Friday, September 17, 2004

you're not mary, but you'll do

those words have echoed in my head since grade school, i can't remember what year it was but they were said to me by my next door neighbor one summer after my vacationing cousin left for home.

they must have had a tryst. mary was (is) one year older than i, all legs, long blonde hair and everything i wasn't. i had lived next to cris as long as i could remember. he was three years older than i and we had little to do with each other. in my awakening to the world of boys though i became very aware of he and his older brother. my sister was best friends with their youngest brother, and my mother with their mom. i was left out of the equation until that day.

it's one of those memories i've had my whole life, but only in bits and pieces. i verbalized it to liam this morning and realized there are still a lot of questions and unknowns about this memory. why i have never before started to untangle it i'm really not sure.

all i remembered was him saying those words to me by the big maple tree that was the dividing line of our back property. the next thing i remember was that we were in my sister's closet. then the needle skips and all i remember after that was screaming for help. i always thought that it was because we were trapped in the closet.

but it was a large 6 foot closet with sliding doors that i never remember getting stuck, but i do remember them regularly smashing my fingers because they slid so fast along the track. it's amazing how the re-explaining of the ending happens... if i know anything about my mother she told me from that point on that we were stuck in there, tee hee... just being kids... tee hee... i'm not so sure now.

that memory never brought me fear before, i always believed it was just childhood experimentation and innocence as my mother instructed me it was, just NORMAL. but verbalizing it this morning put it into perspective as he was either in 8th or 9th grade at the time, so he definitely knew better than just a young kid goofing around, and most likely it was far from NORMAL.

the other memory i know to be true about cris was that he frequently molested my best friend mary alice. she was fully mature in 5th grade and as beautiful as a starlet, not in the little girl, 5th grade way, but in the 'i'm a full-grown woman' way. the boys our own age wanted nothing to do with her, but full grown men and older males always made inappropriate comments (an worse i suspect) to mary alice.

cris grabbed her breasts frequently in the hallway or in the school yard and always rejoined her with 'how now brown cow?.' even when he didn't grab her but passed her in the halls he would echo those horrible mean words with a cruel sinister smile on his face. nobody ever did one thing about it. our culture at that time told us we were to take it. we never even had the thought to report it, that there would have ever been any recourse to stop him.

i have no other memory of him ever being in my house. i was frequently in their home trying to find my mother, but like i said we lived in two separate worlds, until this day. i just have no memory of anything other than my mother finding us in the closet, trapped. i know i was in a panic. frantic. that i remember. but like the re-defining of the oral rape event my mother sought to reprogram this event too.

oh holy spirit, today though i am not virginal, pure and innocent, may i hear those words again, fill me, redeem me - say to me 'you're not mary, but you'll do.'

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