About four years ago, I burst into tears in the middle of an American Politics class while giving a book review. I ran into the hallway and sobbed some more. My history teacher, whom I feared and admired intensely followed me out. He made me finish my review. He never really thought much of me, I think. I was a timid smartass, made cocky by being right a few times, and challenged him in trembling tones. But he made me finish, and it was probably good for me.
When I went walking with this guy from highschool before coming back to school, he said all of a sudden "You know what's the saddest thing about you that I remember?" I was surprised, it was something of a non sequitur and I was wondering mildly if there were a list of sad things and this just made it to the top. And he told me about the crying-in-class incident. I had forgotten about it, mostly. He said it was the saddest thing he'd ever seen.
So, hum. I sat around trying to remember what it was like, and what made me behave that way. My therapist, in one of the few times she spoke, said that she thought I had a "sabateur" inside of me who would screw things up when I really wanted to do well. I loved this image and held onto it for as long as I could.
Ah, a sabateur! I pictured a little woman in black pulling wires in the back of my head during the night. When I woke, everything went on well enough until 11:10, precisely as I began to tell my story about Ted Kennedy or whatever it was that day. And then a leak, and then a flood, and short circuits and I don't know, whatever happens when things go wrong in machines. Lots of sparks, I always imagine sparks.
I like The Pretty Pictures In My Head, and do my utmost to cultivate them. Before a big event I would imagine the sabateur locked up in a cell (I think she's a little annoyed). And I would hang out with her foil, a good woman who put me back in order. She's like my mother, only sane. She's my mechanic.
I don't want to be coddled when I'm down, really, no matter what I say. But I like the idea of kissing wounds and scraped knees, instead of being told to "buck up" like my mom always said. Just a kiss, and then she'd reattach a few severed wires, and I'm working again.
Michael asked me who kissed me, because I wrote a little bit about her. I was so embarrassed, because it was just make-believe, and also I sorta forget that people occasionally read the things I write. I was so embarrassed that we talked about the weather for a spell. But it's not sexual, kids, it's just my imaginary friend.
So, that's what that was about. I have seen no wolves, I have kissed no women. Life goes on here much as it has these past three years. I go to work, I go to class, I watch Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and Monty Python. It'd be boring if I didn't make things up. But I don't make everything up, I promise.
before / after
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