Anyway, he was aggressive and cruel, and made fun of me whenever he could. He was about my size (which at that time was pretty tiny) so didn't pick many physical confrontations. Anyway, he made my life pretty miserable. So one day I'm at the King of Prussia Plaza with my mom and sisters. My mom had the insight and grace to realize I didn't really want to walk around with her and my sisters, it wasn't "cool" so she'd just tell me how long I had and where to meet here. This was before cell phones, some prior coordination was necessary. Anyway, this kid, Jason Karaban, sees me at the mall, and starts making fun of me. I called something sarcastic over my shoulder - in fact, I still remember, I said "You're useless, Karaban." That was my favorite derogatory term at that time. "Useless."
So he comes pounding up behind me, incensed. He jumps on my back with both feet, and grabs my head. Now I wasn't expecting it, so he got me good and solid. But even then I was a black belt in Tae-Kwan-Do, and was angling to get up on my feet and put up a fight - but before I even could, my mother who had seen the whole thing, comes boiling up like a scalded ape-mama, and grabs him by his hoodie, and starts twirling him around so he can barely keep on his feet.
Of course I was mortified - saved from a bully by my mom! At the time I was embarrassed and mad, though now of course I think it's pretty amazing, and showed how protective she could be.
Anyway, out of curiosity I look this kid up, and it turns out he's a top notch musician. He's made some really soul-searching, self-aware music, really considerate, thoughtful stuff. I like it a lot. I'm sure all the bullying is something he doesn't even remember, just a difficult adolescence, signifying nothing. I even wrote to him on myspace, but I didn't get a reply.
Hmm. Maybe he does remember! Well, turns out I was wrong. Good music is pretty useful. Here, listen to Jason Karaban's song, "Cracked Unsolved". His other stuff is good, too.