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Sunday, January 21, 2007

All through my school years, I was victimized by bullies. Thatís probably not a surprise, right? I was small and timid, and therefore pretty much defenseless. You have to have some kind of gimmick to deflect attention from your weakness. Either that or a friend whoís taller (and I did latch onto a few of those over the years).

On the first day of junior high, I was held down by a pack of eighth grade thugs who smeared shoe polish on my face. In ninth grade, I was on crutches for several weeks because of torn ligaments suffered when a bigger kid decided it would be funny to lift me up by the leg and flip me over backwards. Even in college I wasnít safe. I lived in the same dorm as members of the football team, and on Saturday nights theyíd get drunk and pound on my door, while I sat cowering behind the bed.

I think Iíve lived long enough to come to terms with what happened to me when I was a kid, but Iíve been reliving those horrors lately. After dark on recent evenings, some rowdy teenagers from the neighborhood have been launching rocks at my roof from the landlordís mostly vacant lot next door. I guess they get a thrill out of seeing rocks slide down the slope, but itís not such a thrill from inside, where the noise echoes like a bomb attack.

I canít identify anyone, because itís dark out when they start, but even so, I peek through the blinds to see what I can see. It takes me right back to those days when I hid from bullies in school, and that doesnít feel good at all. All I can see is the occasional wave of a flashlight. Iíve thought about calling the sheriffís office, but these kids are also tenants of my landlord, and they live closer to him than I do.

Finally today, after lasting through an hour or more of last nightís bombardment, I took the next step. I called my landlord and asked if he could come by. When he did, I told him what was happening and suggested that we could probably guess who was responsible. ďI know whoís doing it,Ē he told me. ďIíll take care of it.Ē

He said that he had found rocks on the roof of his barn, and now he knows where they came from. I hope this is the end of it. I moved this far out in the country so that I didnít have to deal with things like this. All I really want is to be left alone, and I think my landlord knows that, because he leaves me completely alone (sometimes even when I need something from him). Iíll take him at his word until it happens again, and then I will call the sheriff.

21 January 2007

Today's sunset.

I have to admit that my heart feels lighter now that Iíve dumped this problem on somebody else. I didnít want to deal with it, and I really didnít want to confront anyone about it. Thatís just not me, and if it makes me vulnerable, then I have to find a way to cope. I donít want to move, ever, but a day ago I was thinking about it for the first time since I moved in here. Iíll still be a little edgy for a few days, but I feel as if Iíve what I needed to do to solve the problem for now.

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