One of my writing techniques is using my personal life as means to underscore my fictional naratives or to add salient details to a particular scene. So I felt it would be fun to share with all of you an aspect of my past which I feel helps me have a little understanding of what it means to be a dwarf and why I write about them almost exclusively.
My life as a Six Foot Seven Dwarf, Part I
It's not easy to understand. I'm a big fellow. A tall man. In fact, I was the tallest member of the Offenive line at University. My parents were large and my kids are huge. I even married a large woman. Even before puberty, I wasn't just big. I was huge. I was the biggest kid on the high school football team, and that was when I was just in eighth grade. (yea, they allowed that... it was a different age, an age we called the nineteen eighties...) I was so large that people assumed I was two to three years older than I actually was anyway. By the time I was a senior, people would clap at anything I did because they thought I was slow, having been in high school for seven years. The fact that I had a full beard only added to the perception.
As you may be aware, however, young men love to rumble. You'd think that boys would be pretty kind-hearted when faced with a fellow that can literally pick them up and throw them. (During summer in my formative years, I used to play a little game called "Keep Away", which basically involved people trying to get to a ball and me throwing them away from it.) No sir. This was not the case. Young dudes have one mission in life, and that mission is to prove themselves. And of course what better way to do that than to take on the big dude.
Thus I was kind of drafted into an early version of fight club. Whether at the car wash, behind the 7-11, or right on the school grounds, hardly a week passed when my teenage bearded self didn't see a tussle or two. The idea was that the smaller kids kids would try and beat me up so that they could stroll around as king for a day. (A quick aside – I am not a violent man. I am still bearded, still large, still given to a gruff outburst or two, but the fighting... well that wasn't my idea, you see. Never was.)
The lesson here? The less you appear like someone that people would want to tangle with, the more the sons of bitches want to tangle with you! I understand why dwarves have such a gruff demeanor. They look tough! They don't want to fight... they have to... Humans, trolls and goblins won't leave them alone!
My life as a Six Foot Seven Dwarf, Part II
You'd think being huge was so self-apparent that no one would feel compelled to point out how big you are. I'm shaking my head as I write this.... I mean, my height became an issue to me because it appeared to be a big issue to everyone else. And while I understood that I was going to be teased by many of the other kids, I was not prepared for the same to be done by the adults.
You see, I assumed that the adults were supposed to be on my side. I was the polite one, thanking my friends' mothers whenever they prepared sandwiches for us. I was the smart one, never bringing home less than a B. Weren't the folks in charge supposed to help me? Aren't the adults supposed to act like adults? Well, one would think. They seemed to find my height as funny as everyone else. Somehow picking on height doesn't get special harassment status. I mean, really, would these same adults pick on the fat kid? (Maybe they would – it just saddens me that kids can't rely on the adults to act maturely.)
But the worst of all of the adult tormenting was saved for a special evening. My first dance competition. It was the hula. I think it was sixth grade (puberty had long since had its way with me). To bring everyone up to speed that doesn't remember sixth grade dance competions, it's a bit removed from what you might think of as a competion. (As I'm an old fogey, this might have completely changed, but this was how it was back in the day.) You didn't get to choose your partner, nor did you get to practice, and, in general, the adults feel a great need to make it enjoyable tfor them.
The competion was started by having a single couple dance all by themselves. Who, might you ask? Why the following entertaining couple: the largest boy and the tiniest girl. Yes, how better to start a dance than by embarrassing two people who were already socially uncomfortable. I did it because, well, I was told to and I wasn't what you would call a rebel. And as I was dancing with a girl that came up to my waist, I remember fuming. Not becuase Christie started crying. (I wasn't a rebel, but I wasn't exactly gallant either.) I was mad as hell because it was bad enough to hear the things about my size.... but to be forced to do soomething because of my size. I dunno. It didn't seem right.
Not that this helps me relate to dwarves that much. But it does help me understand them. At least, I understand why they're not that social...
They all be forced to dance with amazon women.