Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sneak Peak Sunday: Rock Bound—Signing Her Life Away

 Six Paragraphs:  Signing Her Life Away

“You women are being transported as auxiliaries. You’ll service the men.”
“Service how?” Annie asked timidly. She thought she knew the answer, but couldn’t quite accept it. The guards were grinning at the sides of the room.
The colonel leered at her and answered, “However they want you to.”
“Women have done worse things to survive,” Crystal muttered as she signed her papers.
“Ten years isn’t so long,” Vivian agreed and signed her name. She took it for granted she would be able to return to Earth when her term was up.
Well, it was prostitution or death. Annie supposed she could endure ten years as a prostitute. She imagined the women would perform other services for the miners as well, such as cooking and cleaning. It wasn’t like she was a virgin. Besides, once she paid her debt to society, she would be able to come home to Bobby. She hoped that he and her mother were both alright. She refused to consider any other possibility. She agreed to the sentence and signed the papers before her without reading them. After all, she already knew she was being screwed.


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Saturday, May 11, 2013

From Crybaby to Senior! Prom

My sister is fifteen years older than me, so I may as well have been an only child.  I didn’t have siblings teasing me and joking with me when I grew up, so when I got to school and kids said things like “Shelley’s got a belly full of jelly,” I didn’t take it as a joke and laugh it off; I cried.  Wrong reaction.  That got me labeled a cry baby.  While I loved learning, I didn’t socialize well.

Things got worse because I didn’t realize I had a photographic memory and that wasn’t a common trait.  I thought events played out like movies in everyone’s brains like they did in mine, and I always knew I was right.  Being sure you’re always right and being a crybaby is not a good combination and does not make one popular.  I guess you could say I was bullied, but it wasn't the issue it is today.  People (including my teachers and the principal) told me to ignore the other kids, etc.  Grammar school was Hell.

High school got a little better.  I’m from the Northwest Side of Chicago.  There were sixty-four kids in my eighth-grade grammar school graduating class.  Many of the boys went to what would now be called a “magnet school.”  Lane Technical High School was all boys then, and you had to pass a test to get in there.  Frankly, I was surprised there were any smart boys left to make the National Honor Society at Schurz.  Most of them went to Lane.  But I digress.

There were over eight hundred kids in my graduating class.  That’s what was left after four year’s worth of attrition.  I faded into the woodwork and my tormentors went their own ways.  High school was much easier.  Still, I wasn’t exactly “popular.”  When I went to dances, I mostly danced with my girlfriends.

I was a normal-sized teenager, but I gained weight after my kids were born and then even more when my bi-polar disorder was diagnosed and I went on medications.  I got up to three-hundred pounds and could barely move.  I had a bariatric walker and I rode on it.  No more dancing for me.  I couldn’t breathe well enough to get through one song.

Many of you know I’ve lost 140 pounds.  Last summer I moved into low-income senior housing.  I came home from shopping for a dress for my daughter’s wedding and there was a notice on the bulletin board—the staff wanted to know if anyone was interested in attending Senior Prom.  Well hot diggity dog!  I had the outfit already, and I can not only walk without a walker, I can dance!  I signed up.

We had our prom and I showed up in my Mother of the Bride outfit.  No little black dress for this M-o-B—I wore enough black stuff when I was fat.  I wanted colors, and that’s what I got.  And no sitting on the sidelines, either.  I was there to dance!  It never occurred to me the staff would be choosing a King and Queen of the Prom or that the criteria would be participation.  Maybe the Hookie Lau pushed it over the edge.  I don’t know.  I just know I had a blast and…


Woo Hoo!

The King of the Prom was my neighbor, Leo.  The men didn't participate much, but it was his birthday, so that made a nice gift.