More pieces of the puzzle. Thank you.
Today as I was walking I noticed a converted van style RV parked in front of someone’s home, being loaded up. I’ve always imagined having such an RV, so I went over and asked the man walking from the garage if I could look inside. Bill was so welcoming and gracious. He showed me all around, told me about all the features. This is his third one and it’s just right for two people (I also noticed a dog bed, smile). It’s on a Dodge chassis and is called an Xplorer, but the company went out of business a couple of years ago. His last one caught fire when they were filling the propane. State Farm Insurance reimbursed him in full though and then he found this one – a 1999 with only 9000 miles on it. He was packing up to head to Rocky Point with his wife on Wednesday.
It was such a fun “connection”! And I remembered very vaguely something my mom had told me about my making friends with all the neighbors when I was little, so I called her.
Yes, she told me, I loved meeting people. When Susie (my best friend) and I were big enough to be out on our own, apparently I would befriend all the neighbors. When my mom would meet them later, they would say, “Oh, you must be Jody’s mom.”
I told her that somewhere along the line I had become afraid of people, but maybe I was getting that love of meeting people back. She wondered if being a public defender might have contributed. I don’t think so. I think that was more about facing my fears. And more about opening my heart. It certainly broke my heart (open, eventually) to think we treat one another in the ways we treat “criminals.”
I told her that in trying to find my authentic self it seemed like it may be useful to go very far back, to my childhood. She asked me if I didn’t think all parts of me were part of my authentic self. Now that is a very good question, and a very good point. I said that I thought some parts were more like “masks” or “coping mechanisms.” But she may be right. I will keep an open mind on that. (Some inner part of me knows she is right.)
She also told me that I was the one who started (the leader of) a protest in the school cafeteria over boy-girl seating when I was quite young. That made me remember one time when Susie and I staged a protest at her house, with signs and arguments prepared: Butt is not a dirty word.
I also remembered one of our neighbors. I think her name was Edith and she was what we used to call an old spinster. I somehow sensed her isolation and loneliness. I remember leaving my childhood May basket on her door, anonymously, as a token of love I guess.
And another memory comes. There was a boy in my class in 3rd grade who had warts on his hands. He was teased in a very mean way. I made a point of holding hands with him on the playground. Oh my . . . .