Hello. I won't tell you my name, because that is of little importance. It gives no… substance to this story. I will, however, tell you how I became what I am today. I’ll tell you just how it happened.
I was raised in a town named Medicine Hat. The name itself was enough to make you hate it, not to mention the simpletons that I was surrounded by. Egotistical, middle class idiots, with such a false sense of smug satisfaction and entitlement. Even my own family failed to escape the delusion that is a small town, and they were supposedly "educated." That term is used very loosely.
The problem with a small town is it offers up the facade of civility. People feel safe, leave their doors unlocked, their cars, thinking that just because you know everybody, you really know everybody. Someone under your own roof could be an immediate threat and show no signs of it. Right up until you're clutching your throat, with your son standing over you, holding a bloody knife—hypothetically, of course.
But anyway, I digress. I didn’t have much of a childhood. I was never the type to socialize, never had a traditional “friend.” And I was OK with that. I preferred it that way actually. I mean, I didn’t develop this ingrained sort of disdain until the later years of my childhood, much later in this story.
In my early years, I went to Little River Elementary School—pretty much the whole town did. My parents went to school with Tommy's and Becky's and Johnny's, and somehow that was supposed to mean we were all… Friends. That we should have… Play dates. I never understood it.
To really get to know me though, you have go back to my beginnings, as humble as they were. You would be surprised to know I remember a great deal of my life, even from my first year. I had a happy life, loving parents, and I was a happy child. For the three years of my life, I was too innocent to understand, well, anything. We had a dog named Chip, who was the one true friend I ever had. He slept in my crib and he ate from my plate. We went everywhere together. Thinking back, I’m ashamed of the affection I felt for that disgusting mutt.
My parent felt that I should be sheltered, worrying that certain traits they observed in me may be exacerbated. I say I was a happy child, but that’s by my estimation. Happy is relative to the fact that I didn’t have an innate urge to slit their throats. I did, however, have what my asinine parents described as a “real mean streak.”
Around the neighbourhood, in the older years of my youth, I was known as the child to avoid, even by children much older than me. At age four, my parents took me to the park for the very first time. I played with the other children, they sat on the bench and socialized, you know. There was this boy there, though, maybe twice my size. He had a replica gun, that I so badly wanted to play with. My parents never allowed guns in our house, toys or not.
“Can I have a turn?”
He seemed started by my approach, as if he hadn’t even noticed I was there.
“No way, fuck off kid,” was the rude boy’s reply. At my young age, it was my understanding that that sort of language was unacceptable.
“You’re not supposed to say the "F" word. Say you’re sorry.” I looked at him sternly, like my father would, had I been misbehaving.
“Didn’t you hear me? I said fuck off!” he said in a huff, as he got up and very forcefully pushed me face first into the sand. For the first time, I felt my ears grow hot, my heart rate rose exponentially, I lost any semblance of logical thought process, even for a child. Well, in the sand, right next to my face, was my toy fire truck, one those metal ones, with the plastic ladders. As I got up, spitting bitter sand out of my mouth, I gripped the truck firmly, with purpose. I turned to the boy, slowly at first, looking into his eyes intently, a look of pure focus sewn to my face.
“Leave me alone, I don’t have to share with you if I don’t want to. So fuck off.” He said as he walked over to me. This boy couldn’t be much more than 6. That, though, was that as they say. The red firetruck connected with his abnormally large forehead with a loud crack. And then again. And again. And again. I’m even sure how many times I hit him before my parents rushed in and shoved us all into the car, apologizing profusely. As they rushed me home, they spoke about my “temper issues.” About how they never should have brought me here. They spoke about me as if I wasn’t even there. I wasn’t at a place where I could fully understand, but I knew I didn’t like that feeling of pure, absolute invisibility. That was the first time I was ever truly angry at my parents, too, I guess.
In the wake of my “vicious attack,” my parents (namely my mother) took to surveillance and extreme borders. I never went to daycare, or kindergarten even. The only interaction I had with other children, were the select times I was able to sneak out of the backyard under the guise of playing with Chip. Within those brief interactions, the neighborhood grew to detest me, young and old alike. Due to my… I guess you can say temper, I became the bane of Yungview Terrace.
Despite my mother’s great objections, my father eventually enrolled me in elementary school. He thought socialization was necessary if I was ever to become a functioning member of society. Especially after Chip went missing. And so, I was begrudgingly enrolled at Little River Elementary.
Within the first month of that horrible, torturous experience, my first play-date was pushed on me. I don’t even remember the little bastards name, all I knew was his dad was a business associate of mine and that I should behave myself accordingly. The day started out well enough, as far as I remember. We were playing with his toys, it was all going according to the grand plan. I honestly have no idea what set me off. I barely even remember any of the bloody details of that particular incident, although the boy did say it was though I had become a totally different person. In any case, that was my last play-date.
Children at school started to distance themselves from me after that. I overheard some of them, occasionally, saying what I assume must be awful things, if I ever cared the slightest about their idiotic opinions.
As I got older, seeing more and more, the exact things that were decaying the very fabric of society, I started to formulate my own ideals, my own social identity, if you will. I noticed the constant heir of false intelligence that most “civilized” people tend to carry themselves with. That pompous belief that they are anything more than an overdeveloped chimp, too smart for its own good, but too ignorant to realize it. I noticed the way it was passed down, generation to generation, as if it was a genetic deformity that refused to die out. That was the sum of the remainder of my time in the godforsaken town.
I spent a lot of time, contemplating on, and ultimately loathing the very morals and principles I was raised on. My biggest fear was growing up in this droll, innate civility, living the same experience as everyone else, would turn me into… A carbon copy of the very thing that I despise. No, I really, truly thought there wasn’t one person worthy of my time in this death trap called Medicine Hat. Not one person who could understand me to the very depths of my being.
I do believe that there is one person though, for everyone, who really shapes them into their truest selves. One soul, whether it be for better or for worse, whose impact will be far greater than one could ever imagine.