Thursday, October 13, 2011


The other day I heard on the CBC that confronting an office bully only results in trouble but I don't agree at all. If you have a bully in your life you have to confront them. Do it in public, embarrass them. If it's someone you love then tell them how they make you feel and if they get even more aggressive, tell them to fuck off and don't waste any more of your time on that mean, insecure person.

When I was ten my family lived in a subsidized housing complex on the outskirts of a small town where young immigrant families like ours shared the building with the locals - some of the most ignorant and disrespectful people I've ever met. It was a pretty harsh life lesson. When my parents told me about their plan to move to a warmer country I imagined palm trees, ice cream and the ocean - something very romantic along those lines, something FUN. I got all that, kind of. But often when my siblings wanted to play outside I was to join them and make sure that they don't get bullied by the local kids. And it's not like I was sent out to protect them because I wasn't scared of our neighbours - I was terrified. But I was also the oldest and it was expected of me to know how to deal with a bad situation if one would arise. The only thing I was certain of during all of those physical fights with the neighbourhood kids is that you can never show a bully that you're scared. You have to fight even when you know you're going to lose. I remember one instance in particular: I had agreed to fight two boys - Dani and Amir - on our front lawn knowing that I was going to get hurt. I can't recall whether my brother and sister were present but I do remember lying face down with Amir sitting on my back and Dani twisting my arm - I could smell his breath and it was disgusting. It was all I could think about, not the pain, just that smell. Somehow that smell made me suddenly so aware of our gender differences and instead of screaming in pain I tried to imagine the anatomy of the people I was fighting and reflected on how repulsive all boys are when you get close to them (I was ten). I spent a lot of my pre-teen years daydreaming about somehow getting back at them. When I grew up a bit I realized that it wasn't necessary: while most of our bullies were living miserable lives with abusive parents and aggressive jerks for friends, the three of us moved on to the kibbutz where finally everything fell into place. While we spent our free time reading books and painting, our bullies, then fifteen years old, were working on construction sites with their angry dads. I stopped fantasizing of revenge because seeing that just made me feel sad.


Today was the best: I woke up and left the house while it was still pitch black, six forty five am. The weather was the most beautiful, windy and wet with flying leaves. I rode my bike through it and smiled! Here are two of my all time favourite "young" painters: Maureen Gubia and Chad Liebenguth (who is more a filmmaker than a painter I guess) PLEASE PAY ATTENTION, I REALLY THINK YOU MIGHT LIKE IT and BYEEEEEE bye!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You write so beautifully!