Meaty Subjects, Hungry Minds
Dear Readers, I am a little bit behind in my blog posts because I started school on Tuesday. Fortunately, I have a creative writing class, which is about turning autobiographical experiences into creative writing. I wrote a piece for school that I am particularly happy with, so I’m sharing it today. I am in the habit of illustrating all of my blogs, so I’m illustrating this one with some of my drawings.
MEATY SUBJECTS, HUNGRY MINDS
I always ate very quickly; so that within five minutes I’d consumed every scrap on my plate, or at any rate every bit I had any intention of eating. Years later, when I was an adult who went to business luncheons, and other professional functions that were meal-eating inclusive, I had to learn how to eat in the manner of a civilized human being, and not with the expedited flight (All flight | No fight) response I had for all my years of grade school, junior high school, and high school. Well, at least for the two and a half years of high school I had before testing out in my Junior Year through a GED program. It was the flight response of a bullied child.
Being bullied falsely introverted my attention. I test as a mildly extroverted ambivert, but I seemed shy during these lunches, as I was traumatized. I walked with my face down, looking at my dirty shoelaces, in and out of the cafeteria – and then out and over to the library, where I had a standing date with Susan Cooper, C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Frank Herbert, or Edgar Allen Poe. Actually, these little affairs started with E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web back in Third Grade. It was from E.B. White that I learned “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” These make-believe friends were for years the only school friends that I had besides my one-year younger brother. It was in the seventh grade, when my brother and I were no longer able to sit in the cafeteria together that I began taking these new friends to lunch.
Before the Seventh Grade, everyone thought that my brother Scott and I were twins, because we were so close in age – exactly one year and two weeks apart – and because he was taller. They probably also thought it because growing up as the only children and close in age siblings we were as close as any set of fraternal male/female twins would have been. When I started the Seventh Grade, my brother Scott was still in the Sixth Grade. Sixth Grade was Elementary School, whereas I’d started Junior High School. For the first time, we were separated.
My big, strong, jock, little brother couldn’t protect me from people who threw lunch trays into the faces of girls thirteen with pimples and glasses, so I was alone. I was alone and in danger until I learned not to make eye contact. None of the other children want to sit near me at lunch for any good purpose. If a girl were to approach, it was generally because she wanted to start a fight. The best way to avoid these girls was to avoid looking at them, and the easiest and best way to do that was to have something better to do. I had something better to do. I could read. I wasn’t alone anymore after that – afterwards, I was always having lunch with Peter Straub, or Stephen King.
~ by Sumiko Saulson on June 22, 2012.