I hid them to the best of my ability—- 36C breasts. I was nine years old. Under my jacket was a monstrosity that grew by itself while I watched. It was ironic that I, who had been so burdened by a sexuality that was not my own, became a freak of nature. Such was I, as I headed off to day camp every day in the early morning and was deposited back at my house in the early evening.
I learned to swim. I got the Most Improved Medal for swimming. That is the medal they give to the person who needs something during the awards ceremony. I never liked sports anyway, unless I could do them alone.
Gary Roxer rode with me on the daily bus ride home from day camp. He was not right in the head. Is that the way you say it, nowadays? I am sure it is not, but you get the point. Gary would find the seat next to mine and stare. He was the only kid who had facial hair.That was because he was too old to be with the other kids. Between the facial hair and the way he looked at me, I wanted to scream but there was no help on the bus or anywhere.
The summer of Gary Roxer was, also, the summer of Sherry, the Mother’s Helper. Sherry told me about boys. “Boys bite your neck”, she said.Then, she would show me her neck that looked like she landed in the middle of a cat fight. I told my mother that I didn’t like Sherry. Sherry was telling me bad stories, but my mother said I was making it up.
When I look at my camp picture, I look like a cherub faced chub. Anxiety sent me to the kitchen cabinet and it continues to this day, except now I can barely eat.
That summer, I developed a phobia of throwing up. One camper had to prove how much spaghetti he could eat. I was not at the table of the marathon spaghetti eater. However, I heard it and saw it, out of the corner of my eye. The sound was awful as the tomato, red spaghetti projected out of his mouth. I remember the color, the sound and the whole cafeteria staring in horror.
From then on, I was afraid it would happen to me. I was afraid that I would lose control and all the hate and pain I held together with unsteady glue would mix together into a glop and come out my mouth like red spaghetti.
I tried to ward of illness by touching things three times in a row and saying a silent prayer like God protect me from throwing, appendicitis and my period. I did not have the luxury of letting things slip out of my body without due sentinel duty. I had too many secrets. They were stuffed neatly in rows. I am not neat in my actual life. In fact I am a mess but my secrets are folded like shirts in a fine clothing store. They can make a hundred shirts go into a small space just because they know how to fold.