Get on the Bus

Let me tell you about my first day of school.

I - A Matter of Birth-Dates

I started school really young. I was five years old. I know. That’s not an unusual age for a child to enter kindergarten, but what was unusual in my case was my birth-date. July eighteenth is right smack-dab in the middle of the summer. While most kids have their birthday during the school year, I had my birthdays during summer vacation. So, while most of my classmates in Mrs. Woods’ kindergarten class at Klekner Elementary, in Green Township, Ohio were five years old, just like me,… the vast majority of them would celebrate their sixth birthday at some point before kindergarten was over. My summer birthday differentiated me from them in two ways. One; I would not turn six until nearly two full months after the school year ended. And two; when the school year began, I had only been five years old, for about a month.

Think about that. I had been a four-year-old just a few weeks before school began. Most of my classmates started kindergarten having established themselves, so to speak, into the age of five, by several months. In my case it was a few weeks. And so would this age-lag-behind-my-classmates continue in perpetuity throughout my school career.

I realize that this doesn’t seem like that big a deal at first blush. Most people wouldn’t even notice it on paper. But, ask anyone with children about the difference between a four-year-old and a five-year-old, or a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old, and certain aspects of the story I’m about to tell you might make a little more sense.

II - The Move

My family, at that time was still in the process of moving to a new home in Green Township. When my father had initially gotten out of the Air Force, we’d moved in with my grandparents in Stow, Ohio, on the other side of the county for about a year, and that’s where we’d been living. There was some kind of orientation for students and their parents that was held at the school a couple weeks before classes were to begin, and what I remember about it was that it was a really long drive for us, because we hadn’t yet moved-out of Stow.

When the first day of school actually arrived, we’d only been living in the new house through the weekend. It had been a busy weekend, for obvious reasons. The new place was in a housing development of duplexes and quad-plexes. The housing units were connected via a branching tree of dirt-and-gravel drive-paths that converged at the entrance to the development.

III - The Big Day

Monday morning, my Mom got me up before light. I got dressed, had breakfast, got my little tote-bag with all my new school supplies in it, and headed for the bus-stop at the line of mailboxes where the allotment-entrance connected with the road.

We had been instructed to have my name and address written on a note card. At the end of the day, my teacher Mrs. Woods told the class that there would be teachers and staff waiting at the buses, outside. We were each to show our card to any of the adults. They would have clipboards noting the bus routes, and they would tell each of us which bus to get on, in order to get home. They weren’t the same bus-routes as the morning, you see. For the first half of the school year, kindergarten was only a half-day. In practical terms, this meant that while all of the elementary students were being picked up by the morning bus-routes, only the kindergarten class were going home at 1pm.

At one o’clock, at Mrs. Woods’ instruction I got into my coat, packed my belongings into my tote-bag and lined up with the rest of the kids at the classroom door. The bell rung and we all went out to the buses. From the moment I stepped outside, I knew something was wrong. I noticed that none of the teachers actually had any of the “clipboards” Mrs. Woods had been talking about. Regardless of this, all of the other kids were going up to teachers and asking them where to go, showing their address cards and being pointed to a bus. I did likewise. I went up to one of the teachers and handed her my address card. She took it, read it,… and looked very puzzled.

“Both of these buses go to East Nimisila,” she said, taking me by the hand, leading me several steps down the line of buses and gesturing at two of them right next to each other. “Which end of the road do you live on?”

I stared at her for a moment, not sure of what to say. Then, I said; “I don’t know. We just moved in.”

“Um,… okay,” she said. “Wait here for a minute. I’m going to go ask somebody. I’ll be right back.”

With my card in hand, she jogged away, back into the school building…

…and I never saw her again.

To this day, I don’t know what happened to her. In fact, I don’t remember ever seeing her again, in the four years that I was a student there. Now, in those days, for reasons I don’t remember, for first and second grade, we all went to Greenwood Elementary, then back to Klekner for third grade. Also, my family moved to Akron over Christmas break of my third-grade year. So admittedly, between Kindergarten and third-grade, I only actually attended Klekner for a year and a half. But, this is all digression. The point is, this teacher, with very little time remaining before the buses were going to leave, had taken the only record of where my new home was and promptly vanished from the face of the earth.

