And I still hate Facebook, but this is related to it. There are lots of people, especially from high school who either try to friend you or pop up as friend choices on your screen. Most of the time it just amuses me -- we didn't hang out in high school because we had nothing in common. Why would we hang out now? It's not like you've tried to contact me in the past nearly 15 years, so why are we pretending to care now? So, most of the time I just ignore them.
But this week, I decided to have an internet fight.
I got a friend request from a former friend in high school who married my then best friend -- and proceeded to abuse and break her down over the next several years. I found out about it through the grapevine, as by then I was booted out of the church and my then "best" friend made no attempt to keep in touch or deal with me. I was JW Kryptonite then (now on the border of being upgraded to radioactive status); but when you say, "This doesn't change a thing," personally I assume you mean it. Goes to show me.
Anyway, former said bff and I reconnect via Facebook -- I contacted her first, because I feel the need to point that out, being petty and whatnot. She filled me in on some of the gory details. Then a couple of weeks later, her ex sends me a friend request. I went 16 - 17 years old all over again. Who knew? I thought those days were behind me.
Back in high school I had quite the mouth, as you might imagine. Actually, imagine a chihuahua and you'll have the whole picture. No, that's not quite right. Chihuahuas can be hushed by tapping on their heads or a good stamp of the feet. I was more like a Jack Russell terrier. Once I was obsessed with a problem or a perceived injustice or whatever, I barked my head off and wouldn't let it go. I once saw a dog owner absolutely flatten a Jack Russell terrier with its shock collar (not a big fan of that practice); it got right back up and snarled that much harder. That was pretty much me. JR terriers are absolutely one of the most annoying breeds on the face of the planet. I recognize that I am, too. I point this out, because it's not like it was a secret in high school. It was one of the most recognizable features of my personality -- don't fuck with Virgil's friends or sister or whatever, and she won't develop an obsession with biting your ankles off or barking at you until you jump out of a second story window. It wasn't a mystery.
I'm a lot more mellow than I used to be. I take the time to investigate before I decide there has been some injustice committed or some perceived slight. El Hijo will tell you that sometimes I rage around the house before I get to that stage, and he's right. Now that I look back on it, it's just what my father used to do -- stomp around bitching about it for a while before sitting down and saying, "OK, now let me figure this thing out." And when I do figure it out, I take more time in plotting my revenge .. er, .. I mean, I think the situation through before I do anything. This is much better than Before Adulthood.
In the era of Dante's Virgil B.A., things like this would happen. I would walk down the hall as a junior, in between classes, and then -- lo and behold! -- some Kentucky numbnut had taken one of my girlfriends by the throat and shoved her up against a locker. I remember that incident because it was probably the time I was most violent in my life, and it was weird. I remember some parts of it very clearly, and then there was this black space where I have no idea what the hell happened, and then it's clear again. I think they call that Rage. I distinctly remember thinking that when (not if) I struck him, I was going to have to go for his temple, because if I didn't incapacitate him before he knew what was happening, his black belt stuff would whip my ass. I also decided to use my World History book, it having the sharpest corners. I remember throwing my stuff down apart from that, breaking into a run, and yelling, "You motherfucker, I'm going to fucking kill you, you piece of fucking shit." That might be a paraphrase, but I'm pretty sure that's what I said, because I had a "battle whoop" before I went into these things. I remember connecting the corner of my book with the side of his head.
I don't remember anything that happened in between except for the sound of someone's voice floating overhead: "Virgil's killing Bill!" This is pre-Quinton Tarrantino, and yes his name was really Bill. I don't remember hitting him apart from the crack to the side of the head. There's all this black space with whoever it was yelling that. The next thing I know, two of my other friends have me by the arms off to the side saying, "Virgil, it's OK, no problem, just take a breath," and all this other weird stuff, I'm cursing up a storm, and Bill was nowhere to be seen. I'm not really sure what happened, but I never caught him doing that sort of thing at school, at least, ever again.
The second incident I remember happened when I was a senior. My sister was dating a piece of shit, and I saw him shove her up against a locker. What is it with high school boys and lockers? So, of course, I came flying and screeching some variation of "You piece of shit, if I catch you, I'm going to beat the holy hell out of you!?!" and throwing books at him. I connected with one in the back, but he had a lead on me before I could get him, and I chucked the rest of them from above at him as he ran down the stairs. Later, I called him and told him that if he ever came within 50 feet of my sister again, I'd take out a restraining order on him. And I told him if he ever touched her again, I'd kill him. I don't know why I picked 50 feet instead of 60 or 45 feet. It just seemed like a good number. And I meant it about killing him. He laughed, and I told him to "Try me," basically. I could've probably frozen Clint Eastwood's blood with it. I remember at the time I hated this boy's guts for touching my sister like that. It probably came out like, "Go ahead, punk. Make my day."
The next day, my sister came running up to me in tears, screaming, "Darren won't talk to me anymore, he won't even come near me. What did you do?! I hate you! I HATE you!" My work there was done.
Then there was the time I ran my best friend's rapist out of town. I could go on and on.
The point is, I did not respond well to people who threatened or hurt the people I cared about. Not at all. This is not a mystery, and it's one of the things about me that has generally remained constant through the years. The delivery mechanism might have changed. I've got a son I'd like to stay with, not spend time in jail for murder. But the things that trigger the terrier are still the same.
So, this numbnut asks permission to friend me. And I partially regress to my 16/17 y.o. self. Here is what I sent back:
You've got to be shitting me. Seriously? I'm assuming you remember me from high school. I'm assuming you remember what I value in life and what I don't. If you don't remember, I can refresh your memory and keep it simple for you.
I don't like woman beaters and abusers. I never have, I never will. I especially don't like it when they curry favor with those around the woman they chose to abuse, in an attempt to steal or cut off support from her, or to make themselves look like anything less than what they are -- cowardly, craven, abusive, pathetic, social wastes of space.
Don't even bother trying to deny the things you've done. It's common knowledge and easy to find out from multiple sources. Hell, I found out about it without even talking to her. You're really lucky that she didn't tell the male members of her family the full details of what you did. I'm not sure why she didn't, except that she did you a favor.
I have no idea why you thought friending me was a smart idea, given the context and given that you knew me pretty well in high school. How did you think I was going to react? Did you really think I'd just be all, "Sure! Wow, I'm really glad to talk to you again after all these years, even though you made my high school best friend's life fucking miserable for a few of them?" You're lucky we're not still 17 years old and therefore not able to be legally charged as adults. You'd need every inch of that black belt. You're lucky I'm an adult and value other things in life much more than the temporary pleasure it would give me to try and beat your ass. From what I hear, I'd have to stand in line anyway. Which I would gladly do, by the way. I'd queue up in a heartbeat.
So fuck you. I'm not interested in being your Facebook friend.
I think that's better than "You motherfucker, I'm going to fucking kill you, you piece of fucking shit."
If he's smart, he'll just let it go. If he's not, and I'm betting "not," he'll try to defend himself or get something else in. At that point, I might ask him to call Bill.
"Your message has been sent" never felt so good.