KIng Of Rock Lake Road

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I ‘m not sure anyone liked Bolly – I know I certainly didn’t. As the new fat kid in school I came in for my share of schoolyard abuse but I generally knew how to deal with it or avoid it. Bolly was different than the usual run of bullies, though – he had nothing at all to do in school except be the local punk king and he had plenty of time to be mean to you.

He kicked me a good one, one time when I stood in front of him. Just hauled off and kicked, for the fun of it. Down I went. I was too new, too scared, and too weak and fat to do anything about it. It gave courage to a lot of the other punks who then used to bail me up at going home time and throw my school binder into the snow or beat on me as I ran for the school bus. Fortunately it was a company bus that took us back to the dam site so they at least had to wait for all the kids from camp before they could move off.

I never mentioned Bolly to my folks – there wouldn’t have been anything that they could do about it. The school was due to get rid of him at the end of the year so the teachers just ignored most of the meanness.

I never repaid Bolly for that kick, though in the following year when he was gone I did stave off the other punks. I don’t think it was courage that helped, just teenage hormones. There was no accounting for those hormones, and they continually took me by surprise…one time in an English class I found myself reduced to tears, and I couldn’t stop – was removed to the school nurse’s room to avoid embarrassing the other students. I thought I was going to be ridiculed for ever more…but no-one, not even the teacher, ever mentioned it.

One time one of the punks must have said something exceptionally mean in a mathematics class – God knows what you can say in mathematics that is terrible. I leaped out of my desk, grabbed him and his desk and overturned them into the wall, shattering a power socket with his head in the process. Again no repercussions.

The final episode saw one of the punks pull my glasses off in a classroom at lunchtime with the casual drawl of ” I guess I’ll have those specs…”. I can only remember going mad at that point, and launching myself at him. When he took my glasses, he took my eyes, and the desperation that creates in the shortsighted goes above all other considerations. Apparently whatever I became or did frightened him and the other punks so bad that they never bailed me up or bullied me again. They avoided me – and as I avoided them, I had a double wall of security.

I’ve reconstructed Bolly in my studio as the hot rod punk king of Rock Lake Road but I doubt he would ever have had the artistry or application to achieve the construction of a good hot rod. In truth he probably ended up driving a 6-year old pickup truck – hopefully into a ditch. I like to think of him being picked up by the Mounties for drink-driving. Be nice if one of them kicked him, eh?

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