HOW'S THE DAY
I saw his text and flipped my phone over so I did not have to look at his words, I was finished with him and believed I had made my position clear? I sighed pouring the hot tea into my cup it is always hard when we leave something behind. sipping the tea I walked towards my computer to download the days films, Sparky my cat wrapped his white paws around my right ankle, " hi Sparky spark plug" I giggled and sat down to work.
It's the shoes:
First few days of the new school year and the smell of new note books, pencils and glue filled the air as we worked quietly on our " this is me" picture story project. I was coloring when I over heard the girls behind me, " look at how she is dressed and her shoes are all torn, they are so poor that they cannot buy shoes?" and as that statement ended, came " her brown ugly mother walks every where they don't have a car ", I put down my crayon looking straight away at my worn shoes. I slowly pulled my feet under my desk as I sat straight, my curls fell forward to cover my eyes, brushing them back, my heart pounding, the fire that is my anger burned. I had not a shame in being in poverty, and I wore my old very clean well pressed clothing with pride, but name my dear mother as " brown ugly", and there were tears to fall which would not be mine. I finished my project just as lunch recess bell sounded, I knew exactly what I would do as I pulled on my hand made sweater with Irish lace cuffs.
Run the Day:
The Michigan weather changes fast as the morning can be warm sunny turning to a hail storm of ice later in the day, I ran the miles of my Grandfather's farm with his six large German Shepherds pacing me. The coolness of the lie that is sometimes our summer pulled at my small frame, I thought of nothing enjoying the zone of every aspect of my body in motion pulling away at the day as I ran miles. The dogs were not pets they guarded the farm known as the " homestead", bought by my German born Grandfather with the money earned working in the automobile factories of Detroit. My Grandfather sent the dogs out to find me as I coursed the miles of corn fields when it was near dark, doing the finding of his " bumble bee", the dogs paced me back to the farm when my father had lived as a child.
I entered the "resting area" by a large oak tree that had six picnic tables and a huge fire pit, which was lighted to mark my way back, seeing my Grandfather I ran up to him in a jumping hug with him holding me close, before placing me down to point to wood handle of the water well pump for a washing. I was filthy with the dirt of the day run and my curls held back by a long braid, I let the cold water rinse away the dust. I heard my Grandmother's laughter, a tiny woman who only spoke German, " bumble bee eat", placing a huge plate of potatoes and sausage. I said Grace, and dove in to the food as if I was still starved, " slow down girl no one going to take your food away anymore", I put my hands in my lap embarrassed, he was right I ate like a squirrel desperate due to the near winter time. I slowly moved my hand to my fork again to start again with this time as a lady who knew better should, " how was the run girl?" , I smiled covering my huge teeth, and nodded, " it was great I ran along side the train tracks and the great train blew his whistle for me!", I loved running against that train knowing I would never ever win. My Grand Father laughed, " you have the energy of five people and the imagination of fifty be careful girl", we giggled together in our dinner talk time.
Not again right?
Our hospital unit was slammed with admissions and it was organized busy, I was running from room to room to help the patients and teach about breastfeeding, I over heard two nurses speaking, " that Bonnielynn thinks she is so beautiful and smart, she always dresses up for work, who does that?" again the noted laughs that never age in cruelty from childhood as women tear at each other in secret conversations. I shrugged they were not really my friends and I understood this, also their sloppy attire just " rolled out of bed, farted and came to work look ", would make my cleanliness seem strange to them. I gave them no more a thought until today to write this, and then they will fade away like most with no thought or possibility of challenging their own life. I also could understand that my being placed to over see their work as a threat, they were indeed a lazy lot. Some things are not out grown in childhood and that is unfortunate.
Misery gets a ride:
I watched to the two girls nicely dressed in pink and blues enjoying the swing set by the edge of playground they had their backs to me so they did not see me approaching, I ran fast pushing the girl to the ground I slapped her face, punched her nose. The other girl who commented on my mother jumped off the swing ran screaming, " help help Bonnielynn is beating up Ann", I chased after her and pulled her back by her ponytail, " no I am not I am beating YOU up for calling my mother names", I could hear kids yelling for the teacher, and adult footsteps. I jumped on her stomach and started to smack her mouth while twisting her hair, " you talk again about my mum in front of me you devil and I will fight you again!" , and it really wasn't a fight more like an ambush of the weaker, and her cries meant nothing to me. I felt my body jerk back and up as the principal pulled me off my classmate, " Bonnielynn again! well not surprised you little hooligan" , I was still swinging as I became air-born snatch back by my sweater. I was set down on my "time out " chair in the school's office as the secretary greeted me, " again today Bonnielynn not surprised at all" she wrote out the note to be pinned to my red jacket that had a pin to hold it, the thought to take off the pin never occurred to anyone. We had no phone so all conversations were via notes pinned to Bonnielynn's red Goodwill used jacket, I sat in my chair all red faced and breathing hard. As I handed my note to my mother it was hard to see her disappointed face as she said daily, " oh another note", as if that was a new surprise? I never told my mother I fought because they made fun of her, as I could take name calling but not about the one person I and the Lord knew had done no badness.
Hows the Day?:
I sat on the " time out " chair in our small kitchen as usual, eating carrots from my Grandfather's farm when my mother placed two new shoe boxes on my lap, " these arrived today Bonnie girl please try to take good care" , I nodded the best intention. Opening the first box were my new school shoes, brown with buckles, we had traced the outline of our feet on sheets of paper to give the makers of the shoes, which I imagined were little dwarfs with bad teeth. I put my feet inside their newness and looked at my worn old socks, well that did not matter the shoes were glorious, opening the second box I saw a flash of red first flipping off the top I saw my new red Keds, and I danced around the kitchen, " new new new new ", they smelled like rubber and canvas. Just as I finished my child's happiness dance Grand Mary entered our small kitchen, " just so you know Bonnie girl, red is an elegant color not good for redheads, but good for you" dancing past me with her ale in hand, and a swift kiss on my freckled face, " hows the day girl?"