When I was a kid, water guns were hugely popular. Everyone had them, and they made all kinds of cool, awesome types. My favorite thing was to go to a water park. It was a large wooden fort, with small pebbles as the ground covering. I remember a white fence surrounded it. Whenever I saw a white fence like it, I would get excited, because I associated it with the joys of the water park. But I don’t now. Seeing a white fence still brings back memories, but not of anything fun.
I can’t remember all the details of it, so this may not be 100% accurate. I was just a kid, and my memory isn’t the greatest anyways. What I do know is that I was using a new gun. I can’t remember if I had borrowed one of my dad’s, or if it was my first big one, but regardless I couldn’t way to use it. It had such a long range, and held so much water. It was ridiculous.
So the first thing I do is go into this little tunnel thing. It leads from the outside of the fort into the center, and it’s a good hiding spot. It’s dark, so no one can see you, and with a gun like the one I had that day you could hit anyone in the fort and they would never know where it came from.
So, I get in position, and go prone, and press my head on the back to lift it up more so that I could shoot people on the top level of the fort. I do this intermittently (shooting too often would give away my position), and continue for a period of time. Then, I hear people behind me. Surprisingly, very few people ever use the tunnel. I don’t know why, as it’s a great tactical spot. I guess kids really wouldn’t care about tactics much, though, so maybe that explains it.
But I digress. So, I turn around and there are three older boys. They come up, and sit down near the front where I am. The one who is in front, the other two are slightly behind him on each side, says something along the lines of “Hey, can I see that gun?” Being young, I trust him, and hand it over. He examines it briefly, then declares that it is a gun for pussies and throws it against the wall of the tunnel as hard as he can.
But I’m not mad at him. All I feel is sadness for my gun, being tossed around like that. I crawl over to where it landed, and one of the other boys picks it up and slams it into the ground. I stop, and crawl backwards in shock. The third boy, laughing (they are all laughing), picks up the gun and tosses it back to me. “Take it, pussy. Take your little pussy gun.” I grab it and start running out of the tunnel. This is a part I’m not sure if it is memory or construction, but as I run they shoot at my face. The lead boy gets a good stream in my eyes, then ear as I pass.
I run away from the tunnel, and out of the fort, over to the dry place where parents are. I find my mom, and tell her what happened. I say that they took my gun, and called me names. She asks what names they called me. Not knowing better, I simply say, “They called me a pussy.” My mom doesn’t take kindly to swearing, and she yells at me “Don’t you ever say that word again! You hear me?” Now I am shocked not only because of what happened in the tunnel, but because my mom, who I thought would comfort me, was now shouting at me. So I start to cry.
I don’t remember much else of that day. All I know is that the gun never fired again. It was broken. First day of use, and it’s destroyed. I never liked the water park much after that. After a while we stopped going all together. But every time I see a white fence, I remember. I go back to that day, and now I am angry. I’m angry with the kids for treating me like that. I’m angry with my mom for not comforting me when I needed it. And, most of all, I’m angry with myself. I could have stood up to them. I didn’t have to give them my gun.
But I did.