Tim Thundermason is, by most definitions, a terrible person. This, however, doesn’t preclude the difficult fact that he has a vivid imagination. So when his forearm, with all the force he can muster, slams into Felix Timbergrind’s face – making solid contact from jaw to temple – he does not do so without suffering in the unique way that only empathy provides. That hurt, he thinks, That must’ve really hurt. Felix would confirm the fact that, yes, it did indeed hurt but, duped by the illusion of a bright light flashing rapidly behind his eyes, he is otherwise occupied. Guarding his face with his arms, he rolls from side to side and blocks a few of Tim’s punches while not blocking others. Tim is a dark trail into the lonely woods. Felix is the fear that informs and propels the spirit of exploration.
Tim will sometimes, in a moment of reflective self consciousness, wonder: Why am I so mean? But then he will perhaps see a cat to shoot with a BB gun and abandon his sojourn into ethical philosophy. Somewhere, Felix is alone, reading and experiencing the freedom that only prisoners understand. Have you ever loved a book so much that it felt closer than a friend? Ideas save lives. However, what is first required is a life in peril. Who will walk down this trail? How far? Last week, there was an Anti-Bullying Pep Rally at Tim and Felix’s school. A man danced, juggled, and talked about how bullying wasn’t cool. Tim wanted to beat his ass. Felix wanted to light him on fire. A stormy wind blew through the gym and the cheerleaders smiled and jumped.
Tomorrow night, Tim will steal three double D batteries and stick them down his pants. Felix will steal his mom’s pot and smoke it next to the dumpster behind the pizza place. For a few hours, Felix will peer into the fluid nature of reality and revel in a degraded form of enlightenment that shines brighter than the questions that plague him. Tim puts the batteries in the flashlight he uses to shine on his homework. He lives with his mom in her car by the water and he grimaces at the algebra that puzzles him. Felix tastes blood in his mouth and, still alive, he smiles.
October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Be kind to each other.
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