I know what you’re thinking… “But I don’t SEE a little red wagon.” That’s because its at the bottom of this lake. When I was a kid I had this great little red wagon that I took with me everywhere around the neighborhood. I could carry toys, sand, turtles, you name it. Sure, in retrospect it was a bit dorky, but I don’t think I deserved to have it taken from me and thrown into this lake by some older kids. For several years I could walk by and see it below the surface of the water. It was a source of embarrassment for me, but really it was just one incident. I suffered through years and years of being victimized by other bully kids.
At school I would fear for my well-being every day. I asked my father to come to school during recess to keep an eye on the other kids so things wouldn’t get out of hand. I spent a lot of time just avoiding others. Sometimes I snapped. Once I actually stabbed another kid in the hand with a pencil because he had pulled my chair out from under me. I was paddled, suspended and labeled a troublemaker by the principle of the school. By the time I got to Middle School I would just sit outside at lunch and read, mostly science fiction and fantasy books. I acquired my first nickname, “Suicide”, the other kids thought that because I’d rather read books than socialize, I must be suicidal. Really, I just didn’t like many of them.
It wasn’t like I wanted to kill them. This was all before Columbine. I’ve never even held a gun, much less thought about using one. I dealt with my pain and depression through reading, computers, and (some would say “violent”) video games. Mostly it was my family that kept me going though. With each passing year it became a little harder to see my little red wagon under the water, and eventually I couldn’t see it at all. I know its still there though, all rusted and covered with algae.
Tags: bully, depression, kids, lake, red, school, wagon, water
Other People's Thoughts
When I was younger I was in the same boat. When I was a bit older I lashed out at people that bullied others. It wasn’t pretty, it got bad. Was labeled violent, suicidal, & dangerous. At this point I’ve become one of the achievers in my profession, I have 2 wonderful kids, & most people respect my integrity & tenacity.
— JV Monday May 8, 2006 #
Find a diver and bring up that wagon!
— Stacy Horn Tuesday May 9, 2006 #
It is well past time to get yourself a new red rider wagon. Good for hauling gardening stuff around, storing stuff in, and they are just plain cool to look at.
— Lisa Tuesday May 9, 2006 #
Your wagon is in a safe place. You’ll have it forever. It doesn’t matter that it’s at the bottom of a lake.
— David Thursday December 21, 2006 #
The Saddest Thing I Own is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable contributions of artists to society.