A few minutes went by. The doors to the buses began to close with the squeaky clank of lever-action that had never been introduced to the concept of lubrication. I looked around me and noticed that the teachers had all, apparently gone back inside. I gazed up the little stairwell in front of me to the driver of the bus I was standing next to. She was a woman on the younger side of middle-aged wearing a Green High Bulldogs t-shirt, ball-cap, and sunglasses.

“You gettin’ on?” she asked me.

Not knowing what else to do, as the other East Nimisila-bound bus was already pulling out, I climbed up the stairs into the big, yellow juggernaut and found a seat.

Now,… there was a fifty-fifty chance that this was the correct bus, right? But, your chances, dear reader, are much better, because I’m going to give you the standard three guesses as to whether the bus I’d gotten onto was the correct one.

As chance had it, East Nimisila was at the end of the bus’s route. There were a few different housing allotments on that road. The entrance to each of them was a dirt-and-gravel drive with a big line of a dozen or so mailboxes along the side. These entrances were spaced several hundred feet apart along Nimisila, with several houses in between. All the other kids were getting off at their stops without a hitch, but the big difference between them and myself was that they had all been living in this area longer than a weekend. This difference wouldn’t have been that big an issue, if some infernal imp hadn’t disguised itself as a human adult and swiped my address-card before skittering back to hell with a wink and a cackle.

“Ok,” the driver said to little Christopher, the last kid still on the bus, as she pulled the lever to open the door. “This is my last stop. You getting off?”

Blank-faced, I stared out the window.

Yup, that was definitely a dirt-road with a long line of mailboxes next to it. It could have been the right one, I guessed.

“I don’t know if this is the right place,” I said, nearly in tears.

“You can’t stay on the bus,” she said, “You’d better get off here. You have to.” She’d spoken in that tone of voice which adults usually reserve for those moments when they see a child about to do something they will certainly regret, like sticking a fork into a wall socket. “You’d better not do that. You’ll get shocked.”

And there it was. Clear as a bell. An adult had said “you have to.” That was that.

The public sector in 1981, folks. What can you say?

When I hopped down that last step off the bus, since I knew the driver couldn’t see my face anymore, I stopped holding the tears back. My head felt hot, flushed. I couldn’t tell if I was angry, scared or both. I remember the air tasting dry and sandy in my throat. It was a sharp contrast to the ten-pound ball of ice in my stomach. But, as I walked up the drive, even before the sound of the bus’s engine had completely faded away into the distance, I could tell that it hadn’t been the right stop. These weren’t the right houses. This wasn’t home. I didn’t know where I was. I knew I was on the right road, but I didn’t know how long the road was, or which way I should go. So, I went back out to the road and started walking.

IV - I Want My Mommy!

I passed another allotment entrance-path, and another, neither of which had been the right one. One of them had had far too many mailboxes. The other had had far too few. For most of this little journey, that lasted somewhere between an hour and a century, I was too scared to cry. After a while, wondering if I was ever going to see Mommy or Daddy again, I began knocking on the doors of the houses along the road.

That was the first time I can remember feeling genuine desperation. It was new. It was utterly alien, and nothing about it was pleasant. I remember thinking, “This is how a nightmare feels. But, I’m not sleeping. I won’t wake up from this.” A memory crept into my head of a time when I’d been out with my Mom and her sister. They were shopping at a JC Penny’s. Bored. As. Hell. I had been playing and hiding in the centers of the four-sided garment-racks. I would duck out of one and into another, as quick as I could, trying to avoid being seen, pretending to spy on the other shoppers. Before I’d known it, I was lost. At some point, I was found by a store clerk, who made an announcement over the p.a. system, so that my Mom and aunt could come pick me up at the checkout counters. This feeling was like that, only a thousand times worse.

There were no store-clerks to ask for help here.

Nobody was answering their doorbells. I started to wonder if the whole town were deserted. I was too young to realize that, being that it was the middle of the day, all of these people were likely at work.

Finally, at the end of a long driveway, a lady answered her door.

“Aw, what’s the matter sweetheart?” she asked, upon seeing this crying little boy on her porch.

“I want my Mommy,” I choked and pleaded. Now that I was no longer alone, the floodgates had broken.

I don’t remember much about this conversation. What I do remember was that it took this poor lady quite a while to get anything other than “I want my Mommy,” out of me. I remember my utter terror growing with each passing moment as, one-by-one I kept openly smashing the rules I’d always been taught about talking to strangers,… Number 1. Don’t. Yeah,… that one was right out the window. It was a full minute after I’d been sitting on her couch while she phoned the school that I realized I’d broken rules 2 and 3; the one about not ever accepting an invitation into a stranger’s house, and the one about never accepting candy from them. For all I knew, there was arsenic in those butterscotches I was sucking on.

