Oklahoma City

Manhood – from the inside out – part 13 – Did I Say That? – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-06-04 19:25:42 –

Paula Sophia Shonauer (LCSW) continues her continuous memoirs... If you haven’t read the previous part of this series, click here. It is at the bottom of this page.


“Sometimes it’s better not to say that, I know for sure right after I say it.”
Anonymous


The neighborhood on 8th Avenue is full of children, many of whom are interested in a fire-damaged house next to Jack’s drainboard and a family who has moved to a backlot full of cannibals. I did.

From time to time, the children came to see Dad at work and asked if Aunt Mabel’s death could cause ghosts in her house. He made fun of them and said he would spend the night someday, but they all said, “No, thank you.” But I had evidence there that the child could survive over and over again.

Surviving in a reputable haunted house didn’t give me my position. Rather, it caused sympathy and contempt. As a ghostly kid, I was easily triggered, prone to emotional outbursts, sentimental, gloomy, and “strange.” New neighbor. Same old problem.

It is difficult to identify the origin of the label. Maybe it was a second hand item from a thrift store that I had to wear.

Paula Sophia (Courtesy)

At one point, I realized that one of the older girls in my neighborhood was wearing jeans and belonged to a girl who was just off the street. The back pocket of the jeans had a symbol of peace and a smiley face, hand-painted with fabric paint.

“Do you know you’re wearing girls’ jeans?” She said.

She may have been trying to make fun of her in a friendly way, but the tone of her voice evoked the idea of ​​uncle Jim and his mean de de de laughter. I vehemently refuted her observations. He said he couldn’t be a girl’s jeans because he was wearing them.

“Are you really a boy?”

I couldn’t answer her question. It was a statement rather than a question. My face got hot and I started crying. I thought maybe I didn’t know if I was a boy.

The boys in my neighborhood noticed a decline in my athletic performance. Being large for my age amplified that maladaptation. If they had me in a streetball game, I tried to dodge it every time the ball came in. Sometimes I stopped the ball, but it was a coincidence, too late to get in the way is.

When I threw the ball, it lobed off the target and was too late to play.

The worst was when I tried to hit. I closed my eyes before swinging and most of the time I struck out. Needless to say, I wasn’t the first to be chosen by anyone as a teammate.

My parochial school arrived 30 minutes later than the public school. By the time I got home, the kids from Borich Junior High School were walking down the street, gathering in groups of friends and stopping at shops, pizzerias, and the Dairy Queen right next to the house.

Sometimes I hid in a hiding place to avoid a group of rough boys in jeans, purse chains, and leather jackets. Many of them smoked, showing offensive attitudes and screaming and screaming.

Another time I crossed the street on Jaywalk to avoid them. A month later, they must have noticed my actions.

Near Sparkle Mart on 7th Avenue, especially nasty guys ambushed me. They jumped out and made fun of my corduroy and loafers, a shirt with a collar, a blue faux fur winter coat with lapel and buttons, and a coat that my grandma bought for me. I didn’t like that coat.

“Hey, Little Road Fontlar Roy!”

I didn’t know who Sir Fontlarroy was, but I knew it wasn’t a compliment. After that, I was a character in 19th century novels and 1930s movies, wearing velvet and lace, long curls, and more like a girl than a boy, at least by modern standards. I found out that it looked like.

The boys grabbed me, took off my coat and threw it on the snow bank. A boy brought a handful of yellow snow to my mouth. “Eat it, Queer.”

A grocery store employee came out and yelled at the boys. And before I tasted the yellow snow, they were benevolently scattered. Although saved at this point, this harassment was a test I had repeatedly endured for most of the next two years.
I may have labeled myself.

Sometimes children in the neighborhood came to visit us and reported on the progress of their father’s restoration work. They wanted to know where Aunt Mabel died like a rubberizer driving near a highway accident.

My father showed us our unrealistic home. The damage was greater than it was repaired, the walls were soot-blackened, and the floor was always dirty. The hole was the gateway to another dimension, full of darkness and morbid melancholy. I could hardly see the basement below it.

One day in early March, when my mother was at home with her brother, two girls in the neighborhood visited me. I stood outside their little circle and peaked around the shape of the doorway. I listened for fear of announcing myself. They talked about what the place looked like before the fire, what happened was unbelievable, and how sad Aunt Mabel’s daughter and her father were.

Kim, who has long brown hair and has a chubby face, changed the topic for some reason. “Look, I’m starting to show.” She pushed her chest outwards, revealing two ridges underneath the white blouse. I saw a bra strap under the cloth.

Another girl, Cindy, shook her head. She had thin, blonde curly hair. She turned her chest toward her mother. “I am too.” She wasn’t that loud. Her growth wasn’t clear. It seems that there was a little, but it may have been a stuffing of a training bra. Moms affirmed and blessed each girl. They shined proudly in her acceptance.

I remember my chest hurting. “I wish I had them too”

Mom and the girls looked at me, and she frowned and shook her head. The girls did their best to stop laughing and happily rounded their eyes.

Until I witnessed their reaction, I didn’t realize I was actually talking about my wishes. Those words were formed in my mind, came out of my mouth without any hesitation, and boiled like a confession.

I receded across the bridge in the living room, ran upstairs and jumped into what looked like a bedroom closet in the corner, but it was actually a staircase leading to the attic. ..

I ran up to the eastern window of the attic, looked down at the girls leaving the house, and laughed as I walked with them.

They must have been laughing at me.


This post is the latest version of a memoir by Paula Sophia about her life.I’m honored she chose Free Press as her platform.. The link below is a link to the previous part of the memoir.


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Last updated: June 4, 2021, 6:25 pm Brett Dickerson-Editor

Manhood – from the inside out – part 13 – Did I Say That? Source link Manhood – from the inside out – part 13 – Did I Say That?

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