April

2000

Andron

I went to a fairly frightening private school from the ages of 8 to 13. It was located on the top of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, and was super-expensive, and, as a natural factor of that, super-exclusive. It was supposedly a school for “gifted children,” which for the longest time I thought was just a synonym for “rich kids,” as everybody there had ducats to spare. Except me, of course. I lived out in grotty post-apocalypse Tukwila, in a battered old house owned by my grandfather.

These other kids had private schools stretching in front of and behind them like an Indiana stretch of road; as far as the eye could see. They were, needless to say, all WASPs, living in Laurelhurst or whatsoever.

Except for Andron.

Andron X Tokuzo Garrigus. Middle name X. Not an initial. Lived in an even more ghetto-area than I did; the “C.D.”, short for Central District, home of Sea-town’s pathetic excuses for Sir Mix-A-Lot inspired “gangstas”, but still not a great place to grow up. He was also at the school on a scholarship; we were the only two.

It was strange; we were obviously at the bottom of the strata at school; my Value Village clothes, coke-bottle-glasses and painstakingly achieved “please don’t hit me” facial expression (honed over countless hours of being hit, sometimes by girls) all combined to make me an Untouchable. Andron was another matter; he was reasonably good-looking, “cool,” not a total freak. He assimilated, but stayed friends with me also. I was astonished and jealous.

Our class-consciousness didn’t end with the last bell; we were obviously superior to any public-school kids, especially Black ones (there were no African-Americans at SCDS, for reasons I don’t even want to think about,) and hence when students from nearby John Hay Elementary rode our public bus, Andron took the opportunity to loudly make fun of them, calling them “a bunch of Neanderthals” and such.

The upshot of this is they kicked my ass. Every day for several weeks. They’d ignore my protestations of innocence, ignore Andron completely, follow me off the bus, and beat the holy hell out of me, usually in front of a crowd of people who would do nothing to stop it. If you’ve ever been beat up, you know it’s terrible; let me tell you, it’s far worse when people are just standing there watching it happen.

This culminated with a particularily brutal beating in which they pushed me in front of a car, breaking three of my ribs. My mom decided it was time to call the police after that, but after having undercover police come to my school (much to the envy of my classmates, who had never been victims of assault and battery) and tail me on the bus, the Neanderthals never showed again, making me look like a tiny, crying idiot in front of two policemen, my mother, my best friend, a bus full of passengers, and everybody at my school.

I believe a suicide attempt followed shortly.