Becoming a Medium
I almost feel rude, coming in here and not giving anyone a look. I’ve glanced over certain writers and I’ve picked my mandatory interests but I’m here primarily to write, oh boy do I love to write.
This is my first post (duh?) so I’ll preface it all with a little about me. My name is Nabil, and I was born in Manchester. I am the ill-begotten fruit of an abusive affair between a deaf and mute Kenyan woman, herself a child of Indian immigrants, and a renowned vagina surgeon from Syria. My story is a little weird in places, surprising on most days and constantly dribbles with bitter drops of disappointment. Let us get stuck in.
I’d like to say I was born in the early hours of the morning during a crazy storm with thunder coupled with heavy rain along with whatever other clichés Hollywood would throw in there, but I’d probably be lying. What I can say with certainty is that I am the miracle son of three; the third male child my mother carried to term and the only one to survive, heaving myself out of her womb on the 3rd day of June, 1997. That doesn’t make me an only child however, I have three sisters (that I know about) and apparently many more sired by my biological father.
None of this really matters though, because what I want to get at is why I am how, or rather why I am who, I am. At the risk of sounding like an inflatable douche-bag, I’m going to try and describe my character as honest as I could possibly be (beware: extreme bias). I think a breakdown of my name could help here, as I’ve found that whether I mean to or not (and I really don’t know if I do), I live up to the description my name gives me. Nabil is an Arabic name, best defined as Noble and Generous. I cannot attest to my nobility, in fact that would probably be against the very nature of nobility, but my generosity is something I am consistently surprised by. Something I find very endearing about my name is the fact that the English name of a similar meaning would be Patrick.
Now to explain why this is so significant to me personally, we have to jump forward from my birth and headfirst into my induction year at high school. My high school career is not something I’m proud of, I went to extreme lengths to fit in. Bear in mind, I wore a blazer my first month of school even though you weren’t meant to, and as you can imagine for a bunch of year 7s, I was a walking dartboard with a bulls-eye granting immense street cred for anyone bored enough to hit the target. I needed to fit in, fast.
Ditch the blazer, ready your darts and aim for 50 points, there’s a new target. Smells like piss, autistic kid, bowl cut, hairy mole on his face. His name is Patrick. Not like the name mattered, he was easy to piss off and he never failed to react. We pushed him to the limit every. single. day. I got in real close with the cool kids, with the fighters of the year, the snarky kids who weren’t arsed if they swore in front of the head and who weren’t scared to flunk off for a cheeseburger and the occasional shoplifting. Thing is, I didn’t really fit in with them see. Ever since I can remember I’ve been the geeky type, little nerd of a boy who would get excited over double English and Panorama weekend. It’s your typical story, but now I look back I’ve no idea why I was who I was, why I did what I did. Scary thing is, I don’t know if I’d do anything differently.
One time we kept pissing Patrick off to the point where he dashed a pencil at my friends eyelid. Bounced right off and before he could even flinch he’d headbutt the poor boy so hard he started to piss himself. Whole year heard about it by lunchtime. I feel disgusting recalling it now but back then it was absolutely hilarious. Children can be evil. I’m not giving excuses though, I give myself a hard time for all that crap to this day.
Anyway, my nostalgic infatuation with Patrick has reason, it’s what changed my life, or rather changed me and then I changed my life. Maybe we should all start giving ourselves more credit for these personality shifts we all go through. Or maybe we all have a Patrick we can thank? Moving on. It’s year 10, and although I’m still top of pretty much all my classes, my attendance has dropped below 50%. I didn’t revise, I stopped caring. Chilling with the boys and getting into fist-fights I couldn’t win alone in the centre of town was what life was about. Not even a genius would have been able to carry on like I was and pass, or maybe they would? I have no idea, I’m not one. Regardless, I needed a change and I got one. It came in the form of yet another autistic disparate individual, this time it was a teacher.
Now Sir, he was something else. PseudonymHere, we called him Sir (it sounds daft when you first read that because of course I’d call him sir, but we were rude shits and he was the first to gather enough respect from us to actually keep the title) was a real genius. Oxford scholarship graduate, First in some science bull that most science buffs would go green over; the best thing about Sir though was how he literally gave no fucks. If you pissed him off he’d mock you hard enough to scar you mentally, and he liked letting people join in. Maybe it was the autism, I don’t know.. but whatever it was, it demanded respect. How we became acquainted was through pure luck as he wasn’t directly my teacher, but he got assigned to help just me specifically and was withdrawn from teaching for a week to help me catch up on a years worth of coursework that I’d missed (I honestly got special treatment and I never really realised it). We soon fell in brotherly love, and he honestly treated me better than any other person had ever treated me in my life. My biological Father hated that I existed, my pseudo-Dad (everyone else thought/thinks he is my real Father, I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone and I was the last to find out myself!) barely paid enough attention to me hiding behind a couch whilst him and my Mum were throwing vases, but Sir? Sir treated me like his own. He clothed me with his hand-me-downs, bought me food, gave me a phone, even took me to meet his family.. yeah, really. He turned my whole world view upside down and really helped me form the lens through which I perceive life today.
Let’s bring it back to my counter-part, Patrick. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him after meeting Mash. I couldn’t bring myself to accept that I was a bully. Had Mash been 20 years younger, it could have been him I watched urinate in Modern Foreign Languages, it could have been him I didn’t say anything to when I knew who stole his birthday tenner (in 50p coins mind you). I always felt pangs in my heart when fucking with Patrick, you don’t have to believe me, but I did. I won’t lie and say that the chase for status and ego didn’t overshadow it, but it was always there. After meeting Sir however, I couldn’t hide it anymore. I don’t remember the exact moment, I don’t know when I made the decision, but I knew I had to change… and change I did.
Funny thing about change though, if you do it too late it can end up biting you in the ass. It’s got some fangs too, leaves a mark. Remember those fist fights I loved getting into, the ones I needed three other lads there with me to win? Well.. ended up knocking out the wrong guy at the wrong time, if there is ever such a thing. Did you know Britain has the most cameras in the world relative to its size? So yeah, CCTV is a bitch. 3 Sixteen year old lads and a lanky fifteener (guess who?) can be bitches too, and we went running to Mash for help. Thankfully, he was understanding and accompanied us to the station to hand ourselves in. Thing is, I was already trying to change, I really was. It was so hard to break from the group, I was trying slowly, and over the course of the next year of being on bail and starting college I lost all contact with the lads.
Like I said though, funny thing, changing too late. Turn your life around and finally start to forgive yourself incrementally then get locked up and treated criminally. Ended up serving food (the ‘screws’ got fond of me quickly, stuck me on servery within a month [gave me an Xbox as well!]) to the very lads I was trying to avoid for the last year.
I have no idea what the point of my hour spent here storytelling is, but I think I succeeded in welcoming myself to Medium. Keep tuned, there’s so much more to tell.