Spared

This is another incident from my childhood; I hope you don’t mind.  This too happened sometime before I was 12.  I can estimate that because that’s when we were more prosperous and moved to a better part of town.  I had walked or biked into an unfamiliar neighborhood just a few blocks from my house.  I don’t remember why I was there; not to visit anyone that I knew; perhaps just exploring.  But I had wandered into someone’s else’s turf.  Imagine!  Turf!  Even at that age!  Well, yes, especially at that age I now suspect.  And I was confronted by some local boys – no more than two or three – boys I did not know at all, even though they didn’t live that far away.  Well, I did attend parochial school — St. Anne’s — way across town and didn’t know the people much beyond the block our house was in.  The confrontation was only verbal as I recall, not physically threatening, but it might have had overtones.  I was quietly enraged, and, outnumbered, left.  And I went home and got the Japanese rifle my dad had brought back from the war, along with 4 clips of cartridges.  I loaded it and put it across the handlebars of my bicycle and set out to find them.  They were no longer where we had had our confrontation, and I rode around a bit looking for them.  Lord am I glad I didn’t find them. What would I have done?  Threaten them?  Yell?  Burst into tears?  Throw down my rifle and run off?   Bond and become fast friends?  Shoot them?   I do remember that it was a clear, bright day and that I was as focused as a laser.  And then it passed, and I went home and calmed down and never mentioned it to anyone.  The incident has been a lifelong reminder to me that intense, murderous passions boil up in young children and have a long way to go before they are tamed by all the structures that socialize us.  Being taught by nuns for years already and being an “altar boy,” as it was called then, certainly hadn’t slowed me down.  It has helped me understand many biblical characters, who it seems to me, even in adulthood are emotionally closer to being 12 year old children than the educated and sophisticated adults of the modern world.  I’m so thankful that I never found those boys.  My life could have been completely different, and their lives could well have been over.

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4 Responses to Spared

  1. Marty says:

    Ron…Remind me to never annoy you. Marty

  2. Suzanne Toro says:

    Dear Ron, I was really moved by your honesty and insight. It was especially powerful for me knowing the kind and gentle soul that you are. Bless you. Hugs, Suzanne Toro

  3. Beatrice Berle Meyerson says:

    It seems to me this a perfect illustration of why guns should be licensed and never left easily accessible. A moment of anger, resentment, or fear can end lives and ruin others. I am the widow of an army general who had seen a lot of action and was a crack shot, but never allowed any of our three sons to have a toy gun because he said guns were not toys, and they aren’t. Beatrice Meyerson

  4. Lois Stratton says:

    wow, that is a powerful, and scary, story. Is this the Ron we know and love? Phew. How we change as we mature! Lois Stratton

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