Although Joe Kellerman was never in any of Mark’s classes in “He Was Weird,” his bullying of Mark follows along the same timeline as Mike Sigfried’s. While they are in sixth grade, Joe, like Mike, carries out low level bullying. Mostly, he is a joiner to others’ bullying but his bullying is more physical. The first instance is when Joe, along with three other boys, repeatedly push Mark up against a fence. The second instance is at the very end of sixth grade. Acting as a henchman for another boy who wants to bully Mark, he holds one of his arms so the boy can slap Mark a couple of times then gives him a kick before letting him go.
In seventh grade, things get a lot worse. It starts off when Joe learns about Mark’s fantasy of being an ice hockey player. Joe in fact plays on a local ice hockey team and is ‘offended’ that Mark claims to play as well. Whenever Joe sees Mark in the school, he gives him a hockey style body check into the wall. Then, as with all bullying, it progresses to worse things like punches. Also as is the normal case, other children egg Joe on. It gets to the point that Mark’s anxiety levels reach crisis point whenever he sees Joe around in school. Joe senses this so there are times that he doesn’t actually hit Mark but raises his hand as if he’s going to do so. That too has the desired effect.
Unlike Mike Sigfried, on the day Mark finally gets his revenge, he shoots Joe dead. There’s nothing elongated or ritualised. He simply shoots Joe with the Uzi and while Joe is lying there, Mark simply goes up to him and says, “I can’t take a check, you can’t take a bullet” before finishing him off with the pistol.
If you take the “man” off Joe’s last name, you will have the bully who inspired the character of Joe Kellerman. I can honestly say that all of the things I’ve mentioned, he did to me. He checked me into walls and even used my hockey fantasy as justification. The checks did lead to punches and intimidation. However, Joe Keller is the one person who already has my forgiveness. This is because he is unable to ask for it because in the summer between seventh and eight grades, he drowned while swimming in the ocean. While I didn’t dance in delight at the time, I didn’t exactly shed a tear either. Part of me did think, “One less person to bully me.” I just hope that wherever is soul is now, that he has repented for the sins he inflicted upon me.
Next post: Mark Wolfe
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437684715&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird