Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nice schools make nice kids

Lying on my back, my eyes flickered open. I was still in the schoolyard, so I guessed that little time had passed.

My friend Adrian was leaning over me, his face a white mask of horror, shock, and I guess there was amazement. I sat up, looked around and saw that a small crowd had gathered.

Again, the look of shock and awe in the faces, all looking at me. I was only fourteen years old, and had made little impact on the world as yet, so I wasn’t used to the attention.

It was then I felt the warm flow, and things started coming back to me. It was a flash at the corner of my eye, and the vague sense that someone I knew only in passing was there, and had thrown something. The next thing I knew was opening my eyes, lying on my back.

I stood up with no real effort, just a slight wooziness. Looking down, my school jumper was soaked with blood, and numbness was creeping across my face. Adrian grabbed me by the arm and led me easily in my stupor to the school nurse. The librarian/Nurse looked horrified. It seemed, after the blood and gore was cleared for a better view, that a piece of plywood, skilfully thrown, had sliced two thirds of the way through my nose. The effect of this was a flap of nose matter hanging off. The nurse looked repulsed and quite unwell as she taped me back together.

At the time, Adrian's dad was the school Principal. It was a fairly rough Technical College that needed reforming, and Adrian's dad was the man for it. He is a quirky older man, with a straight forward, old fashioned approach to life, and a passion for older British cars. We caught him just as he was leaving, and in his amused or should I say, bemused end of day mood, he offered me a lift home.

Unfortunately, to ad insult to (now throbbing) injury, the nineteen-sixty-something olive green Humber got stuck in reverse as we were backing out of the car park, and we went for three residential blocks in this fashion, past classmates and I suspect, the plywood thrower.

Eventually the car gave in and let us point the car's nose home, but by this time the day had served to succinctly summarise my high school career up to that point.

Unfortunately things didn't improve. Adrian was stabbed in cooking class the same year, and another friend was thrown froma moving train (by me).
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