Thursday, October 22, 2009


I have a confession to make.  When I was kid, I got picked on, a lot.  I think I was born with a sign on my forward that said TARGET ME.

Anyway, being the butt of jokes by other kids is no fun.  When I was younger and in a private school that focused on my dyslexsia, the son of the woman who owned Cotton Club also attended the school.  He ended up being the butt of a lot of jokes, and it was unfair in hindsight.  What makes me feel really bad was that I picked on him.  I knew it was wrong but it was empowering to my 12 year old mind to "think" that I was not bottom of the food chain.  That finally there was someone worse off than me. 

We taunted him, made fun of his weight, his face, his pimples, everything.  The kid couldn't win for losing.

The thing is, I enjoyed this bit of evil even though I knew it was wrong.  Someone how in the cosmic slice of existence, this was my revenge.  Or so I thought.

Out of the mob mentailty the idea of what we had done to him was never so satisfying as when we did it to him in a group.  And even then, what was our pleasure about anyway - we were all losers in the real world.  Hell, there wasn't a boy among us that wasn't the butt of jokes in our old schools.  Back then, the kids called dyslexics retards, and here we were doing the same thing, just cutting out the middleman and going right to "retard."

Whenever I see or hear the name Cotton Club, even if its a reference to the New York estblishment, my heart breaks a bit because I know what we did was not only wrong, but for my part, it was even more unforgivable.  Mark was never the loser that we called him - I, was loser at those moments.

If Mark made it to adulthood, I send him all my best and most sincere apologies for being a major dick.  I know I can't undo what I did to him, but I also know that I can't undo what it did to me, either.


  1. Oh, honey. We've all been there, I think. The kids who get targeted for being picked on become one of three things: A) Caustically witty gay men; B) multibillionaire heterosexual CEOs; or C) mass murderers. Luckily, we've fallen into category A.

    Don't beat yourself up over the Cotton Club Kid too much; it's a natural defense mechanism to deflect some of the negativity towards someone else, especially if you've been the brunt of it for so long. And the perspective you have as a well-adjusted adult can't possibly compare to your mindset as a picked-on adolescent.

    Celebrate the fact that we made it out of our teens mentally and physically intact!

  2. I'm happy just with the fact that I'm alive and that I can look back at this and know it was wrong. And I'm happy my mother didn't dress like his mother...