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03 June 2008 @ 02:13 am
messing with your head  
 where i went to summer camp there was this girl called Melanie. she was very small, even though she was our age she looked much much younger and we all treated her like the littlest sister. she must have been in my cabin three or four times. (years i mean) and she was tiny enough she didn't use a wheelchair but sat in an oversized stroller. In all those years i never heard her speak, not once. I assumed she couldn't speak at all. We often heard her grinding her teeth and I thought maybe there was something wrong with her mouth muscles.

one day we're sitting at dinner, and one of the consellors i liked the least was helping Mel to eat. because of Mel's teeth problems or maybe for some other reason i didn't know, her food had to be mashed up, and because she didn't speak usually someone had to sit near her to have her point at things and nod and shake her head accordingly. on this day this horrible consellor asks Mel, "do you want some milk?" and she just says, clear as a bell, "yes." and all activity stopped. For about a second we were a pantomime of ourselves, forks halfway to mouths, eyes all shifted in one direction, and then we all piled on Mel and hugged her, everyone, all the five of us campers, and the three or so cousellors too.

After the hullabaloo died down, this cousellor pours Mel her milk and asks if she wants more to eat and Mel nods. and the counsellor says "no, use your words melanie," and Mels just looking at her, just staring and nodding, and the consellor's going, "mel I know you can talk, come on, just say yes or no." and her little head is bobbing up and down furiously, and it gets so she's knocking on the table saying as loudly as she can yes yes yes while not saying anything at all and the stupid bitch is still going, "use your words melanie" and all i can think of is what part of you doesn't understand english? and the poor little thing starts crying these silent tears with her big eyes behind her big round glasses and we're all just WATCHING and then, and then, Melanie gets her dinner, and all of us are looking at each other because we don't know what to say because we understood perfectly well, and we know she did, this is her first year, but it's been almost two weeks. I think someone squeezed Melanie's shoulder, and i know there was some furious pissed-off whispers between the campers, but that's all i know.

I don't know why I thought of that story, except that I just finished reading Invisible Monsters. I wish I had the courage to break myself and rebuild, that i had the strength for that one big fuckup. Truth is I'm so far gone now, from the fuckups i DIDN'T choose, i'm not sure there'd be enough of me left after it was over. I wish I could face that, but I guess I'm just shallow. Truthfully, I wonder why we're always asked to explain and account for everything that's different. There are plenty of people in the world who, when they crash and burn, they don't care who they take with them. And then there are those who just want to know someone's going to fucking pay attention when they talk.

is that so wrong?