Then there was a boy named Josh. Around the pink linoleum tiles of my cafeteria, there I was- a crushing little third grader. He would do anything to get into trouble. We used to have silent lunches every now and again, when the up and ups thought we were all getting too excited for the next candy-related holiday. When silent lunch went down, the lights were turned off; we were to sit in alphabetical order with one seat in between ourselves and whoever was beside us. Somehow, Josh was assigned to sit right in front of me. The punishment was hated. Suddenly, a few minutes into it, Josh became our fearless leader as he silently plowed down two sandwiches, packed with so much egg salad between the two white slices of bread that it crammed down his throat even faster – the eggs acting as a slick lubricant, mashed with their mayonnaise and mustard fluff. He ate it so fast that in one swift second, he was ralphing.
He puked everywhere. There was total outrage, the cries of disgust, the horrifying realization that the egg salad looked exactly the same sitting on the black table, spilling over onto the pink linoleum as it had when he was eating it– it was mass hysteria. The lights were instantly flicked back on; my classmates were jumping out of their seats, swiping up their lunch materials. Josh was whisked away, in my mind he was handcuffed, but that totally didn’t happen. I hopped up too, but I stood in awe of the boy who ended silent lunch.
In elementary school, I had short, chin-length hair and bangs. My freckles were my calling card and I thought I was so funny, but I talked too much. I got marks for talking too much. I got ice-cream taken away for talking too much. You see, I would buy my lunch as usual and always pick up a tiny plastic container of strawberry ice-cream and a little wooden spoon. By the time lunch was over, I had talked too much and all I was interested in eating and all I had time for was my ice-cream. I had the best kindergarten teacher anyone could ask for. Although her teacher’s aide– I still believe – had it in for me. She caught onto me tossing out my green beans, corn niblets, and empty ice-cream carton and told my mom.
I found out the next day, as my little, slightly pudgy arms reached out for a strawberry ice-cream cup that I had been forbidden to eat ice-cream for the rest of the month. It was taken away.
I should have risen up. I should have returned to school the next day with a huge carton of strawberry ice-cream. I should have melted it down and put it in a water gun and squirted her. I should have refused to leave my seat as I sat eating it. I should have eaten so much that I puked sweet strawberry cream.
But I didn’t.
It’s a funny thing to reflect on being a little kid. I can relate to who I was then more than I can relate to who I have been recently. I hope my lot in life is to return to who I was before I took the ice-cream punishment. Back when I was transfixed by bad boys and wanted to do something stupid, yet totally daring.
A Letter to Me from Little KB:
Things could be worse. It is important to remember, Katie Beth, that things could always be worse. You could have no legs, you could have no heart, you could have no love, and you could have no start. You’re on the very brink of life. You want to see everything. You want to write something, anything, for anyone, any time. You want to pick who you love.
But what is holding you back? Nothing should, not at this point. Your brain is amazing. Your thoughts are great. The way you know you can love someone else has only been tapped into, just barely drizzled.
Sure there are people who will bring you down, people who will confuse you, betray you, and make you feel like you aren’t magnificent. Who cares?
You need to squirt people with water guns. You need to pitch a fit and refuse to leave your seat. You need to puke egg salad. You need to eat strawberry ice-cream.
Little KB (hypothetically, of course)
Little KB (hypothetically, of course)
I started this blog with a Valentine’s Day post. I’ve been through many things since I typed those words, but I believe the same things. I believe that love is two lesbians sharing a diet Mountain Dew in a Philosophy class. I believe that those two girls had to overcome a shit-ton of stupidity to get where they are now. I hope they’re doing well.
For a day solely dedicated to people we love, I am going to spend it with myself. I am going to quietly reflect on how much has happened since I started my little blog two years ago. I’m going to think about who I’ve always wanted to be. I’m going to remember who I was when I was little. And I’m going to listen to my heart. You should, too.
Oh, and by the way. Bon Iver won some Grammy-time. Called it.
Happy V-Day Lovers
Yours, mine, & ours,