Monday, October 5, 2015

The Hole in the Screen

I've been feeling nostalgic lately. I think this time of year, my pregnancy and the fact that my ten year reunion is happening this week is causing all kinds of memories to flood my consciousness.

Not to mention that fact that as soon as I posted that I was releasing myself from the pressure of sticking to a schedule, I found inspiration knocking at my door.

Last week was really hard. I had the auditors which is always stressful, but then every night Bryan had a gig. It was a challenge, going from intense, busy days at work to single-momming it at night. Single moms are my freaking heroes man. Bryan had a golf game scheduled on Saturday plus a gig in Bakersfield. And wouldn't you know, he had a gig on Sunday too. Basically, I'm exhausted.

While Bryan was golfing, my Saturday was packed. I had a few errands to run and many chores to do. I told my mom that I would do her makeup for her high school reunion, after which I had to speed race to get myself and Shepherd ready for a birthday dinner. It was go, go, go, from the moment I woke up. I did schedule time to take Shepherd to the Renaissance Fair, which was really fun. We basically just walked around, looked at all the booths, watched a juggler and part of a dancing show, then set off to find my little monster-killer a sword.

Being at the fair took me back to middle school, where I was impossibly attracted to a kid named Jon.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to describe Jon. He had a hard upbringing that was very different from my own. We bonded and would have long talks about life, religion, relationships. We disagreed on a lot, but in the kind of way that was respectful and grew us both. Jon was tall and actually pretty massive for his age. He was exactly the kind of kid you would not want your Christian daughter hanging out with. He looked like bad news, but he was actually a big old teddy bear. I remember, he gave the best hugs.

Because of our home lives and our age, we didn't spend time together outside of school. With Jon, I felt safe. This was a time in my life where things changed from one day to the next and I never knew what I was going home to. Jon was level and constant. We both had plans to attend the Renaissance Fair one weekend and so we decided to meet up.

I never made it.

In the environment I grew up in, I struggled a lot with how my parents would flow in and out of an actual parenting role. I know that sounds harsh, but they were people with real issues. Unfortunately, those issues took their eyes off their kids for periods of time while they were both in survival mode. They would go from being really involved and a decision can't be made without them all the way to they don't even see you when you're right in front of them. I spent a lot of my life invisible, operating on the outskirts of their heartbreak. For those reasons, I had a lot of resentment towards them when they would step back into "parent" mode, because in my young mind, I was doing just fine without them around. I'd rather them be watching each other than me. I had good grades, was a good kid. I could handle things.

Well, the Saturday that I had plans to go to the fair and meet up with Jon and other friends, my parents decided to be parents. Lucky for young me. I missed out on meeting with friends and a rare moment of being with my crush. My parents told me of their disdain for the Renaissance Fair and the debauchery that goes on there. Women are half-dressed and men are drunk all day! There was no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks was I going and that was final. I thought it was ridiculous, my Dad putting up such a fight about going to a public, mostly family-friendly fair because of men being drunk all day. I sat on my daybed, which sat right underneath my window, angry at the injustice and hypocrisy of it all.

I don't remember leaving my room much that day. I was ticked and I wanted to be alone. I read books and while I can't say for sure, I most likely listened to Eminem. It was my teen way of sticking it to my parents. That and watching the Simpsons.

Night fell and I heard a knock on my window. I slid it open and there was Jon. He told me about the fair. We talked for a long time. My mom came in and he ducked. I thought for sure I was caught. She left and we resumed talking. He said he had bought something for me at the fair and didn't want to wait to give it to me Monday. I told him there was no way I could get out of the house, so he used a knife he had bought at the fair to make a hole in the window screen just big enough for a ring to fit through. It was a titanium ring... or at least a knock off of one. I knew it was a bad idea, cutting through the screen, but I let him anyways. I grabbed my precious gift and said thank you. He left to ride is bike home.

I remember being in bed, trying to picture myself at the fair with my friends. I knew that I'd hear all the stories on Monday, but because of Jon, I had a special story of my own. He included me and was thoughtful though he didn't have to be. It was a sweet gesture from a boy I liked that has stayed with me all these years.

As I walked the Renaissance Fair with my son, I saw rings just like the one Jon gave me all those years ago. I smiled. Somethings don't need to change, but searching the fair for the perfect sword with my son made me happy that some things do.


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