monster

I finally started writing my piece about my hometown this morning. It got long quick because I have no filter or editing skills apparently. Even as my posts grow I keep an inner sketch of the thing’s skeleton and what I want covered. Sometimes I even get to it all. I know I have a paragraph or two left on the hometown slice. But I can’t focus on that anymore today. A student pulled me aside in confidence at around 10 during reader’s workshop. An eleven year old student chose me to finally unleash an long unwanted burden upon.

I have information at my fingertips. Like, for example, when I have to make my first phone call ever to DCFS I have all the numbers and dates and locations they need right on my computer. Or like, for example, if I suddenly snapped and wanted to confront a sick, cowardly monster 4 minutes away from the building where I am tasked as a mandated reporter – I know the address. It stares at me from my screen. It taunts my sensibilities as a man. As a teacher and coach. As a human being. That address assaults every part of my inner everything as a dad. I was on that street 4 days ago. I could be there again in 4 minutes. As a man, coach, dad, teacher, and human being, I will not go, of course. Karma knows addresses too.

I can’t write a lot today. I, for once, am not focused on me. I will say I get choked up all the time when the Time’s Up or Me Too stories have been read or seen lately. I have admitted to friends, recently actually, how blown away I am by the amount of people I have loved, people I have loved the very most in my life, have had these horror stories be such monumental parts of their young lives. Stories I have heard told, or half-told, as a means of exposition or background or, depressingly, as a way of explaining behaviors seen as untoward or awkward. Not just the top 1 percent of people to touch my heart, either. I have heard so many times #metoo stories from people whose orbits have overlapped mine, well before pins were made and it became a thing. One time is too many times, I know. Hearing someone you love most in the world tell you “me too”? Ugh.

But then you realize the pit drilled into your heart/stomach/brain/soul as you try to process the depths of your pain over hearing your person went through something so heinous, is nothing compared to what the person actually went through. Is probably forever going through. It adds a little extra poison and vile fire when you hear the story happened when the victim was young. This whole thing is just so gross and wrong and I guess the point is that it is filling me with both very basic and very complex, extreme, emotions. All which pale in comparison in cases like this to the poor victims.

I’ve been saying since I started working in education that I love every second of every day I do my job. I have been chewed out as a teacher starting out for making mistakes and I have worked days sick as a dog and I have made countless more mistakes and had some very hard behavior days that seem to never end. But I have, 100%, loved every second. That streak, and a little bit of my heart, broke today. I don’t understand so much about this world. I have no clever words today. I’m just mad at monsters. And I feel so lost. Our poor babies. All of them.

5 thoughts on “monster

  1. That’s a powerful last line (to go with a powerful whole piece). How lucky for the child that they felt comfortable enough with you to tell you.

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  2. This hurt. Straight to the gut. I wrote a post earlier this month about just one of my MeToo experiences. There’s just so f’n many of them for all of us. I feel for each woman and girl I hear from, in person and through writing. It’s like this common knowledge thing that we never talked about being our norm. So messed up. Back to your piece though, that girl. That poor poor child. Monster is right. Call them what they are. It’s how we know who the good guys are. I’m glad you’re that man for her and for others.

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