I’m glad he’s dead

March 17th, 2008 by Ken

(This radio commentary first ran on August 6, 2006.  I’ve had many requests for it since.)

Read the obituaries the other day and a name popped out.  Someone I knew, someone I had personnel contact with had died.

But rather than feeling sadness, I felt liberation.  Yes, I felt joy when I read the name.  I read the entire obituary to make sure that the person I thought was dead, was really dead.

Because the person that died recently was one of the meanest people I had ever met.  The person that died was a bully, someone who had caused me trouble all the young years of my life.

I lived near him and whenever I passed his house on my way to school, he’d come running out, knock me off my bike, throw it in the ditch and then, sometimes, hit me.  More often than not he would just yell and growl, but on occasions he would hit me.

It became a game for him and something more sinister to me.  I tried to avoid going by his house but there were no other roads in that rural area of Tumwater.  So, I’d always try to figure out if he’d be home before I started my journey.

And, no matter how fast I rode my bike, I’d start to peddle faster when I neared his house, hoping to outrun him.  Sometimes I did, but sometimes I didn’t.  My efforts to get around him just enraged him and he’d be even meaner the next time.

Over the years I’d read about him occasionally, in the newspaper, being picked up for drunk driving or maybe being thrown in jail for fighting.  Whenever I read of his troubles it would bring me pleasure.  He was finally getting what he deserved.

So, when I read his obituary the other day I had the same feelings of joy I’d always had whenever I read or heard about his troubles.  It was kind of like getting even.  I had outlived him.  In the end, I felt I had won.

All of the anger, all of the frustration, all of the fear I had felt for him over the years had finally lifted from my shoulders.  It was over, the bully was dead and I was liberated from my anger.

But now, after thinking about it for a while, I’ve come to realize that this man, this bully, was probably an abused child.  He was probably the son of parents who gave him little love.  He was probably a bitter and scared kid who found that taking his anger out on others made him feel better.

But, you know what.  I don’t really care about his problems or his bad childhood or his lack of self esteem.  He took his anger and frustrations out on me and 50 years later it still makes me angry when I think about him.

I’m glad he’s dead.

Posted in The Real News

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