Blind Spot

Blind spot

I love my children, wife, and dog, not necessarily in that order. Yet, there are times I think I have a blind spot. Love is a weird emotion; it does not always have clear logical vision. I try to tell myself the vision is never clear when the heart is connected. Although I know as a man I am supposed to know the difference between love and reality. The reality of life we try to hide in amongst the wonderful reality of love. I say the reality of love because one day I know my daughter will ask me “Daddy, when do you know you are in love?’ I really do not have a concise answer because I know in part it is a spiritual connection. How do you explain the reality of love? Like the love between the creature and his creator? Scientist will never understand the equation. If they do not believe the soul is real then you cannot equate that into any compilation.

Life seems to whip by with a few speed bumps along the way. My daughter was born with jaundice they said it was normal she spent two days inside an incubator. That was our first speed bump the next few were the childhood illnesses, measles, mumps, colds, flu. Nothing really big came along until she was in her teens. Here is where the rubber hits the road. This is where your faith, love and hope are challenged.

My wife Linda and I are shaken to the core as we hold each other’s hands while walking down the cold, highly lit hallway of the hospital. Nurses, doctors and indeterminate personal are scurrying from one emergency to the next. No one to ask where our daughter is let alone how she is.

Carla has been a challenge since she reached puberty. She would challenge every rule as she broke them. We thought we finally reached the end of this bump in the road when in her sophomore year she made the list of top students in her class. She was voted class president and the girl most likely to succeed. Carla was coming into her own. Her specialty was biology and science. She wanted to be an astronaut of all things.

Linda answered the door when the police officers informed us that Carla had been hurt. The only information they gave us was she was at county hospital. Nothing of the incident or what caused her injuries.

Linda and I walked into her intensive care cubicle, the sight of her with tubes in her arm, nose, and abdomen. Her legs were both in casts; her neck had a brace on it. If it were not for the tattoo just below her right ear we could not have recognized our daughter with her face so disfigured.

We stood silently staring at our beloved little girl. I glanced over at Linda and noticed she had the same silent tear on her cheek as I did. Linda looked up at me as she turned we grabbed each other sobbing hoping to cleanse the evil from the room.

Many of my more liberal friends call me phobic. Mostly because I disagree with their view of the world and politics, I would much rather people attain professional help instead of going through radical physical changes to themselves and their lives. My friends say I lack empathy due to my lack of education. I respectfully disagree.

Finally a nurse came in asking if we were Carla’s parents. We said yes. She told us that a detective Bryant had asked to be called when we arrived; he wanted to speak to us. We tried asking the nurse for more information in regards to Carla’s injuries. The nurse said that she felt it was best to speak to the detective and that the doctor would consult with us in a couple of hours after all the blood tests and radiology came back.

Linda and I settled into the two small chairs that were available and waited for Detective Bryant. The only sounds in the room were the beeps and squawks of the machines  tending to our Carla’s needs.

I went down to the cafeteria to grab two coffees; by the time I came around the corner I noticed a tall lean man in a grey suit walk into Carla’s room. I reached the door to hear him introduce himself as Detective Bryant.

To sum up what Detective Bryant wanted to know about Carla and her activities nearly brought me to my knees: “Did you know that Carla was involved with a young woman who is going through gender transition surgery. The young woman who goes by the name of Tracy used to be Carla’s boyfriend Tom.”

I stood shaking my head while I said: “We had no idea. What does this have to do with Carla’s injuries?”

Detective Bryant answered: “Carla was in the girl’s restroom at school with Tracy, they were having a heated discussion about the surgery when another female entered and started to butt into the conversation, interjecting her advocacy for the surgery. Carla was heard to tell this girl that this was a private conversation. Carla also stated she felt the reason for Tracy/Tom’s decision was due to his relationship with his dad. At this point another girl walked in and joined the conversation. By the time the incident ended there were 4 girls screaming and getting irate with Carla. They were the ones that caused the injuries. Tracy is also in intensive care for trying to protect Carla.”

I was numbed by the information, angry by the evil intent of those who disagree with someone’s point of view; this causes more harm than it does solve a growing issue.  Linda looked up at me and asked: “Are the lambs being silenced?”

Before the Moonlight

 

Interesting what our expectations are when we are born. The first year through high school the main goals are self-centered, feed me, love me, and pay attention to me. Reality strikes all of us sooner or later. We all pray it doesn’t happen to the innocent at the hands of evil. Unfortunately, that is the way of this world, good and evil plays a role in all lives.

Many of my friends, if they made it to adolescents, had to be home by a certain time or they would meet some construed consequence. My curfew was to be home before the moonlight. One night I decided to push the curfew.My question is what could possibly happen in the moonlight that was evil? All the songs and movies spoke of passion and love is experienced in the moonlight.

I and 2 girlfriends decided to press the envelope and stay out past our curfew. We each had boyfriends who were more than willing to join in on our rebellion.

