Shrinkage

1

WHEN I look back to the time I knew Maggie Olde in Year 6, in those days when we waited at the tin bus stop in the morning, I know that I played games with her.

We exchanged sexually charged letters. Sometimes we held hands. Then I’d pretend she didn’t exist in front of my friends at school.

But she got her revenge. Maggie Olde humiliated me.

 

2

We were both hanging out at a friend’s house. Or, should I say we were at the house of several friends. They lived together in a nearby foster home, from toddlers up to a friend in high school.

Skinny dipping was the rebel thing to do back then. It wasn’t hard for Maggie to convince me in the pool to take off my undies. As soon as I put them over the side, she grabbed them, and threw them over the fence into the horse paddock.

Then, she grabbed the snorkels and ducked in the water to try and get a close up visual of my dick as everyone else stood on the patio and laughed at me.

3

Sometimes I tell that last part as one of those funny stories. I just had never told this next bit. I never told my foster mum or friends or social worker because I felt it was wrong. That it made me a deviant.

We left the swimming pool when someone got my clothes. Maggie and I went upstairs and went into bed and humped each other and made loud groans. Clothes stayed on. Which was just as well, because our friends watched.

I guess reading it now it doesn’t seem so bad. But it was sort of like with my first time I had sex. I didn’t know who I could tell. I didn’t want that action to define me, yet it was all I could think about. But unlike the actual sex a long time after, I held onto this part of the story for years.

4

The next morning we both got on the bus. Straight away Maggie shouted “I saw Chris’s willy last night!”

I’d once humiliated her on the bus by shouting out a made up rhyme that basically made fun of her weight. She’d got me back. Everybody laughed as I walked the aisle to the back of the bus.

“How big was it?” someone said.

“It was like this!” she said, squinting and putting her index finger and thumb almost together. “It was really small and wrinkly.”

“That’s because of the chlorine!” I roared.

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5

The only good moment was being at the back of the bus where there was at least a little dignity and nobody behind me. But as soon as the bus reached the school and we merged with the other students coming out the other buses to walk up the hill to class, I heard “willy” and fingers pointing my way and Maggie at the centre of interest.

At recess I was followed by some of the students and Maggie when I stumbled into the cool kids sitting in a semi circle behind the soccer posts. I usually sucked up to them, wanted to be one of them, but didn’t think I fitted it. Didn’t think they liked me. But that’s when they roared out to my tormentors to leave me alone.

“So what?” my mates said when they asked me to sit with them. “And besides, it would have just been the water.”

I was so grateful for this first moment of acceptance from these guys. And I suppose that’s when school really got better for me.

 

 

 

 

Digging up the journal

I’m reading Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diaries. When I heard she’d found old diaries from the time of A New Hope and revealed an affair with Harrison Ford in a book I was curious.

But I probably wouldn’t have bought the book except I was at the Brisbane airport bookstore – returning from holiday to Mount Isa – the same week that she and her mother died. They were all the news.

The book was the last on the bookshelf. I grabbed it and kept it among my lengthy ‘to read list’. Last night I finished Joe Hill’s The Fireman.and realised The Princess Diarist was still in the pile.

I’m halfway through it where she publishes her old poetry, presumably about Mr Ford in the early days of their affair. And I just can’t help compare his mannerisms to my own attitude.

“If you’ve got arrogance and indifference

You can make them pay

They’re the most commercial product on the romantic market today.” 

 

And here’s another one from Ms Fisher:

“I need to write. It keeps me focused for long enough to complete thoughts. To let each train of thought run to its conclusion and let a new one begin…I’m afraid that if I stop writing I’ll stop thinking and start feeling. I can’t concentrate when I’m feeling.”

 

Often I feel I’m getting harder and colder on the outside, and more anxious and insecure on the inside. I tell myself it’s not an issue until I can’t control it, when the anxiety comes out with my interactions with those around me.

These feelings are a cycle. In foster care I was between those times, when I lost control and was punished by DOCS and the education system for it. And I wonder if the key issue, among many, was a restlessness. I lost my purpose.

I never quite told you why I left foster care and what happened after. But those who know me enough now must wonder how I came from the child care system to being in the position I’m now in.

It was a sense of purpose that transformed me. Then in the last days of foster care it was religion, it was a new faith.

And I have no purpose now. I lost it some time ago when I stopped writing.

 

I guess reading Fisher’s diary makes me long for a purpose again, and that’s in writing something meaningful to me. I write daily in my job, I churn out information in the peak of online journalism.  I just don’t write anything for me in the after hours.

There’s no recording of the time I was in foster care. I did write journals but it was infrequent and they’re lost. But I have something from when I started regularly recording, and even that’s something personal I can share. Inspired by Carrie Fisher. Wow. A new hope for me? #Irony

But I’m going through my writing from nine years ago and it’s bloody messed up. I’m embarrassed about my thought process then, but I’ll let you read bits for yourself:

25/07/07

No wonder I don’t have a girlfriend. Its because I subconsciously know that I don’t really like specific girls. Love has nothing to do with it. Love is not the feelings between a man and a woman. that’s something else. A mixture of love and something else. True love is loving people no matter what. True love is men loving other men. Women loving other women. Men loving women. Women loving men. If you think I’m talking about orgies here, then you probably don’t understand and there is no point continuing.
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4/7/09
That was my first clubbing experience and I hated it. Drinking sucks, I suck at dancing and there were a lot of beautiful girls in very immodest clothes on. It’s a place of lust, and if you aren’t interested in picking up someone, its pointless.
There was one girl trying to tell me something, pointing at Amy*, but I
couldn’t hear her.I hated the loud music. I know I sound old, but it damaged my ear drums and I like hearing.
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27/02/10
Speaking of facebook, there’s this questionnaire where people answer questions about you but you have to unlock the answer to find out who thought it. Somebody wrote on there that they thought I was an ‘underachiever’ and I was saving my coins to unlock that but somebody thought I was cute so I unlocked that instead.
Wish I didn’t. It was Rachel, and she’ll know I’d unlocked it too. Facebook will let her know. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just…first, it’s weird that people think I’m cute. Second, it’s Rachel. She lives with me and I don’t like the idea that she considers me cute. Not that she’ll think of me more. I know that. She just answered the question. Third, she knows I know and will check to see if I’m weird about it.

Best to forget it.
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27/11/10 
I have a crush on my violin teacher. Something I do not wish to encourage or make stronger by even mentioning it. I shouldn’t have.
21/12/10
Everyone silently tried to make me to their image. It’s how perception works. Yet every image is different, and only the most powerful should triumph, if at all, or I try to be ten thousand perceptions, and each image is a thousand words.
I like Carrie Fisher’s stuff better.