The first time I met John I delivered a big roundhouse punch into his belly. He never knew it was coming.

He had just transferred into our Nutley catholic elementary school that morning. Sister Genevieve had introduced him to the class.

At ten o'clock recess, outside in the playground next to where we could look down into the cafeteria kitchen window and watch the old fat ladies with silver hair in buns getting lunch ready for the kids who got to stay for lunch, where we could smell the smells of cooking vegetables and meatloaf and whatever kids who ate in school ate:

POW! Welcome to the second grade, kid.

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