Sunday, January 25


In first grade I used to write my will and leave it around the house for my mom to find. I wanted to give all my toys to that gorilla foundation that Koko the gorilla was a part of. How I loved that Koko. She could talk with sign language.

I was a sad kid. My parents were divorcing and apparently there was lots of crazy stuff, but I don’t remember it. I just remember contemplating jumping off that second story balcony and ending it all. With one leg over the edge I would wonder in that six-year old mind what it’s like to die, what God’s like, and what it would feel like to land on my head.

When I was in second grade I was institutionalized for a brief spell. Maybe for two weeks or so. Miserable, and how. But I did discover my love for reading. I was introduced to the beauty of Roald Dahl’s work while confined to a mental hospital. And I met some great kids, like Harmony and Sage who were brothers. When I first saw Sage I thought he was a girl because of his long hair. Sage painted pictures of peace signs and during music therapy introduced me to Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” He taught me what a virgin was--which I had thought was some sort of Viking—and he liked me because I always laughed when he farted.

I cried the entire first night I was there. Because I was keeping my roommate awake (I think he had a brain tumor. Real nice guy), they had to take me to a special quiet room where they could have strapped me down if I got violent. I didn’t. All I wanted was to call my mom, but they wouldn’t let me.

I blamed my brother for the whole thing. He was the one who accidentally peed on me, which set me off kicking and yelling. I kicked at my big wooden desk until the bottom drawer collapsed inwards. Soon after the men (not wearing white coats, but regular button-up shirts with ties) came and took me away in their station wagon. I tried to act really normal so they would let me stay home, but they didn’t buy it. My mom packed me some soup in a thermos and off I went. It was my brother’s fault, I thought. I resented him for a long time. Even when he and my mom would come to visit me--which was maybe an hour drive away--I would ignore him.

I always regretted how I treated my brother. Be nice to your siblings, kids. They're the most important thing you have.

No comments: