If you haven't seen the film "Bully," it's a must-see.  After viewing it, I had words buzzing through my head all day - until I finally got to my keyboard.  I hope these verses capture something of it.  Mostly, I hope they relay what a friend can do and the ultimate power of kindness.  The final verses are, I hope, verses of hope.

The Good Day
By Frederick Alimonti
(inspired by the film “Bully”)

It was a good day in school today.
No one talked to me.
No one hit me.
No one hurt me.
It was a good day.

The day after the big game;
And it was all the talk of the bus.
No one hit me.
No one hurt me.
It was a good day.

I saw the game too.
No one cares what I think.
No one asked.
I think no one saw me.

I sat alone in the back of the bus,
Knees at my chin
Quite invisible, I think
Happy to be unnoticed.

Even the boy in the red sweatshirt;
The one who pounds on me
Seemed not to see me.
He left me alone today
It was a good day.

At lunch, I sat alone.
My hood hid my face.
It kept me invisible
No one sat with me.

No one spoke to me.
Offered to trade desserts.
But no one tipped my tray.
Or stole my dessert.

It was a good day.
I saw others talk
And laugh.
Even punch, but in play,
Not in a mean way.

I wondered what that was like.
To have a friend.
To have someone say “hi”
To ask about your day, and care

Still, it was a good day.
No one hit me
No one hurt me
No one said a word [to me].

The ride home was the same
I was a phantom
Unseen, unheard,
And unacknowledged.
It was a good ride home.

That was my good day.
No words, no friends
But no hits, no taunts.

A day without a single kind word
No pat on the back
No smile in my direction.
Yet it was a good day.

When you’re bullied,
That’s a good day.
A really good day.

Tomorrow,
There will have been no big game.
I will reappear,
And they will hurt me.

Tonight, I will dream-
Dream of a smile,
A kind word
A simple hello.

I will dream of a friend
A friend who cares;
Who cares what I think
And how I’m doing

A friend to sit with on the bus
And at lunch
A friend who includes me.

I convince myself
That someday that will happen.
Someday that will be true.
Then, I will have a great day!
 
As some of you may know, one of my hobbies is model building: ships, airplanes, other stuff.  Right now I am building an aircraft carrier model with some help from Lucas.   Sitting on the shelf, awaiting some attention is a “ginormous” model of the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701 (“no bloody a, b, or c”!).   I have ordered some specialty kits for lighting etc., and if I ever start, this will be a long project – and a labor of love.

As I looked at these various pale blue styrene injection-molded parts laid out before me, I began to wonder why on earth I would be relishing such a boyhood project with fifty looming much closer ahead than forty is behind.  Trying to explain the allure of this campy sixties show and its many spawned movies etc. is probably about as easy as explaining why I prefer one style of music over another – impossible; you kind of either “get it” or you don’t.  I can tell you this, I can remember countless evenings with homework etc. behind me and settling in for the late night Star Trek on WPIX 11 and feeling like a was spending a few minutes with friends before lights out.  To some of you this no doubt sounds incredibly lame, i.e., “get a life.”  I could cite statistics on how “Trek” fans tend to be intelligent, educated etc. and have gone on to become great scientists and engineers (witness Stephen Hawking, who has even appeared on TNG), but that would not prove much of anything. 

We Trek fans probably also watch NASA TV, and thrilled to the photos of the Mars rovers.   Most of us probably think that we must push into space despite all the problems on earth “because it’s there,” and because exploring is as natural a part of man’s nature as eating and drinking.   When we stop exploring, we stop living.  Others no doubt think this is nuts and that no foot should step into space while a single mouth on earth remains to be fed.  And you have a compelling argument as well.  However, perhaps more as a matter of faith or instinct, we must always explore for the sake of exploring just as “beauty is its own excuse for being.”

Perhaps the one thing about Trek though that goes beyond science, and exploration, and quirky/campy characters its message of hope and optimism.  Underlying everything Trek is the notion that we will still be around in three hundred years, and we will be a better, kinder, united, and open-minded form of human; that we will come in peace seeking life “in strange new worlds.”  Small-thinking territorial earthly disputes will be a thing of the past and a united earth will venture out compelled by the drive to explore and to learn. . . and to make friends.  Idealist and utopian?  Of course it is!  But why aspire for anything less? 

And of course we still get to kick some Romulan ass from time to time!