Remembering Nicky Butt.

That poor sod. He wasstill attached to sucking his thumb in primary school, a socially blatant feature that, amoung other such traits, made him a bit of an outcast. He was thin and gangly, with bucked front teeth. HE aptitude was of a pale and faint hearted boy who was used to being under the wing of his mother and father. Indeed once he fainted at the top of a flight of stone stairs - he toppled and lost his front teeth. Me and him both share this trait, although i lost mine years later playing hockey. Though we shared somthing in common back then too: In his wretched state of being, denigrated and berated by his peers, only finding moments of sympathy from pre-maternal girls who found amusement in using him as a prop... we were both at the bottom of the heap, and we knew it. Yet being the person i was i never had the courage to ally with this character, and we never really spoke, ever.

Once in the playground he was playing iwth something, maybe a toy he had brought into school, in the vain hope of attracting and seducing a friend. There was vauge interest, but not of the type he had hoped. Three (four?) boys, of which i am now close friends with, rallied to persecute the gaunt child with his friend making device. I was alone at this time, as i often was in the playground, and i was watching this. Seeing Nicky with his toy might have reminded me of the harrassment i recieved from elder boys for bringing fluffy toy animals into school. These golums were the closest thing to friends i had at first, and were of great comfort to me in those hard years. Seeing Nicky getting persecuted, in all his naive and exposed weakness, sparked something inside me. I felt the feelings that i felt when i was treated like that, ones of anger and revenge. Although unlike when i was targeted myself, when i watched nicky getting picked on my want for retaliation was not crushed by fear and anxiety, as i was not in the field of attention - i was an observer here. Somehwere i found a strand of courage and quickly wove it into a flag of war, excusing moral quarms and refuting intellectual concerns. By now the group of boys had attacked Nicky's toy, and leaving it crippled, they had circles him and were taunting and kicking at him. Wihtout any grand entry i moved in, gave angry looks to the offenders, made some bold statement in Nicky's defence (which gladly my memory fails to retrieve) and got kicked a bit myself. In felt somewhat defeated as the bell rang, symbolising our necessary return to the building for more hours in a room with an adult. However my rage was only just kindled, and it needed a release.

As the children filed in through the doors of the building, i waited by the entrace, loitering. I saw one of the boys approach , one i'd identified as a protagonist, and who had attacked me as i defended Nicky, i had found my target. I had been doing karate lessons and had practiced some simple kicking techniques, and suddenly my rage found its opening: the boys groin was exposed and my foot snapped into the space. He crumpled to the floor, in pain i fear to imagine. I was hysterical - fear of retaliation from the boys and adults alike sent me crazy. I ran to the nurse and cried my eyes out. I fed her an abbreviated story, removing some details for fear of repercussions. Somehow my actions were deemed unworthy of punishement, despite my expectations. The boys never bothered me, and the adults seemed to ignore the situation. In hind sight i imagine they were secretly pleased that someone had stuck up for the weedy kid.

Looking back it was a victory divine, for i had distracted the bully's attention from Nicky, who i had aimed to save in a way that i'd never managed for myself. And i had succeeded. What a feeling. Indeed i think that that expereience has shaped the way i act towards others in profound ways. I am still largely an interloper, moving between groups and friends, looking for the weak and needy whom i can help, for in their eyes i see myself, and my pity is the transformation of my own helplessness, for by acting as saviour i can heal both them, and myself.