...a way of seeing beyond inner and outer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All for all..part two.

For part 1: Go here
     No, not the rest of the story, because I don't know how it's going to end, but I'll tell you what I know thus far. There isn't a "rich mean girl" nor is there a "poor sweet victim" in the current iteration of this drama, but in truth,  I now know that neither of those characters existed in the adolescent version either. This is the deeper story of Dana the First, Abby, and myself.
     Dana the First lived in a lovely immaculate home that sat on a lovely immaculate lawn. The home was made so by her lovely immaculate and proper mother who gardened, decorated, dressed her children well and spent a great deal of time volunteering outside the home.  Her father was a leader in the community, hard working, a good provider, a kind man whom everyone loved, and who always had an ear for the problems of others. He also volunteered a great deal outside their home.  The home story was very different, but I didn't know that at the time.
   Her father was an alcoholic who physically brutalized the children and her mother didn't stop it from happening.  Dana's mother was unflinchingly "honest" with her children in her effort to "teach" them to be model citizens of the world. Kindnesses were largely reserved for people outside their home.  No wonder Dana the first hated the rest of us.  Her parents weren't evil, but they were older and had come from a time when there was a general belief that good didn't exist in human beings. They were "taught" by their own parents that one had to over come the baser natures in order to be good.  And for the record, that kind of "teaching" will turn you into an alcoholic.  Ask one.
     By local standards, Abby was poor. There's no other way to say it.  Seven people lived in a five room shotgun house with one bathroom and dirt in the yard, though since there was a car parked in it, I guess it wasn't really a yard. She shared a room and a bunkbed with her brother who was a year younger than she was. At fourteen, she had to go to work bagging groceries after school to pay for her own expenses as well as contribute to the cost of running a household. She paid rent.  Her younger brother began mowing lawns for money long before I met him at eleven. Their mother was plump, uneducated, slightly paranoid, did not keep a tidy home and as I remember, didn't contribute anything to the family financially. I also remember her always ready to be offended by some slight or another and can't recall ever hearing her say a single kind thing about anyone, including her own children.  All I remember of Abby's father was being very afraid of him.  He gave me the creeps so for the most part, I would talk Abby into spending the night at my house.   She had two older sisters who were considered "fast" and there was that music with a beat.  Let's put it this way, I first realized what hips could do by watching Abby's oldest sister dance to Brick House by the Commodores.  For some reason, Abby came out of that environment as a kind person, accepting.
    My own back story of the time is one of being uprooted, tossed on my head culturally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, but the end result was being a foreigner in a place I didn't understand and did not like and I was about to become a teenager.  That alone could have made it a miserable time, but I don't think my parents were happy at that time either and what's more,  I think they were afraid.  Maybe I project, but they had four children, two of whom were entering adolescence and a not distant enough relative who'd shown them what a teenager could do without parental supervision.  Sparing the rod must have seemed to them to be the crueler recourse when it resulted in such horrible outcomes.   It wasn't a happy time for me, but as I said in the original post, I don't think adolescence is for most people, and my parents strictness spared me a great deal of the heartache I saw my peers experience.
  The additional perspective given to me by time, and the additional knowledge I got later, is why wanted to have asked Dana the first why Abby bothered her so much.   My suspicions is that her parents had put the fear of God into her about "that" family and she knew if I became friends with Abby, her parents would question my value as an appropriate associate for their very proper daughter.  She was spouting to me, what she had learned from somewhere else.   She was telling a story someone had told her.   "This" person would "hurt" her in some way.
     If the three of us had been able to sit in a room and tell the truth of our lives to each other, I think we had more in common than not and could have formed friendships that lasted a lifetime. Instead, we stayed in our respective corners, "safe" and I think we suffered for it. I won't allow that to happen in the adult version of this story.  I believe there's a truth beneath the story that is so easily seen on the surface and that there's room for everyone to be included in the circle.  

To be continued


  1. What an intriguing story..I suspect you could spin a fictional version of this into a fascinating novel if you wanted to. I'm sure you're right about Dana the First's motives.

    It's never easy to be put in the middle. I hope this sequel plays out differently than the original.

  2. j,
    girl.. you've got me thinkin'


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