The girl with the weight of the world in her hands.

It was supposed to be a quick stop at the grocery, just a few things I needed to make some healthy  dishes to get me through the week. The list had  a lot in the way of fruits and vegetables including  “cuties” cause when it comes to peeling an orange I have the mentality of a 5 year old…no seeds, easy to peel and not taste like I am sucking on a grapefruit, also bananas, berries, beets (yeah, I know but I love them) bok choy, cauliflower and eggplant …so I am in the produce section marking things off my list and a little giddy cause the cauliflower is on sale… “Jesus lard ass how much do you fucking weigh?” each word slapped me in the face, nine hits, I could feel the sting of each one. It had been so long since anyone said anything like that to me,  it was followed by laughter and more hateful words, and as if someone pressed play on a sound track of my past and I heard every cruel, name calling, harassing, hate fill phrase ever said to me. I felt the redness seep into my cheeks and I was mad as hell and that the flight or fight response presented itself to me. I would not sulk away in shame, not this time. With fire in my eyes ready to stand my ground, ready for the fight I turned around.  My eyes met hers…her sad eyes filled with tears streaming down her plump cheeks, It was as if I was looking at myself in that moment. Her girth was substantial in the pale green skirt with faded flowers that did not really fit but functioned more out of necessity in covering her but it was her large sagging belly that could not be contained in the shirt she wore that made me remember how I felt squeezed into the constraints of clothes that did nothing more than make you realize it was hopeless.

Now what happens next is not something I am particularly proud of and I am not sure it was the right thing to do, but I did not walk away, I did not ignore the situation and I did not remain silent. The two teenage boys that were the source of the heckling and name calling were no more than 15 or 16  standing in the middle of their puddle of puberty, greasy hair and puss filed acne all around them. I unleashed on them with a force that I could not stop.  It was ugly, the words were harsh and at the end of my rant I am pretty sure one of them was on the verge of crying. The woman was long gone when I confronted the boys, and it was probably for the best as there are no words to say, no comfort to be had and in the end my actions were more about me than  her. It was a do over, for all of those years, all of the names, all of the pain and all of the times I remained silent.

 

i wonder which saint
that lives inside a bead
will grant her consolation
when she counts upon her need
it makes us all angry
though we feign to care
but who will be the scale
to weigh the cross she has to bear
the girl with the weight
of the world in her hands

e.saliers

 

4 Comments

  1. Moody says:

    Lori, you did great.
    You found the strength to stand up to the verbal and emotional abuse, even if it turned out not to have been directed at you. You reacted and did not faint away into shame.
    I’m sorry that lady wasn’t a witness to your outburst, but maybe she was. Maybe she heard every word of what you said to those little ignorant pr..ks. I would have happily slapped them silly, if not with my hands, then with the same type of hard and insulting words.

    There is no more respect.
    People just don’t give a damn anymore and things need to change. FAST!!!
    I see it every day, every where, every time. It needs to change.
    You made a change.
    Hopefully, you scared the living lights out of those two punks and next time they feel like insulting someone because they are different, they might think twice. Maybe. Hopefully.
    And if they don’t, you can always b.tchslap them again.
    And again.
    And again.
    Until they learn.
    They have to learn.
    Sooner or later.
    The sooner they learn, the least painful it will be.

    Thank you for standing up for yourself and that lady.
    I truly hope you meet her again. Maybe you can help her in other ways as well.
    Maybe.
    Hopefully.

    • dogl2324 says:

      Moody, I have to say if they were sorry they set me off, they would have really been shaking in their boots if you had gotten a hold of them! 😉 I agree with you, some times we get so caught up in life and the everyday that sometimes we forget that people are being hurt in front of our very eyes. It is hard to speak up, to question things and so take those chances. I am grateful that for that small moment I had the ability to address the issue. 🙂

  2. John S. says:

    Lori, you know I might say something like “find a way to love them through their ignorance…forgiveness is the key..”…however, I wish I had been there to applaud you after. Sometimes, young people (hell, most people) need to be reminded that the world does not revolve around them, and that actions have consequences. And if their shi$$y parents won’t do it, you have my permission. You stood up for yourself. The timing was perfect. Oh, and yes, forgiveness is the key. Love you and so proud of you.

    • dogl2324 says:

      It felt so so good to let all that go, but afterward I felt guilty but thought if the stop and think about it and it keeps then from lashing out to one person then it’s totally worth it. I think somehow it gets easy to desensitize ourselves and it’s not facebook or comments on a newspaper, these are real people with feelings and it hurts to do that stuff to people….it remains and it affects you. You are right though forgiveness is key. Love you-

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