So I'm no real threat in high school to the boys, but they know that if they mess with me, I ain't gonna lay down and curl up in a ball saying, "Please don't hurt me!"

I learned early on that the best way to win a fight was to hit the guy right in the nose as hard as you could. If that didn't draw blood and he was still ready to kick your ass, hit him in the gut as hard as you could. If this didn't stop him, you might be in for a long day.

A kid from Nawlins moves to our school. His locker is right next to mine. I guess it's 9th or 10th grade. He's a slick lookin' little bastard, and I guess I didn't treat him the way he wanted to be treated, even though I don’t think I ever went out of my way to annoy him. Maybe he just didn't like me the first time he laid eyes on me. Ever had that happen to you with someone?

After he's been there a couple of weeks, he's putting his stuff up to go home and I'm doing the same. He hits my arm with his locker door. On purpose. I say, "What's the deal?" He says, "You wanna do something about it?"

About two minutes later, we're outside and I'm getting ready to clean his clock. We're doing the little dancing around with your fists up and I'm trying to draw a bead on his nose. Out of nowhere, and by that I mean "coming from a place which does not exist in real time or space," this little prick had hit me twice. Hard. And I didn't even see his hands move! God, he was fast. And he'd obviously had some boxing lessons which my dad had failed to bother with.

About five minutes later, I'm bleeding like a stuck pig and I've had about enough of this. I don't think I ever laid a hand on him, and my face looked like something out of Raging Bull.

I tell this story just to add another twist to the concept of how high school can make a coward out of you. I was never as eager to fight again, and I actually walked away from a couple of situations later in life that might have made me look like a coward. They say that's a brave thing to do, but we boys know better, don't we?