasing me. They stopped before
they normally gave up and I was proud of myself. As I came around the corner I seen my little
brother and nephew playing catch with a football. When they saw me my little brother ran up to
me and said, “You better stop smiling, baby Angel died.”
I couldn’t believe it. I ran to the house and my mother was standing
in the doorway crying. All the adults in
the house were crying. In my ear I heard
a deep dark voice whisper in my ear, “Miss me?”
Everyone thought I yelled because
of the news, and partly I was, but because my demons three had returned and
they took the life of someone I loved to get to me. To this day I have never forgiven myself for
For the next seven days I went into
a destructive tailspin. I was cold, I
was angry, I wanted to die and be buried with her. Since I couldn’t I placed a teddy bear I had
that she loved to gum on inside her casket.
I thought about suicide the day of
the funeral. There was so many people
around, everyone off in their own little world.
I could have disappeared and no one would have known it for days. I did the only thing I knew I could do, I bottled
everything up inside.
I was the good one. I was the one with no problems. I was the one who took care of the little
ones, even though I was little myself. I
did what was expected of me, always.
When I got back to school my first
victory was awaiting me. While I’ve been
in fights before they were never fair and always one sided. My armor had always repelled their insults
and calls of fat, ugly, and stupid had not truly phased me. On this day I left my armor at home.
One bully had missed his
target. For seven days he wasn’t able to
insult me and put me down to make himself feel better. During the morning classes I had to talk to
the school counselor to make sure I was okay to return to class. Being a guidance counselor she was in way
over her head.
I went to lunch, where I sat by
myself, reading a book, as normal, but didn’t eat anything. After lunch I went to gym, and so did my
He purposely skipped his class and
went to my gym class to pick a fight. That
was his fatal mistake.
Words were exchanged. I gave him a warning that today was not the
day to mess with me. I told him to back
off three times. However, my demons
three were there whispering in both our ears.
Everything I was telling my bully I
was telling them as well. Everyone has a
breaking point, a point where they finally say, ‘Fuck it,” and truly mean
it. Where they break beyond all
repair. I had finally reached mine.
Again, I always did what I was
supposed to, what was expected of me, the right thing, remember I was the good
one. We were all sitting on the gym
floor in single file rows. I stood up to
go tell the coach this kid wasn’t even supposed to be in this class. He stood up too, blocking me.
Everything that happened next
happened within twenty seconds but for me it felt like hours. To this day I am sorry for what I had done
and yet I’m not. This boy had tormented
me almost every day all school year. I
did what I was supposed to, I told, and that just make matters worse because no
one ever did anything about it. Not one
teacher, not one counselor, not one administrator, NO ONE!
I blame them all for what happened next.
I was standing on the edge of
sanity and my demon, the voice, pushed me over and into the deep dark abyss in
my soul. Here I found a home.
As tears rolled down my face I
lunged at the boy. The look of horror on
his face as we both fell to the floor burned forever in my brain, it was the
last time he would look normal to anyone.
On the ground I sat on his chest,
pinning his arms down with my knees, as had been done to me so many times
before. My entire weight on his chest,
keeping him from being able to breathe.
My fist began to fly into his
face. Before this moment the only thing
my fist had ever hit were boards in our yard.
This was my first taste of blood and I liked it.
I wasn’t pounding his face, I was
pounding the floor under his head. I
broke his cheek bone and popped his left eye slightly out of its socket. Nothing around me existed and I had no idea
that it took the two males coaches and a female coach to pull me off.
I tried to get back to him. He needed to suffer for everything I have
suffered. I remember climbing to the top
of the bleachers and not allowing anyone to get near me. I remember sitting in the office as many
adults came in and out, looking at me in my gym clothes and looking at me in disbelief.
What was said to me or about me I
do not remember. I kept blacking out,
where I was in my dark abyss, wrapping myself in a blanket of darkness. I had no idea what was going on.
Finally I was allowed to
change. Nothing was going to happen to
me. I was dismissed and sent home. For the next two weeks everyone kept their
distance from me.
Fear. Fear is a powerful emotion. It can consume you and swallow you
whole. Fear helps to keep us alive.
I have gone to war with my demons
four times in my life. Each time nearly
cost me my life; but the demons did not win.
When each war ended I was rewarded with years of peace. In the back of my mind I always knew they
would be back, without warning, to declare a war for my soul once again.
These wars can last for years, with
many small battles. There are always
scars from these battles, most are temporary, fading away, never to be seen
again, letting me know what they can do.
A few have been permanent.
I have a mark on my left temple
that can be seen when my core temperature becomes hotter than normal or when I
get angry. When I get angry heat comes
off of me in waves, attempting to calm myself down. I tell people it’s a birth mark, and in a way
it is, but in reality it’s my first battle scar.
The problem with fighting all the
time is you begin to get good at it. The
more you fight, the more you survive, the more you learn. To steal a line from someone who taught me a
lot as a child, “I’m good at what I do and what I do isn’t very nice.”
When you’re fighting a being who is
a thousand times more powerful than you and with eons of experience, they do
not meet many challenges and will get bored.
On my seventh birthday my first war
began. I posed no threat as I had zero
training. I had been shielded up until
this point so I did not even know there was a need to fight.
The war was short, lasting four months. Having no strength to resist, the darkness took
over me. I was in pain and had no idea
what to do. I wanted to ask my mom about
it but I had no idea how to. My demons
made sure that I couldn’t. Like the
lions who could not eat Daniel, my mouth was closed shut.
As I climbed a tree I’ve climbed
numerous times throughout that summer, tears flowed uncontrollably. Thoughts of no one would miss me, the world
would be better off without me, and my family might miss for a little while but
I would be one less burden for them.
Once I reached the top I sat
there. My demons three kept telling me
to do it. My family didn’t want me
anyways, I was worthless and they only kept me because no one else would take
me. I kept telling them to shut up but
they wouldn’t listen.
They kept hitting me and hitting
me, beating me into submission. My little
mind couldn’t take it anymore as I edged closer to falling. A sharp pain began to throb where my mark is
now. They knew I was inches away and
wanted to escape so they could witness it.
As the third one departed a moment
of clarity flashed before my eyes, knocking the wind out of me, causing me to
sit back on the branch. I was no longer
being suffocated. I could finally
breathe deeply. They had lost.
Before they left I heard the same
dark voice as before whispering harshly in my ear.
“You’re not a challenge. You will be ours, it’s just a matter of time.”
Water. It can be peaceful and yet, it can be
destroyer of worlds. It is always
flowing and there is nothing that can truly stop it or contain it, without its
permission. It’s the source of life,
healing and refreshing.
I have always loved the water. I’m drawn to it, it speaks to my soul. I can just sit in it, float around and be completely
happy. It makes me feel good. It’s where I’m most connected to the earth.
Sadly, water will be the death of
me. I do not know how or why but I know
when Death finally wins water will be involved somehow, betrayed by the very
thing I love.