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Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Sometimes you want to help others but can't trust them.
Sometimes they have something you want but you cannot buy.

Sometimes these two realities align in such a way as to make a tenuous situation that devolves into a miserable experience for one of the parties.

 In sixth grade I had such a situation occur to me.

Tesla did a cover of the song Signs and it was a song I liked.
A kid in my class, Mark, had the single cassette of this song.
One day, when he happened to have the cassette with him he had a need for cash.
I happened to have $6 on me and he, somehow, knew this.

I found him to be untrustworthy and I did not want to comply with his request to loan him the $6.
This is when he produced the single cassette and offered it as collateral.
This, being a song I actually really liked, became a difficult deal to resist. I like helping people, I wanted him to like me and there was some additional pressure to accept the deal from another classmate, Nick.

I borrowed the cassette and I enjoyed the tape for some time; through until the prearranged day that I was to get my $6 back and return the tape.

I remember it clearly. I remember which of the "secret" pockets in my jacket I had stored the tape and I remember the conversation.

A slyly smiling Mark and a smirking Nick told me that Mark had the money and they showed it to me.

I went to get the tape from my jacket... and it was not there.
I searched my cubby (we didn't have lockers) and it was no where to be found.

"What's wrong? Did you forget it?" was the sarcastic and snarky response.

I knew, then, exactly what had happened but I had no way to prove it.

Either Nick or Mark had gone through my stuff, including my jacket, and found the tape.
They stole the tape back prior to presenting the money for the return exchange.

It was solidified for me when Mark put forward the final comment of "oh, well, if you'd taken better care of my tape this $6 would be yours again."

This incident, along with countless before it that Nick had been involved with, outlined that I could not trust Mark, either.

Sadly, my options of peer interaction were incredibly slim in number.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hide and Not Seek

I grew up in a small town.
It was so small that my 8th grade graduation harbored 13 students, one of whom was skipping 8th grade to graduate with us.
There were not a lot of people whom I could choose from as friends as a child.

This is a single example of how poorly some of those options were.

Ben and Nick were two of the five boys in my class. I, obviously, was one of the remaining three.
Ben and Nick's mothers were close friends and they spent a great deal of time together. In fact they were the closest thing that either of them had to a sibling for each other.

This, of course, did not bode well for those who were to spend time with them.

I recall a specific point in time in which I was spending the day with them at Ben's mother's house.
We played for a bit and then we were left alone.
I cannot recall if it was Nick or Ben that suggested be go outside to play but it was one of them. After a short while they suggested we play "Hide and Seek" in the woods near, and surrounding, the house.

To me this seemed like a game that would work well for the three of us and wouldn't be something in which they could gang up on me, as they had a history of doing.

And I was right; they didn't gang up on me in the game at all.

They just didn't even play.

I was one of the two that was to go hide and I ran off into the woods and found a spot to hide in.

And I waited.
And waited.
And waited some more.
I peeked out from my hiding spot and saw no one; affirming that I had a good spot.
I waited.
And waited.
And peeked out again, this time listening to the dead silence of the world around me being, occasionally, broken by the sound of a passing car on a nearby road.

I began to wonder if I had, in fact, found a great hiding place or if some trickery were being played upon me so I departed my hidden den.

I quietly walked through the woods and approached the house.

I found that I had not really been selected to hide, but rather, to seek.

And I was suddenly successful in finding both Nick and Ben in their hiding spot.

Their hiding spot was sitting on the floor in front of the TV, playing Nintendo.

Here my memory of this event ends; but I know it was not the first, nor the last time that I was betrayed by the pair.
Yet, for lack of any other options I had to continue to play with them for the remainder of my childhood.

I find I occasionally wonder what level of damage such situations inflicted on my permanent psyche and whom I would be if I had not suffered at their hands so often.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sunset over the river

The mirror breaks the stillness of the forest as its shimmering surface glides seamlessly by.

The dappled colors of autumn reflect the trees that overhang the water on the surface.

Both high above and deep below the rose-tinted clouds drift past on a lazy course, each harboring a deep violet core.

Dusk is climbing up the river and into the woods, chasing the orange orb further and further upstream as the world sits idly watching.