Now, the school apparently couldn’t call my Mom. Nor could they tell this lady my address, because they’d gotten the records mixed up, and couldn’t find any of the new information, (remember we’d just moved,) They had my Grandma and Grandpa’s phone number, and had tried calling them, but they weren’t home. So, they asked this lady, good samaritan that she was, if she could bring me back to the school.

“I want all of you to promise, right now,” Mrs. Woods had said to the class, that very day, during the lesson about stranger-danger that had been the entirety of the second-half of the day’s activities. “that you’ll never ever ever get into a stranger’s car.”

“I promise.”

So, here I was getting into a stranger’s car.

I realize that each of these stranger-danger mistakes seems funny in retrospect. Believe me, they didn’t feel that way at the time. Each of them only further concretized the idea that I was never going to see my family again. By the time this lady had buckled me into my seatbelt and we’d pulled out of her driveway, I was absolutely certain that, at any minute she was going to turn really mean, lock the doors and take me away forever. That thought was a hammer pounding through my brain, over and over and over, and it wouldn’t stop. I swear I don’t think I breathed once during that entire drive. The lady kept talking to me, being really friendly, trying to keep me calm. But, I can’t remember anything she said. I was so scared I couldn’t even think straight. When the school appeared on the horizon, and we pulled into the parking lot, confirming for me that that was indeed where we were going, it was the greatest feeling of relief I had ever felt. Warmth spread throughout my entire body, as if my heart had just remembered to beat after a long lapse.

“We couldn’t get through to your grandparents, Christopher,” the lady behind the counter said, as I sat in a kid-sized plastic chair in the Principal’s office. “But, your Mom just called a few minutes before you got here, so we have your address now. One of the ladies back here is just about to go home for the day and she can give you a ride.”

Later that evening, having finally been reunited with Mommy, and after the really, really long hug was over and I’d finally stopped crying, it hit me;…

…Oh my God, I have to go back to that place tomorrow.

V - Found,... But, Still Very Much Lost

I never did particularly well in school. I had attendance problems all my life. My grades were middling or lower for most of my K-12 career. I couldn’t pay attention or stay focused, and I faked being sick as often as I could get away with.

I hated school.

It felt like prison to me. It felt like it was a punishment for something I hadn’t done, and there wasn’t any kind of appeals system to plead my case to. “You’re a kid, and so you have no choice. You have to do this. If you don’t, if you skip out on it too much, we’ll send you somewhere even worse.”

The one thing I knew, above all else was that none of these people had the first clue about what they were doing. To be sure, there were a few teachers over the years that I did like. They were always the ones who seemed to think a bit more outside-the-box than the others. They were often the same ones who would talk to us like we were people and not a burden to them.

My feeling about school was so bad, I actually looked forward to orthodontist appointments, because I knew I’d get out of school for them. You follow that? I actually saw the process of getting metal appliances hammered up into my gums as sweet relief from the horrors of school. From fourth-grade through high-school, I usually didn’t eat lunch. Honestly, my stomach was too upset, and rather than risk not being able to keep anything down, I just saved my lunch-money. I can remember a news-stand in Akron, just a few blocks from Seiberling Elementary, where I would drop all my saved-up lunch money on the first Wednesday of every month. Some of you reading this know the significance of the first Wednesday of the month. I’ll give the rest of you a hint; it rhymes with “New Comic Book Day.”

Apparently, it's a gaming store now.

I had a hard time socializing. I preferred to keep my head down and wait it out.

In fourth grade, my parents took me for testing at a place called Child Guidance in Akron, Ohio. They knew I was smart. I was reading at a college level in the third grade, but no one could figure out why I just couldn’t seem to perform in school. They began to fear that I might be learning-disabled. Well, it turned out from the battery of tests I was subjected to at that place, that I was actually a genius. It came out, to some degree that school made me very anxious, (though why anyone involved in this scenario from my parents to the teachers needed test-results to figure that one out, is still beyond me,) so they signed me up for private tutoring there. I would be one-on-one with a tutor two days a week, working on my weakest subjects, usually math and social studies and one day a week, I’d meet with a child psychologist.

