I am still processing this one but, I wanted to get it out while it was still fresh.
I've mentioned in my introduction
that I was one of the smallest kids in class. This was especially true as a sophomore. When I said one of the smallest kids, I'm talking having to sit on a Chicago phone book in order to see over the hood of the driver education car (a 78 FORD LTD II). This incident happened after gym class. For years I've always spoken of the first time I stood up to my bullies was senior year, that was wrong. I've never been comfortable with the communal showers in the gymnasium. I always felt they were too open, too vulnerable. I did my business I got dressed and practically sprinted out to the gym, and waited for the bell. That is when my tormentors, the school bullies would normally torment me about being "gay." This day was no different. Tim approached me with his usual antics and asked, "Did you see anything in there you liked queer boy." I will admit that normally in invoked a shame based blush response. This time I just gave him an icy stare. When he did not get his usual rise out of me, Tim did something new, he grabbed my head and rubbed it against his crotch. I got angry and my fist slammed right into his balls. Then began spasmodically beating on him. He was the beneficiary of 8 years of pent up rage. There was a problem with this, I was the smallest kid in the class. Tim was held back twice, he was one of the largest and strongest kids in class. After the initial victory, Tim literally handed me my ass with a epic beat down. I was fortunate we were still on the bleachers. Being the smallest kid in class does have its advantage. I was able to slip between the slats in the bleachers. I made my way to the theater lighting crawl way, and through the theater and out into the hallway. I was able to hide in the bathroom until the bell rang. He would continue call me a homosexual till the day he dropped out but, he never laid his hands on me again.
I'm not sure why that memory came back last night, still digesting it.
This week has been bizarre for me. I keep thinking back to all of the times that I have survived. In spite of enormous odds against it, I survived. I mention in my introduction
my blended family, this week is another one of those times that the Cuisinart effect comes into play. In a Hebrew Haggadah there's a prayer called Dayenu (Dah-yea-nu). It is a step by step retelling of the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. Each step is completed with the response Dah-yea-nu. It literally translates as, "it should have been enough" or "we should be grateful", depending on your sect. I think back to each of those survivals and I am grateful. But with the prayer, with each event when we say Dayenu that STEP is done, now strive for the next step. I'm forced to concede that is where I am in my journey. I have made it from victim, to survivor, and now, Dayenu! On to the next step. I know as revelations go it is not a huge one but, I will gladly take any win.
Peace, joy, and healing my brothers.