We agreed to meet in the park at the pavilion. Tables line the cemented floor, covered by an arched roof. The guys got there first and they started the party before us. We giggled and hoped they didn’t drink all the good stuff.

Marsha, Melisa and I each took our swig of the Ripple wine first, then we grabbed ourselves a beer.  John brought a radio and had it turned to our favorite radio station. John grabbed my hand and we started to dance in the Moonlight, Steve danced with Marsha and Frank with Melisa. I knew there was nothing to fear from the moonlight. This was wonderful as the music played we danced and drank.

One hour into our romantic rebellion, Melisa was the first to say: “Did you hear that?” We all laughed and said no. She shrugged it off and considered it a matter of a guilty conscience. What was odd about the evening is no one feared the repercussions. Next, Marsha and I said simultaneously “Did you hear that?”

Everyone stopped to listen. The music was still playing; the tune was ‘Another one bites the dust’. Every time I hear that song it makes me rock as though I am ready to jump.

The pavilion was in the center of the park. You could see light at a distance. The only light that night was the moon. Someone had either broken or shot out the two street lights along the sidewalk leading to the pavilion. Until this moment it did not bother me.

Soon we could see there was someone coming toward us. Just a talk shadow making its way towards us, finally he emerged out of the shadows allowing the moon to cast filtered light upon his face. John spoke up and said: “Greg it sure took you long enough to get here.”

I right away knew something was off. John, Steve, and Frank have been friends since elementary school, Melisa, Marsha and I only met them a month ago at the beginning of our senior year. Greg smiled and said: “I decided to bring something extra to document this perfect evening.”

I bolted for the car hoping Marsha and Melisa had the same miss-givings. They did not. I feel overwhelmed with guilt for not staying and fighting for and with them. Neither survived the rape. Don’t get me wrong the guys did not kill them physically they did it to their souls.

Not all romance ends up at the altar. Some romance is perpetrated in the moonlight to hide its evil.

To this day the moonlight holds no special love nor warm fuzzy feelings it is a cold reminder of that night I lost my 2 best friends. Rebellion has a cost and a net gain, unfortunately, the gain is only incurred through loss reminding us wisdom also comes at a cost.

 

Skip Day

Skipping school was special because it was wrong and there was an element of danger involved, ‘you might get caught’.  Two of my girlfriends had convinced me to skip school on Friday. They both wanted to go shopping. I told them I could not go this week but I will go next Friday. I needed to put a few bucks away to make this event truly eventful. Since I was the only one with transportation they agreed to wait a week. I know, to most going to the mall seems tame compared to other things you could do on a free day like get someone to buy alcohol for you, or go to Canada and see what adventures await. I live in Michigan, there are many ways to get there. I do not think we could pass for 21 or else we would go to a casino. Shopping was the only choice at this point.

I picked up Mildred first, mainly because Sharon can be flaky when it comes to being on time. I hate having to wait for people and as I said Sharon can be flaky. I was surprised when we pulled up in front of her house she was outside waiting for us. As soon as she got in I said: “Sharon this is a special surprise having you waiting for us outside instead of making us wait for you.”

“I have been looking forward to this all week. I already called in sick. The school called back and I was a convincing version of my mother. I did not want to press my luck. That is why I decided to wait outside just in case another call came in.” Sharon said.

“Good thinking, I figured I would bring a note from home tomorrow. I have a note that I saved from a month ago when I told my mom I was sick, she took my temperature and agreed that I should stay home. I held something warm in my mouth just long enough to give me a temp. I told her to write the note at that moment before she forgot because I will need it for the next day. After she left I went to school. It was a half day so I was home before she came home.” Mildred said.

“You guys are brilliant! I did call in and spoke as myself told the receptionist to put me down absent that I would bring a note the Monday. I have the weekend to figure out something.” I said

I checked to make sure we had enough fuel I did not want to spend any time on the side of the road because we ran out of gas. We arrived at the mall to find it nearly empty. I expected more people being that it was Friday. The floors were so polished they looked slippery.

First stop was for a specialty coffee. Next window shopping so we can decide what store we wanted to spend time in. There were seasonal sales and we wanted to take advantage of the one that was the most promising.  We slowly walked the mall with our coffees voicing the pros and cons of each store. Finally, we decided on J.C. Penny. As we approached the store, men with flak jackets and guns came storming through the doors, one grabbed me and Mildred another grabbed Sharon. I started to protest the man said: “You need to leave the mall immediately there has been a bomb threat, and someone is in the mall armed with hostages.”

We were ushered out in front of TV cameras. Microphones were shoved in our faces asking if we saw the guy with the gun. Also asking if we knew how many hostages were taken.

We were so frightened that it did not occur to us till we were on our way home that our skip day was just broadcast live and no one would believe whatever phone call or note we could possibly bring in.

I was pissed, at the end of the day the whole thing was a hoax.