===Part 2 of 3===
Thirty-seven winters followed that fateful, face-first fall in the frozen school yard when everything went black. I was sitting in the place I worked (So yes, it would appear I survived that horrific ambush, but more about that later). Often as we sat there, watching the clock tick down to the end of the shift, hoping no one calls in sick, different topics of discussion would arise to help move time faster. That one particular night the topic of Twilight came up, the recent series of vampire movies.
“What? You have never watched Twilight? Any of them?” Renee couldn’t believe that I had never watched any of the five movies in the series. With eyes wide and mouth open she shook her head in disbelief, trying to make sense of what she had just learned. How could it be possible? My co-worker surprised me with what she said next. “You’d like them,” she stated. “There is more to the movies then just a love story. There’s action. They fight and stuff.”
“Oh, they fight?” I pretended to look interested, then jokingly said, “I’ll have to watch them now. After all, they fight,” then added after a pause, “and stuff.”
I assumed Renee understood I was not interested in watching Twilight.
And that is where that topic ended.
Later that evening Renee surprised me again when, out of the blue, she brought up the topic of the TV series, The Walking Dead. “Are you familiar with that series, Brad?” Her friends had been talking about the zombie series on AMC, claiming how good it was. She had never seen an episode and didn’t know what it was all about.
“There are zombies, they fight. And stuff.” I smiled and then offered, “I have the first season on DVD. You can borrow it if you like.”
I wasn’t expecting her eager reply. “Yes, I want to borrow it! And I’ll lend you my Twilight DVD’s so you can watch them all.”
I hate it when a good deed backfires and I hate it even more when my mouth speaks words my brain is not even thinking. “Sure,” I agreed. What? I agreed to what? I said what? Renee looked so excited and happy that I could not back out of it now and in a state of metal shock I heard myself say, “I’ll watch Twilight.” Then I added, “But you can’t tell anyone.”
She looked at me with a puzzled expression on her faced that asked the question without using words, why not? I turned away and busied myself with some work choosing to leave that unasked question unanswered. How could I explain to her that if I watched those movies, eventually it would come out and end up on the internet; Brad watched Twilight.
We all know what happens when stuff ends up on the internet. I would be ridiculed. I would be made fun of. I would be internet bullied. I hate being bullied.
My true geek friends would make fun of me for watching a vampire movie with nobody in it named Vlad, Buffy, Sookie or Barnabas.
My horror movie fan friends would make fun at me for watching; mockingly asking if I was scared by all the sunshine and sparkles?
My sci-fi fanatic friends would make fun at me because there are no star ships, no space battles, no dark cloaked masked men with asthma claiming parentage, or someone screaming Khan a really, really, really long time.
My comic book collecting friends would make fun at me for watching movies that are not amazing, fantastic, incredible, invincible, mighty, uncanny or have a cameo by a guy named Stan.
My role-playing gamer friends would make fun at me for watching a movie whose universe they would never want to play in. Faced with a threat you stand awkwardly in the background looking like you are about to cry. Roll the dice.
All my younger book-loving friends would make fun at me for watching the movies instead of reading the Twilight Novels.
All my older book-loving friends would make fun at me for watching the movies instead of reading the Bram Stoker Novel.
My fitness freak friends would make fun for wasting time watching the movies instead using the time to work out in the gym.
My gay friends would make fun at me for not wanting to be on either Team Edward or Team Jacob.
My twisted friends would make fun at me claiming I am only watching the movies as a ploy to meet some of those crazy twihard moms.
My spiritual friends would question the carnality of my spirit.
My boss would make fun at me for watching movies when I could be working days off, long week-ends, double shifts and extra hours when they messed up the schedule and forgot to get shifts covered.
The three people reading this blog entry will be making fun at me for worrying so much of what people think about me watching Twilight when I could instead be finishing the story about the time I was physically attacked by the three bullies of elementary school.
That night I said I would watch Twilight, so I did, but no one could ever know. I would never post it online and no one ever found out, which is a good thing, because I hate being made fun of.
I would hate being bullied online.
Bullying has changed so much over my lifetime, I feel so sorry for anyone who has to endured being bullied online in today’s day and age. It is the one news story that brings actual tears to my eyes when I hear of the drastic measures to which desperate individuals are driven in order to end the torment. How can you stand up to online bullies when they are anonymously hidden behind screen names. Dealing with bullies in my childhood was so much simpler. Yes the chance of physical injury was greater. There was a risk of actual scaring, eyes could be blackened and lips split, but, there was also the chance, that when you were facing that one bully, or three, just maybe, you could get lucky and come out on top.
===Part 2 of 3====