exercise: N1.5

N 1.5

I’ve only been in one fight in my life, one physical fight, at least, and it was with Corey Thompson, in elementary school, whom I never really liked. He was blond and a bit jocky, whereas I was anything but. I don’t recall the circumstances of the fight but I believe that I started it. It wasn’t much of a fight – we must have been 12 or 13 at the time, certainly no older – we were wrestling on the ground at the back corner of our school’s vast playground, at the grassy part, where the fenced edges of the playground met at a corner. We were never too antipathetic toward one another, Corey and I, but there was no genuine affinity there, either. I recall we were playing touch football, which I was never much for, but I did for a while bring a football so that Dave Pritchard and the other popular guys like Dave Webster would let me play, and I was popular too for those brief interludes though even then I recognized that I was being used. I stopped bringing the football before long, but that’s not what the fight was about. Corey and I were on the grass, on the ground, probably on our knees, my arm wrapped around him, in a head-lock type thing without any skill or understanding of what I was doing, without any end-point in mind. I recall in high school there was to be some massive fight at Gage Park, which was easily a couple of kilometres from the school, between our own Delta Secondary and some rival institution – Queen Mary perhaps? And so a horde of children like the orcs of Tolkien flooded west along quiet residential streets to arrive at the park, surely exhausted by then, to witness the brawl. That’s how I remember it, but I remember it from a crane’s-view like a film, and I remember dozens of barbaric youngsters, so surely my memory cannot be trusted on this or any other matter.

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