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slice of life

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Two vignettes.

Just another place

I moved to Lawton, Oklahoma in the middle of my 4th grade year, which was pretty typical, begin the school year in one state and end it in another. Oklahoma was all flat prairie land as far as I could see. Roads dotted with buffalo chips and dead prairie dogs. Mountains the size of molehills. The neighborhood was nothing too special; I lived on the corner of Mission Blvd, there were kids in almost all of the houses surrounding mine. First day of class jitters, they always happen and the ritual is the same. I stand in front of the class, while the teacher asks me where I’ve moved from, I reply and then I smile and grit my teeth as she butchers my name and introduces me to the class. I can hear tittering and I try to ignore it and walk to my desk.

During recess, I’m walking around the softball field watching the different groups of kids around the yard. Who looks the most approachable? There’s a group of girls next to the swing set, I casually walk over and a tall chubby girl with brown hair turns to me and smiles. We exchange hellos and names, she turns back to the conversation and I stand just outside the circle listening in.

A crime has occurred in the woods directly behind the school. A young girl, of same age, had been raped and killed the body discovered just last week. They delight in retelling the story for the newbie and I pressed forward morbidly curious. Do they know who did it? I ask. The police are interviewing her family members but they don’t have any suspects but we know who did it. Who? I ask. There’s a homeless guy who lives in the woods, he did it. We’re going to go look for him after school today, wanna come? Sure. For some reason it made perfect sense at the time.

Things left unspoken

I’m sitting on the floor of my best friends bedroom. I’m flipping through some teen magazines that I’m not allowed to have. Music is playing in the background and Joy’s sitting on her bed. Her mother pops her head in the door and briefly says, hi. She disappears. Joy tells me that her parents are getting divorced and she tells me why; her dad has been touching her. We’re 11.

I’m sitting on the floor of my living room; I’m sitting right in front of the television playing videogames. My friend Sandy is sitting cross-legged beside me watching, waiting for her turn. Outside the sun is beginning to set and my mother comes in to tell us that it’s getting late. We plead for just a little bit more time and are granted a one hour reprieve. Sandy tells me that she doesn’t want to go home. When her sisters not there her uncles bother her. Her sister has left for the weekend. She makes me promise not to tell. We’re 13.

I’m sitting on the floor of my bedroom. There’s music playing and I can hear the sound of my roommates moving through the house. I’m typing on my laptop and responding to some friend requests on Facebook. I find out Joy’s newly married with a 3 year old child. She’s happy and we reconnect. Sandy’s a single mother. Her oldest child is 19 years old.


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