Aside

She wasn’t a bitch, and neither am I.

I’ve talked about it before–how mortified I am to admit that I once referred to my grandmother as a Bitch. It’s not a memory I love thinking about, but it’s one that can never be erased and one that comes creeping back in every so often.

Funny thing is, my memory generally sucks ass. Not this one, though.

It happened when I was around 10 years old. We all know kids can say and do some stupid shit. And I was a tough ass back then. (Or so I liked to believe and behave.) While I’m not at all proud of myself for referring to my grandmother as a Bitch (in a letter I wrote to my cousin), I’m actually quite grateful it happened… more so, I’m grateful I was called out on it (by my cousin’s dad, son to my grandmother). Because had nobody called me out on it, I suspect I’d be a very different person today.

That tiny moment in time taught me an extremely valuable lesson: Words can absolutely hurt, and while you may think you’re insignificant in this world, there will always be someone who will be effected by your actions.

 

My grandmother passed away only three months ago. To my knowledge she never knew I called her a Bitch.

Thankfully.

I was there with her at the end. I was there out of deep love and admiration for the most amazing woman I’ve ever encountered. How blessed I’ve been to have 40 years with her. How thankful I am that she never knew I once referred to her as something completely opposite of the wonderful woman she was.

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in response to

Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!

by michelle w. on June 28, 2013

Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

when i was 10

Clanking beer bottles, cigarette smoke clouding the air, thunderous laughter, music so loud the floor vibrates… it permeates the house.

All the kids down in the basement running around, sweating; boys trying to kiss girls when they aren’t trying to beat the shit out of one another. A baseball hat shimmies through the air, a soccer ball slams against a wall.

One of the boys sneaks down a can of beer. One has some cigarettes. Our parents will never know. Every once in a great while, one of them—the parents—opens the door at the top of the stairs and shouts down, “Is everything OK down there?” Most of us respond, “Yeah.” The door closes until it’s time for one of us to get called up to go home.

I sit on a stool in the middle of the cold basement, feeling the vibrations from the floor above as everyone whizzes around. The boys taunt one another and me. I’m a girl. I’m to be kissed. Boys kiss girls. That’s what happens.

But I’m just as tough as the boys. If not tougher because boys aren’t supposed to hit girls.

I taunt them just as much as they taunt one another. One dodges in and gets pretty close before another shoves him out of the way… before I lunge toward the shover.

They can’t kiss me. They can try, but they can’t do it.

I feel like it’s just me and the boys, which is awesome. I hate girls. Their dresses. Their pristine behavior. I like the boys. I like pushing and swearing and spitting and stealing and smoking and drinking and playing baseball and soccer.

One of the boys, Darryl, and I start dating. His parents (host of the parties) and my mom shove us into the kitchen pantry one day. They want us to become boyfriend and girlfriend because it’s funny and cute. We’re around 10.

Darryl doesn’t talk much to me, but we date. We see E.T. eight times in the movie theatre. We play Asteroids on Atari a lot. Sometimes he and my brother Marco hang out and play soccer and I ask to play too, but Marco always says No.

When there’s another party and all the kids are in the basement again and the kissing game starts up, Darryl doesn’t even try.

Finally one day I write him a note: “It’s OK if you kiss me.”

I fold the paper and keep it tucked inside my wet palm. He’s in the basement playing soccer with Marco. I slither down the stairs a bit and watch before asking if I can play. Of course Marco screams for me to leave them alone. Darryl says nothing, doesn’t even look at me. I throw the paper down onto the basement floor and shout out that it’s for Darryl before running back into my room to hide.

 

The kiss never happened. Honestly, I’m not really sure what happened to the note. Mama kept partying, but I started staying home alone instead of tagging along.

I never was big on the whole party scene. Not then, and not 30 years later.

 

 

 

 

challenge115

 

Stuck

I’ve spent a great portion of today trying to write. I’ve actually written quite a bit, but I’ve also deleted it all. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. Maybe I should keep the writing and go back to it. But the thing is, I’m trying to write about my past, unrelated to my Lovie, and it sucks.

I lived my life in the past for such a long time and I’ve come to terms with it all. I have no fucking desire to dredge it all back up again. Why should I? Because it may make for an interesting read? Because it may make someone connect with me? Fuck that. Fuck that!

Thing is, all this has made me realize something I’ve realized before–I haven’t lived my life to the fullest. It took me close to 30 years before I finally started Living life for me instead of everyone else. So those near-30 years? YAWN. Much like a bag of unsalted, unbuttered popcorn. WHO CARES?

The early stuff, the memories that pain me most, the memories that might make for the best stories? I’ve lived through it. I’ve worked through it. I’ve come to accept and appreciate it all because without those moments, those days, months and years… I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Life would be very different without my past and I don’t want it different. I just want to live. Today. Not yesterday. TODAY.