When I was in my second year of kindergarten I had to ride the bus to and from school. The larger kids terrified me. They were huge. I remember a fifth grader wrapping her enormous hand around my thin calf and saying “You’re so tiny!” They were scary and sometimes mean. I remember most distinctly the one time that Alexander said he was going to hit me. He was one of the fifth graders and always grumpy, my memory paints him as looking like the kid from Alexander’s No Good, Rotten, etc, Day. In my six year old mind the assault was inevitable, but I decided to delay it as best I could by telling him about all my imaginary friends who were going to exact revenge on him. I guess he was intrigued, because he let me babble on for what felt like forever about the cinnamon cat with magic powers and a whole host of critters who lived in a rainbow and the flying cat and flying dog and their friend the flying bunny. I didn’t stop talking until I say the bus driver (I say bus, but it was really just a small van), opening the door to let a child out. I stopped talking. Alexander punched me in the nose. Hard. I remember how it hurt. And Paul, the bus driver, saw the whole thing and chewed him out. For years I’ve thought of this as a triumphant story of brains over brawn and the little guy over the big. However, I’ve recently come to wonder if incidents like this had a permanent negative impact on my personality. I still got hit, the bully got off with a tongue lashing, this was not the last time I was physically tormented by other children and essentially the grown ups did nothing. They always did nothing. I essentially became jaded about human nature before I even had permanent teeth.