Adam West was six inches taller than I. The actor who played Batman on television in the 1960s was also named Adam West, but all the jokes people made weren’t even funny the first time. Adam’s Q-tip head topped his gangly body. He was pigeon-toed and Catholic. He loved Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.
I discovered later in high school that Adam has a good heart.
I have forgotten what he had said to make me so mad. I doubt that he delivered some terrible, many-horned insult but little jabs. Whatever his words were, something snapped inside of me. Acting before thinking and thinking nothing, I tried to punch him.Â
I missed. I swung wide. How do you miss?Â
I surprised myself as much as I surprised him.Â Neither one of us knew what to say. The bell rang soon after, and we walked back to the classroom in silence with our other friends. Half an hour later, we were painting pumpkins in Mrs. Jones portable, our hands speckled with tempera paint.
Adam came over to say that he was sorry. I also apologized, and we were friends again. It felt good.
That’s the only time I’ve ever swung at anyone in anger. I really wish I’d made contact. I probably won’t have another chance until I’m coaching my kid’s little league team and the ump makes a bad call.