When I was maybe eight years old- that would be what, third grade? that sounds right- some kids were playing with a kickball out on the grass when it got away from them and landed at my feet. I wanted to impress them with how far I could kick it back at them, so I picked that fucker up, dropped it on my foot and kicked it as hard as I could.
The problem was I kicked it at a terrible angle, so instead of soaring forward in a beautiful arch indicative of your typical alpha male's kick, it hooked up over my head and landed on the roof of the school behind me. To anyone but me it looked like I'd done it intentionally. I was so embarrassed by how bad a kick it was that when they asked me why I'd done it, I just froze up and smiled strangely at them. It was almost better for my ego for them to think I was an asshole with amazing skills rather than a nice kid with the best intentions who can't kick a god-damned red ball properly. I was in elementary school, for christ's sake. I had a reputation to maintain.
I wonder sometimes if any of those kids, now adults, still remember that incident the way I do, or if it was only seared into my memory by the pure heat of my embarrassment. Maybe there's a guy my age somewhere right now, and he's typing, "When I was eight years old- that's what, third grade?- I was with my friends playing kickball on the grass, just totally minding our business, when the ball got away from us and landed at this kid's feet. So what does he do? He picks it up, making like he's about to kick it back to us, but then this little shit curves his foot and kicks it up over his head and onto the school's roof. To be honest I'm not sure how he even did it. It was one of the most impressive kicks I'd ever seen, or have since then, but fuck that kid. He was a heartless bully picking on us like that. We didn't do anything to deserve it. If I ever run into that prick on the street I'll kick HIS balls and throw HIM on the roof. I bet you he doesn't even remember doing it."