Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day Thirty-three - "Who knew at age twelve?"

I got down to Dauphin Island around 5:30 yesterday afternoon. The grass was extremely high so I decided to start mowing a little. Got about a quarter of the lawn mowed when I ran over an illegally cut down pine tree stump and bent the blade of the mower. That stunk. Once I got the blade fixed the mower wouldn’t start so I decided to call it a night and go inside and chill. I fixed some dinner – fish, asparagus pan sauteed with olive oil and garlic, and a sweet potato with a little butter. Yum. I haven’t had butter in a while – it was good. I watched “Meet the Abbotts” but couldn’t tell you the ending because I fell asleep about 8:30. Must have really needed the rest. I woke up this morning about 7:00. I never sleep that long.

Went out to see if I could get the mower started and did so I went ahead and finished the front yard. I need to get to the back yard soon but before I do, I wanted to write a little about my findings through the emails and correspondence I’m reading. There is so much information that I’m a little overwhelmed by it. A lot of stuff I didn’t even remember because it’s difficult to. ( I know – never end a sentence with a preposition – please give me some writer’s leeway.)

The earliest correspondence I have is on July 10, 2003. Evidence from the email shows that I had been in contact with Michele prior to this, however, I don’t have any actual hard copy of that. I copy part of it below. It shows my state of mind during this time.

Hey Michele,
You know what really hacks me off? I’ve been getting lots of pictures from so many people about the reunion and so many of them look like everyone had such a great time. But I feel like ASIJ and my memories of it are sooooo over burdened by the experience I had with Jack that I can’t and never will enjoy those memories.

It’s like I was robbed of my childhood and now am still robbed of it as an adult. My relationships with my classmates are very superficial. Even some who know about what happened seem to discount it and try to act like it was no big deal. Even I’m trying to do that.

It takes too much energy to relate to people like that. I find myself not interested in those superficial relationships. But yet I know I have to have them to relate to people all through out life.

I love those pictures you sent me, too. In fact, the gentleness and tenderness they depict reflect my feelings about you. You are very special to me and you always will be. Keep me posted.

Michele's response sheds interesting light on different things. I’m not going to post her correspondence to me verbatim but just summarize it as there are personal things in there that I don’t feel are my place to share. However, pertaining to this discussion, I will share those things.

Michele went to the reunion in San Francisco in order to find out if some memories she began having were valid. She began having memories of things about a year before and “was trying so hard to try to remember if (IT) really happened or not, and I thought coming to the ASIJ reunion would help me recover my lost mind.” She approached the former ASIJ principle (early 70’s) and thought he might help her but after her attempt to even great him casually and joke with him he, “blanched stiffly and moved away, clearly uncomfortable and anxious to get away from me.“

She goes on to talk about how she arrived in the “groupies” category of Jack. Evidently, she was in the guidance counselor’s office crying and Jack “laid eyes on the 12 year old me and called my mother, inviting me to Miyake. I spent every summer and school holiday there till I graduated from high school.”

She speaks of one young girl who used to go out to Miyake alone without anyone else. She would cry before she went, telling her friends she didn’t want to go, but they never discussed why. “Who knew at age 12?”

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