Turns out, I excelled at math in a one-on-one teaching scenario. It went from too difficult to concentrate on, to patently obvious, almost overnight. Social Studies was still a problem. No one could figure out why, at the time. But, I think I know now. I believe that it wasn’t learning the information in Social Studies class that was presenting me with a problem, rather it was my skepticism of said information. I didn’t have the words or the understanding to articulate this at the time, but it was a subject I just couldn’t take seriously. It was information being presented as objective, that was, in any objective analysis, completely subjective in basic-nature. I can remember that any time my tutor and I would read from that book, I just started tuning out. It struck me as absurd. If you doubt me, see if you can get your hands on a social studies text book,… doesn’t matter what grade level it is. You readers with children won’t have a problem with this. It’s not empirical, objective information. It’s an infomercial, in the form of a book. It’s as if Astrology were being taught as Astronomy, if you will, or Homeopathy taught as Medicine. My brain would not respect what was happening, any and every time that book came out in class. If I’d fully grasped what I was feeling at the time, I probably would have said something like,… “Oh God, here comes the sales pitch for the bridge…” at the start of every one of those lessons.

I don’t want to digress too much on this, but just as an aside here, it might interest you to know that originally, there was a class in public schools called “Civics.” Its purpose was to teach the content and legal-implications of the United States Constitution. Then, after the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war protests through the sixties and seventies, suddenly the government decided to stop teaching kids what their guaranteed rights were, and got rid of Civics class. They immediately replaced it with “Social Studies,” which relegated the Constitution to a footnote in Chapter One of a curriculum that may as well have been titled “Why Your Government is Always Right, and Questioning It Makes You a Bad-Person.”

VI - An Education that Money Can't Buy

Anyway, as horrible as that first day sounds,… and it was. It was truly one of the most horrifying ordeals I’ve ever been through, and believe me, that’s saying something. In spite of that, the point of this post is to express to you that, as I relate that story now, I look back on it as probably one of the greatest and most important experiences of my life. I understand that you might find that surprising. It’s odd, I know, to have fond memories of bone-chilling childhood fear, of feeling lost and abandoned, of tripping and falling down, skinning your palms on the scrabble at the side of the road, because your eyes are so full of tears that you can’t see where you’re going. It’s certainly unusual to think back on an experience of mortal terror and smile. But, that’s exactly what I’m doing as I speak to you now.

You see, it was in actuality a very good first-day of school, and a very good start to my education. That's right, the dunce-brigade at the government-indoctrination-camp had, through their perfect storm of incompetencies, and in spite of their best efforts to the contrary, accidentally taught me something of concrete substance and value. Moreover, they instilled in me a perspective that would, in the years to come, allow me to continue learning that lesson in ever more insightful increments as I continued my school career.

Truthfully, when I think back on it now, the thing that I find most frightening,… so frightening that my heart skips a beat,… is the thought of how very easily that whole experience could have never happened.

If that teacher had been a little more on-the-ball about which bus went to which end of East Nimisila road,…
If she hadn’t walked away with my address-card,…
If she had taken me with her to go find out which bus I needed to board,…
If any of the half-dozen other teachers had noticed that there was still one little boy, staring in confusion at the buses, before they all decided to hit the lounge and pass the coffee,...
If the bus-driver hadn’t been a lazy moron who just wanted to get on with her day,…
If the school administrators had figured out the bus-routes in a timely fashion and had informed all of the students’ parents of their children’s bus-numbers by mail a good week or so before-hand,…
If the office-staff had been competent enough to process a simple change-of-address, or… to possibly… I don’t know… have more than one address and phone number on file for a student whom they knew was in the middle of a move,…
You know,… any of the dirt-simple, basic stuff that any higher-primate with a functioning brain should be reliable for. If any one of a dozen basic competencies had been present in any link in the chain at that school, on that particular day,… then I might never have learned what was probably the most important lesson of my entire life, a lesson learned through deep psychological scars that would ache and throb for years, before I would finally begin to understand it;…

…that authority is inherently untrustworthy.

That it is, in fact fundamentally illegitimate.

To always begin from a position of healthy skepticism and incredulity when dealing with those in positions of supposed power.

To question the acumen, decisions, motives, and actions of such persons, not just persistently, but relentlessly.

