Date:- sometime between 1983 and 1986. Venue:- School Gymnasium
I hated PE and games. Absolutely hated it. Though I liked watching sport, I was totally uncoordinated and slow at playing anything, be it football, cricket, hockey, rugby, basketball. Last to be picked for any team. I only got picked because there was no one else as useless as me.
All the other kids knew it. They know I was good at the academic subjects like Maths, English and French. But they know I hated PE and games. I never looked forward to the day when I had to take my kit in, and drag myself into the gym or playground to partake in some so called exercise.
I was a loner, didn’t want to mix very much, so I stayed out of the way. I didn’t have a very sympathetic PE teacher, who once labelled me “A Wally Woofter” (rhyming slang for gay) and he followed this up with “You need knives sticking in your legs to hurry yourself up, Allen”. So replete with discouragement from the teacher, I tried to do my best, but it wouldn’t work.
Well, one day we all had to walk along the beam and land in that pose that gymnasts do at the Olympics. Everyone else had their turn, now it was me. And I couldn’t get out of it.
Walking the plank would have been better. But on I got, and off I went. I just about made it to the end when my legs buckled (no knives in them obviously), and I fell in a crumpled heap on the crash mat. The laughter started, and grew louder. Bastards. I started to sob uncontrollably, at my uselessness as well as being singled out for being useless.
I can still hear the laughter, the laughter from people who think I’m useless at most things. 30 odd years of hurt. It pains me to write this, but I write from the heart. There’s the laughter…..Allen’s fallen over…what a dickhead…ha ha ha.
That’s me and my insecurities. I apologise if this is a running thread through my short stories, but I always have been unconfident, unsure, uncertain, unnerved around others. It’s called Autism. I can still hear the laughter….as I do another balancing act of deciding whether to go out or not.
Ha ha ha ha ha