Sunday, November 27, 2016

Home Sweet Home

One of my earliest childhood memories is of a creche called Home Sweet Home. An unbearably, monstrously ironic name. I was four, or perhaps five years old. A van would cart me there after school ended at noon, and I would spend the rest of the day in total isolation. My mother would pick me up at about 6 pm or so. This was a moment I would anticipate for hours everyday.

A few years later, we moved houses and I changed schools. We lived in a middle-income housing complex with a few hundred other families, the majority of whom sent their children to my new school. Every evening, the van would ferry all the kids home from school. Everyone, that is, except me. I would endure the daily ignominy of watching all the others be dropped off home, while I was carted to a new creche, the last stop on the van's route. I would stay there -- often in total isolation -- till my mother picked me up at about 7 pm or so. This continued for years.

I can see things more clearly today, but I remember my strong feelings of rejection and humiliation. I learned to suppress these feelings because I was a little boy who loved his mother and didn't want to hurt her or earn her disapproval. I learned to be alone, to wait, to not reveal my feelings to anyone, maybe to not feel at all. These traits have stayed with me.

Sometimes, these days, I feel like that little boy. All alone, unfeeling, waiting to be picked up by someone who can (or pretend to) love me. Remember Roland Barthes?

“Am I in love? --yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn't wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover's fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.”

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About Me

a recluse waiting for salvation