Now, again I didn’t know, at the time that this was what that day had set me on a path to learn. It certainly wasn’t that day alone that taught me this lesson. It was a very long course of many such lessons, not all of which quite so severe as that first one, some of which even more severe, that would get me there. That day was, for the ensuing decade and beyond, just a scary and painful memory. The seed of understanding had been planted, but was still years away from taking root, and decades away from blooming. Had I written of this experience prior to say,… age twenty-two,… I wouldn’t be regarding the telling as something positive.

See, as a kid, all I knew was that I hated school. That’s it. I didn’t know why. I didn’t know that I was right to do so. I just knew, for example that I didn’t trust the teachers because I realized I was smarter than nearly all of them and could see through their constant bullshit as easily as if they were cheap, upstart magicians taking to the stage for the very first time, as cards slipped out of their sleeves and the pigeon hidden under their lapel crapped down their shirt. Actually, that’s a terrible analogy. The stage magician has to compete to keep his job, and so has some incentive to be, at the very least competent. So, my sincere apologies to all you aspiring Criss Angels out there.

As I said before, it wasn’t (and isn’t) all teachers. Just most of them. Easily enough of them to make you feel for the struggle of the ones who genuinely care. Those teachers exist. I know this. They exist, and they hate the system as much as anyone. They just haven’t figured out, for whatever reason, that they can do better. Those teachers deserve the benefits and rewards of private sector education-jobs. But, that's a topic for another post, so I’ll leave it for now.

The majority of school officials, teachers, and counselors from K-12… they saw my bad grades, my piss-poor attendance and my attitude and just labeled me as a bad kid. I knew that. Moreover, I believed and accepted it. Why the hell wouldn’t I? I was a child. If I were a better kid, if I were actually worth something, I’d be better at school, right? I’d get good grades. I certainly had the I.Q. and the comprehension. My bad grades were the objective proof that I was bad. Case closed. Right? I cut class all the time, because I was irresponsible. I talked back, and called teachers out when they abused their authority (read: “always”) because I was a little asshole.

I remember my ninth-grade year. Ours was going to be the first class to take the Standardized Proficiency-Tests. We were to take them once as freshmen, and again as seniors. My English teacher,… we’ll just call her Bored Irritated Teacher of Children she Hates,… or simply B.I.T.C.H. …and since there are lots of those, we'll also give her a number, I dunno… 237.

As class began, #237 started talking about test-prep for later that year, when the SPTs were scheduled. She went on for about five minutes talking about how the prep-sessions would be structured before abruptly stopping mid-sentence, looking over all of us and saying, in a very put-upon tone…

“See,… a class that actually had a chance in hell of passing the Proficiency Tests, would have thought to start taking notes about everything I’m saying, right now.”

So, everybody started taking notes, and most probably believed the little half-hearted dodge that it was somehow our fault that she’d never told us to write any of it down.

Some time later, #237 fired up the overhead projector, laid out a sheet of acetate and began writing out the instructions for a study-assignment that we were to complete by the end of class.

That’s when I raised my hand.

“Yes, Christopher,” she asked, irritated that someone was interrupting her.

“I’m curious,” I began. “How well, in your estimation, would someone perform on the Proficiency Tests, if they were the kind of person who would, say… wait until class was half over to actually write out the instructions for an assignment due that same day?”

She stared at me for a long moment, before replying.

“Get out,” was all she could come up with.

I know. Linguistic magic. A veritable firestorm of scathing reparte.

I did mention she was an English teacher, right?

This was a typical experience for me, in school. Things got better sometimes. Other times they got worse. The point is that, at the time, deep-down in the thick of it all, I didn’t have the perspective that I have now. I didn’t realize until well into my adult years, that it wasn’t me who was the problem. I was in a place that I felt constantly threatened by and unsafe within, under the explicit threat of aggressive force for non-compliance/non-attendance, (in this case, one and the same.)

No. I’m sorry if it’s jarring to hear, but the hostage is not responsible for the hostage-taker’s difficulties in carrying out the directives of the abduction. Just because it’s an abduction carried out on a scale of millions of abductees, and everyone has long ago accepted it as normal, does not change the fact, that you are there, under threat of violence.

“But, didn’t you ever go to the counselors or the principal or your teachers and ask for help? Didn’t you ever explain the problems you were having?”

