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Wednesday, June 18, 2003
The Ever-Popular Vacation Bible School Freak Out
I've found myself getting angrier lately. Most of it is solitary hostility directed at inanimate objects. For instance, this morning, I was late for work because Mia had an appointment. (No, that didn't make me mad, Professor.) I couldn't get my key to work in one of the front doors (the side that's always locked). And my lunch fell off the brick ledge. And I kicked the wall. Walking to the other door, I had the urge to slam my lunch against the wall (I didn't). But my soda must have noticed my pre-violent state and jumped free of the plastic bag my lunch was in. When I got inside, I noticed the soda was missing. I went back outside and saw that it had fallen and rolled under a car, leaving a spiraling trail of sprayed soda. Of course, I had to retrieve said soda, grip it tightly, and hurl it at some bushes.

I've been doing things like this for a while . . . outbursts that solve nothing and, generally, make me feel stupid. And I can trace all of this back to the middle-school days.

I went to summer camp for four years, starting after fifth grade and leading up to my entrance into high school. It was a Christian summer camp, so there was always one week of Vacation Bible School. (I think my final year of summer camp, my family planned an out-of-town trip for that week . . . at my request.) For those of you who've never been, VBS is exactly what the name implies: Round-the-clock Bible study, with a break for lunch.

One day, we were in a semicircle around the Bible-study leader/camp counselor. I was sitting next to my friend, whose name I can't recall. Anyway, as we were talking about the Bible, or playing some Bible-related game, I had a flashback to a day (or week) earlier, when my friend had accidentally slammed my finger in a locker after a swim activity.

I had a psychic break . . . that's the only way to describe it. So, right there in front of everyone, during the relative calm of Bible study, I grabbed my friend around the neck and started throttling him. My memory of it is pretty hazy, but I do remember him looking very surprised . . . and then punching me in the face. My next memory is being in the hallway with the counselor, crying uncontrollably.

I don't think I was friends with that guy anymore after that.