March 2, 1997|
I was resting quietly with Laura , feeling so content. Something
about this moment made me want to snatch it out of time, and pin
it down forever.
Lazy Sunday Afternoon|
Just enjoying the moment,
I lay spoon-style
with Laura, napping.
Feeling my belly press
against Laura's back
with each inhalation.
Feeling my tongue slowly losing
from spicy hot spanish rice.
In, out, press; in, out, press.
fills me completely.
later this day...
We watched an intriguing movie this evening. Harriet the
Spy wasn't the greatest movie we've seen, but, oh, did it cut
to the core! Harriet had a little notebook in which she wrote
down everything she saw and thought. She wrote observations
of all her school mates. Even her friends did not escape her
scrutiny. And she recorded some very unkind things. This book
was supposed to have been private. But kids being curious, it
was soon an open book. When everyone found out what she'd
written, she became very very unpopular.
This resonated so well with my childhood, for I too had taken pen
in hand to defame. It was the freshman year of high school. Our
assignment for English was to describe someone we knew in such
detail that everyone could tell what they were like. I didn't
have a clue who to write about. After class, I discussed the
assignment with a friend. K. and I had a good laugh as we
described another friend. Yeah, wouldn't it be funny to write
about C.? She always told us tales in which she had met some boy
who took a liking to her. I'm not sure why, but I was certain
she was making up the tales to impress us all. Was it because
the idea of getting all excited over some stupid boy was foreign
to me? I'm not sure, but I was certain the stories were at
least exaggerated. K. egged me on, "Yeah, you should really
write about C. She really deserves it!"
By then, my head was swirling with all sorts of things to put in
the article. We revelled in the 'fun' of this. I went home and
honed the article as best as I could. I thought the mystery of
who the person was would be a secret to K. and me alone. So when
I read it out loud in class, I was totally shocked when the
aftermath occurred. Somehow everyone in the class knew I had
written about C.! I was mortified. And most certainly C. knew
I had written about her! She had one final conversation with
me before she never spoke to me again. She told me how she had
thought I was so sweet and innocent, and how her grandmother, who
was raising her, thought I was so sweet and innocent. She said
her grandmother was always telling her, "Why can't you be nice
and sweet like Joan? She'd never say or do anything to hurt
anyone." "Well, my grandmother was WRONG!"
By then, I felt so terribly bad. Unlike Harriet, who managed to
patch everything up with her friends, there was nothing I could
do to undo what I had done. Even K. didn't have much to do with
me after that. In fact, after that, I was pretty much the loner
all through high school. All my friends were suddenly busy with
boyfriends. I felt totally deserted.
It is the one thing in my life I wish I could do over. I wish I
had really thought over the consequences of what I had done. If
I had any clue at all that she would know I had meant her, I
would have never done it. I would have never wanted to hurt
anyone's feelings, much less the feelings of someone who was a
friend. It was a very painful lesson. But I learned never to
put anything in print that you would mind if it got to be public
knowledge. You just never know, and you can't take it back.
Those words are out there, forever.