Of course I did. That is, to the extent that I understood those problems myself, I did. Remember, I was being taught, officially by the people I was required by law to trust to know what they were talking about,… that I was the problem. Is it really the responsibility of a 16, or 13, or 10, or 5 year-old boy to explain to teachers and administrators how to do their jobs?

Should it fall upon him to explain, or even to himself understand that those teachers and administrators are in fact part of an oppressive state-indoctrination-system, funded by extortion, that is designed from the ground up to instill in all children present that any of their peers who fail to conform to the proscribed curriculum are, by definition “deviant” and inherently “bad?”

If you really think so, please explain in the comments-section below. I would Love to hear that argument.

But, I am grateful. I am grateful for all of it.

As I said before, I did receive a wonderful education. It was not the education that anyone had wished or intended for me, true. But, it was the education that everyone deserves. Granted I paid for it with a lot of stress, fear, anxiety and pain. But, it’s been a mostly voluntary exchange,… at least on the back end of it, as I have searched and studied and contemplated things as an adult. Even during the most coercive and cruel parts of the trip, the choice was still open to me. I could have buried my head in the sand at any point along that journey. It was almost irresistibly tempting at times. But, I didn’t.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I most certainly tried numerous ways of mitigating the pain, very few of which were healthy, (again, topic for another post,) but I never opted for fearful denial of what was causing it. And for that, for keeping my eyes open in spite of the horror and the years of utter incomprehension of it all, I have, as an adult arrived-at and received a clarity and lucidity concerning people, communication, expression, intention, the difference between voluntary and coerced interactions and relationships, production and consumption,… that I don’t believe any curriculum sincerely intended or designed for that purpose could have accomplished. In other words, it was an education of a depth and quality that can only be obtained through experience. It cannot be granted via lessons or books, not even by the greatest teachers on earth.

Knowledge is yours for the taking. Wisdom, on the other hand, must be won.

If it hadn’t been for that heart-wrenching first day of school, if I hadn’t been knocked out of the car and fallen down into the machinery of the carnival-ride, to see the gears and the chains and motors, I might have simply enjoyed the pleasant little trip past the dioramas and the mechanized, animatronic musical numbers, past the smiling otters and the trumpeting elephants and the dancing clowns, and believed, like so many do, that the little narrative, it was all in service of, was real.

I look around now at the kids who were on that same ride. The happy majority of them who had remained safely in their seats, in the garishly painted little coaster-cars for the whole trip. We’re all standing outside now moving about through the fair and looking at the other rides. Most of them are still coughing up ticket money and going on the Tilt-a-Whirl or the Quasar. Me,… I know too much about the rickety, rusty, shoddy underpinnings of it all. I know, for example, that the guy in charge of “maintenance,” is a barely literate meth-addict who bid the lowest salary for the job of painting over the rust-spots on machinery that was bought used before cable-tv existed, and all that keeps going through my mind, is that if I’d never scraped my knees on those cogs and wheels, if I’d never busted my knuckles in the brackets and chains, I might have gone the rest of my life having never realized how it all worked. As terrifying as it was to be down in that hot, smoky, dusty, tetanus-ridden, oil-slicked place, if I hadn’t been put through that scare, particularly as early on as I was, I’d be like them… not realizing that I’m laughing and cheering on a series of death-traps,… and paying for the privilege.

People tend to only realize the stupidity and the basic evil of the state after they’ve fallen victim to its one-two punch of corruption and incompetence. Some,… most… never learn. Even after such an experience, most simply decide that the best solution to their problem is further appeals to authority. “Hey,” they think, “I can use this system too. I’ll just lobby, or vote, or maybe even run for office myself.”

Understand that these experiences in and of themselves, didn’t teach me anything. They only put me in the position to learn. I had to choose at that point. Learning is always a choice. Am I going to trust to reason, logic and empiricism to really figure out what’s happening here and how it all works, or am I going to relax and slide into the comfort of accepting the narrative in the vain belief that I’ll be able to turn it to my advantage, when its sole purpose is to turn us to its advantage?

I hope that you’ve understood what I’m saying here. I’m saying that for having the experience at all, I was lucky. I was Mega-Millions Jackpot -lucky. The state fumbled me into a living hell, that ended-up opening my eyes when I was barely out of diapers, and continued, in one form or another, throughout my school career.

People I relate this story to nowadays are so consoling about it. They tell me how sorry they are that this happened to me. But, they really shouldn’t be.

They should be sorry that it never happened for them.


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