A 10 year-old boy in my building, walks with a slight limp, something that occurred at birth. It’s barely noticeable, providing you’re not James that is, who alas, has to live with it.
When I heard that they were making fun of him at school, and he wasn’t being chosen for sports, my heart put on its soft, trusty armor, asking his mother if I could take him out for an afternoon snack.
We went to a Le Pain Quotidian a block away, sitting outside in a safe, quiet corner.
Though very well-mannered, he seemed distracted and quite frankly, a little bored, until I told him the tale of my sudden hearing loss.
How I lost friends, many who laughed at me behind my back thinking I couldn’t hear at all. How scared and lonely I felt, and sometimes still feel.
As we ate another round of coconut macaroons, delighted we both preferred over their Belgian Chocolate Brownies, he asked, how I handled being made fun of.
He told me how some classmate named him Chester, who limped in the old show Gunsmoke. The little imp’s father was the one who came up with the name, inappropriately, passing it to his son.
Cruelty never sits well with me, especially directed at a kid, but I just listened, a honed skill, as he told me after promising I wouldn’t tell, that he often goes into the boy’s room and cries in a stall.
I told him I cry all the time…that it’s a good thing.
Clears the air.
“Imagine your head’s like your closet getting a good sweep. It makes room for nicer things, like macaroons and hot cocoa in the afternoon.”
He seemed better after that, me hoping I had helped in some small way, knowing that kids half pay attention while rightfully daydream.
When we got back to our building, the doorman said something to me I couldn’t quite hear, so James said to Michael, like a little knight back in the saddle…
“Try standing on her right. It’s her better ear.”
I guess he was listening after all, a honed skill. 🙂
I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves.
My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.