Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's The Worst Thing You've Ever Done?

Good question, isn't it?

It's not one most people would answer publicly but I think I want to do this.

Some people say that confession is good for the soul and they might be right. I don't put the supernatural spin on it and think that if I lay bare my worst secret an invisble man in the sky is going to be appeased and and my guilt will be absolved, but still, yeah, sometimes letting it out can free you up. I think I've told a total of three friends about this but the time feels right to tell everybody I know and a bunch of total strangers. I'm not expecting a magic cure for feeling bad about it, in fact in some quarters it might prove problematic in that I will seem more insane than I already do. I just feel like talking about it tonight, so
I will, and whoever listens can do so and pass judgement in their own fashion.

Most people have their bad secrets and generally they happen in college or shortly after. The stuff they don't want their wife, children or whoever to know because of being messed up on booze or drugs or simply sowing the wild oats. Me, the worst thing I ever did happened when I was in fourth grade. Yes. I am Damien, spawn of Satan.

For real though. Not that I haven't done things I'm ashamed of as an adult, but this thing I did when I was eight has stuck with me and messed with me for most of my life. I'm guessing this post is not going to be a particularly funny one (not that I won't try.)

So in fourth grade I was taking swimming lessons at the local YMCA. It was structured so that you had free time in the game and vending room, the swimming lesson would commence and then you had more free time to socialize before your
parents would come to pick you up. I spent this latter time exploring and managed to discover the YMCA boiler room.

It was very dark and only lit by the amber glow of the lighted dials on all the heating equipment. Pretty much pitch black, but if you stood in front of a furnace you could see a few feet in front of you from the pilot light and the backlit gagues until you moved on to the next one. It was creepy and fun. Plus, this basement was also a storage facility for all the junk the YMCA had no other place to put and was stacked along the walls.

I couldn't keep my discovery to myself. I approaced an older boy in the swim class (who might well have been chosen because he was very good looking--I can remember his face and body to this very day, not just for that but for things that will be made
clear very shortly) and told him I'd found something really incredible. He wanted to see it, so I led him to the underground boiler room. He thought it was cool too, and we slowly made our way in the nearly non-existent light.

It was so dark it was spooky. So I thought I'd play a little joke. I jumped out, screamed at the top of my lungs and grabbed him by the sides. On instinct, he screamed and leapt away. He landed not on or by but through a stack of plate glass leaning against the wall. It shattered. He was cut to ribbons all over. I pulled him out and could tell even in the dim light he was bleeding all over. He wasn't crying. He wasn't screaming. He just said, "I think I got cut pretty bad."

I led him out of the basement and back to the well-lit stairs leading to the YMCA proper. His assessment was correct.

I remember the blood streaming out of his wounds, so much that it left puddles on the stairs. At the top of the staircase I held back and peeped through a crack in the door, watching him hobble to the lobby, the person behind the desk start screaming
and someone else phoning for an ambulance. I stayed there, out of sight, watching. They led him to a chair, blood was pouring from the slashes in his shirtless chest, bare legs, feet and arms and being tracked all over the lobby. The ambulance arrived. They took him away.

He never once mentioned my name.

I went back to the game room to await the arrival of my Mom to drive me home. I have no memory of my state of mind at the time. I'm sure I was filled with fear of discovery and guilt over what I'd--even accidentally--done but this is only a guess.

On the way home I told my mother I didn't want to take swimming lessons any more.

I guess my parents bought it because I don't remember going back. Nothing ever happened. No calls from anyone wanting to know my
involvement. Ever.

But somewhere a kid, who became a young man, and who now is older than me most likely has permanent scars on his body because I chose to play boogeyman and leap out at him in the dark. He totally should have sold me out. I've felt sick about this for decades.

Yeah, I get the one idea: Kids playing, who knew, accidents happen. But it doesn't change the way things turned out. And I hate it.

The very worst thing of all is I can't for the life of me remember his name.

See? There's more stuck inside this head of mine than dick and fart jokes.

So does anyone else want to play? What's the worst thing YOU'VE done? Post in the comments. Do it anonymously if you feel inclined.


  1. and yet you will still play the joke in which you slam your hand on the outside of the passenger door in order to make the driver think he's involved an accident. Someone with their hands on a steering wheel, their foot on the gas, and you think, "Hey, let's send this person into a sudden panic - that will be oh so hilarious." Why the fuck did anyone ever drive you anywhere.

  2. ChaCha PuddlewinksJune 5, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Let's see: Fake accident where no one gets hurt, real accident where some kid winds up with gashes I presume will leave scars for the rest of his life. Contrast and compare. Oh my god, you must be so traumatized.

  3. ChaCha PuddlewinksJune 6, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    Oh, and by the way, Honeypot, while it is absolutely anonymous to the general public, after midnight on the day it's posted it is not at all anonymous to me. I slashed a kid to ribbons but you want to make me seem more of a bastard because I made you flinch in traffic. By the way, this year I can think of about 500 reasons why someone would want to drive me somewhere.

  4. There is no greater guilt than to fail your children. To succumb to the petty weaknesses of impatience and exhaustion and do or say something you can never take back. When they are hurt, physically or emotionally, by your failure of preparedness, strength, as a provider, a protector, your self loathing will crush you with a weight fit to sink a battleship. A specific act? Where to begin...

  5. FUCK YOU THE FUCKING NECK, YOU GIANT DICK! Yeah a fake accident where SOMEONE COULD HAVE GOTTEN HURT! I'm talking about being CARELESS and STUPID for the sake of a LAME JOKE and putting people's SAFETY AT RISK. I'm making you out to be more of a bastard in the car situation because you WERE more of a bastard - a clearly dangerous thing to do when someone is driving and you did it anyway. Because I flinched in traffic? FUCK YOU AGAIN! Making me believe that I'm in the middle of an accident is a damn site more dangerous than a flinch! My point was that apparently you didn't learn from your little lesson. Someone driving a car shouldn't be fucked with in that manner - it's fucking dangerous and you're a damned idiot if you think otherwise. The thing that you did with the kid was unforeseen on your part. Sending someone into a panic while behind the wheel is clearly a careless and stupid idea that you ought to have the brains not to do. Oh, and the anonymous thing was just out of ease and convenience - I don't have a Google Account/Live Journal/Word Press/TypePad/AIM/OpenID or a URL that goes with my name.
    Tor Ravengael

  6. ChaCha PuddlewinksJune 12, 2010 at 3:43 AM

    We must seem vicious weasels here and sometimes we are. But we actually love one another and Tor would like me to delete his comments but I haven't figured out a way to do so without deleting the whole post--and since the original story has nothing to do with Tor I'm keeping it up but asking whoever reads it to understand that sometimes we all get mean and I've done this line of crap to him as much as he did here and really things are cool. I will also point out that the car joke described only works when parallel parking as opposed to the potential deathtrap he describes as you have to have something near you in order to make it seem realistic. Yes, and here I am having to have the last word, which no doubt he will reply to, then me, then him, then me, then we will call each other up and make jokes about famous, self-important magicians and obscure, southern ones doing inappropriate acts with glass bottles. Then we'll make fun of you. We are all so lame and just rats scrambling through the maze.