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the empty

The fat girl as they call her, came to school with a hypodermic needle in her backpack. It may have been to defend herself, it may have been to instigate something. She comes from a broken home and this is her second or third school. E steers clear of her, and the bullies she tangles with. It was never understood  - how things began, who threw the first insult, the first punch, the first grabbed book but the end is a chronic cycle of violence. At one point, the girl's mother got the police involved and this was seen as offensive, a step too far. The police did not resolve anything so it was all just a lot of saber rattling. That is the most common sound here. The empty threat.

Last week, there was a sobrani, sort of a cross between a parent-teacher conference and a school meeting. I was busy, so E went by herself and took notes. Five minutes in she messaged me, that I was wise not to be there. Nothing about this girl was going to be resolved.
"Boys will be boys" was all …

straight up


I really hurt myself a week ago, falling on some ice. During the January holidays, none of the doctors are working so unless you've got a gunshot wound you go to the pharmacy and hope someone there can give you something to tide you over. I ended up breaking glass ampules open, my fingertips bleeding, somehow filling needles and injecting myself in the ass as I tried to see what the hell I was doing in the bathroom mirror. It was a strange number of days, playing with E and laying on my stomach as we played go fish, dominoes, checkers and drew countless pictures of fairies and girls in pretty dresses.

What I learned is this - by walking between two and four miles a day I have overdeveloped muscles in my legs, leaving others weak. I lean forward when I walk - pushing towards the future. When I was five and we left Brooklyn to raise pigs in a little town with one traffic light, I walked the halls of that elementary school like my pants were on fire. I was a New Yorker, through and through - rushing towards the lunch line, the school bus, the bathroom.

So now, the New Year has already forced me to walk differently - straight up, as if I'm trying to push the sky a little higher.

It feels good.


Comments

The Expatresse said…
Poor you! Ouch. It has been dangerously slippery out. I brought back some YaxTrax in September, but have not yet tried them.

Now that The Spouse is on blood thinners, I am especially nervous that he might fall and bruise himself. Since he generally falls at least once every winter. We all do.
brenda said…
LOVE that, pushing towards the future. I walk the same way except for me, it feels more like clawing my way through heavy headwinds. Also love the end....walking straight. Happy happier New Year, M/ You've got it coming.

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