Human Skin Under my Nails

Once upon a time, there lived a humble small town [village] boy who did nothing but move about minding his own not so with-it [local] business. He was quiet, shy and kept mostly to himself; the kind that would stop his bicycle and wait for a caterpillar to cross the road.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that he was invisible, it’s like he had a bull’s eye on his back; everyone minded his business, they picked on him and called him all sorts of nicknames. He hated himself and his retiring nature. He wanted to grow some skin and be able to defend himself against this aggression.

One day, invisible boy learnt a trick that would help him survive in this callous world. It was to become more ruthless and despicable than people he loathed, and his target victims were his own kind, his old friends and any other person he thought he could take on.

This was no physical fight though, but a relentless struggle to belittle, malign, vilify, abuse, disparage, deprecate, deride and any other word that you can think of that has an effect of putting down others. This he did for three main reasons:

1. In doing this, he was deflecting attention from himself by identifying another potential victim. It was also a crafty move to preemptively attack an individual when he sensed danger.

2. It was meant to catch the attention of the evil people who once made his life a living hell. He was trying to seek their approval; he wanted to fit in with them as the new villain.

3. At some point, it simply became a way of living. It wasn’t much about hostility as a way of relating with his circle of “tough skin” people. This was more like civilized meanness, and twisted as it sounds; scratching each other was quite a strong bond that held the clique together.

After so many fights, breaking hearts, shattering people’s self esteem and generally becoming the exact kind of person he detested before, he started to see some results. He lost the bull’s eye, he became more acceptable by every one [the atrocious community] and for once he felt powerful [despicable].

One day, something happened that got him thinking about his life. After considerable thought, he decided to take a bold step and turn his life around. He said:

“I’m done with this kind of life; I don’t want to live like a vampire anymore, replenishing on innocent people’s blood and misery. I’m tired of these elbow fights, i don’t want to slur and walk around with people’s skin under my nails. If meanness is the new definition of trendy, then I want to be passé.I will find alternative ways of waving my flag high than trampling on people’s heads in a vain attempt to be noticed.”

Excited by his epiphany, he went to share it with his friends. Unfortunately, his support group members in meanness were not quite as excited about his news. Instead, they lashed back at him, pelting rotten eggs and tomatoes at him with accompanying words like emo, sellout, smartass, sissy, *ussy, and other profanities.

But a few – though publicly yawned as a gesture to the group that “what is this wuss saying?” – appreciated his message in their lukewarm hearts and went home ruminating on it.

Small town boy adopted a new life, replacing his meanness and negativity with positive words of tenderness, support, and encouragement. And he lived happily there after.

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