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It’s Friday evening, which I’ve mentioned before. It seems to be the day of the week that I need to take stock of where I am before I begin writing. Not a busy week this week, work wise. It was however, a very stressful week, but that’s another story.
I am up on my balcony. I will sit up here more and more as the days begin to shorten and the weather gets colder. Like my office, the balcony faces exactly east. It is on the second floor and can only be accessed through my bedroom, which affords a certain amount of privacy, at least from family.
I cannot see the same garden from here. Instead, in front of me, there is a view of the side and backyards of my neighbour’s place. To me this is more evidence of manifesting. The simple act of appreciating the good in your life has a way of drawing more of the same in. It is as though by expressing gratitude you are sending a signal that this is something that you like and that you would welcome more. The longer I sat on my balcony and was grateful for how gorgeous the view was, the more its beauty increased.
Some of my more pleasant memories - or not - on Oak Street were of loves and crushes. I was speaking earlier about feeling like an outsider in the fourth grade class that I was initially placed in at my new school. What I didn’t mention was that this was the location of my first crush. He sat behind me. He was taller than average, quite thin and had longish brown hair. When I say long, I just mean that it was not cut to within one inch of his head, which was the style for most of the boys. It was still above his ears but it was cut all the same length. His favourite music was Bob Seger. I was so happy that I loved this music as well; similar taste is always a good sign.
I was supposed to be looking ahead for most of the day, not towards the back of the class, so the main thing that I remember was feeling his presence behind me. This was an overwhelming sensation for me. Every trace of comfort that I had known, my trees, my friends and Squirt had gone missing. My parents did not seem to exist anymore and there was this presence behind me. It calmed me down to be sitting near him and over time I became giddy with adoration. I have often wondered what the role of oxytocin is in a relationship. I suspect that it is the strongest form of bonding. They are discovering now that social interactions can cause an increase in oxytocin.
We have all laughed at ducklings that have bonded to inappropriate things and have followed them around relentlessly. This is the power of oxytocin. I believe that we have underestimated its power in human relationships. If you think of any imbalanced and hurtful relationship that you have ever witnessed and ask yourself why they stay together, it could very well be hormonal. This type of bonding occurs at the most fundamental level, well away from logic or common sense.
I tell myself this to try to make sense of this time in my life. For the first time I was arguing with myself. The part of me that had been socialized and had learned what appropriate behaviour was, was battling with this little nymph that was giddy with excitement and would not behave. I know that I embarrassed myself by how I was treating this boy, but I couldn’t help myself. I scolded myself for my inability to not flirt with him.
It is during this time that I decided that my brain would be in charge instead of my natural inclinations. I had to take control of how I was acting. If I caused this guy any embarrassment, I apologize, but I really was unable to act otherwise.
Anyhow, I would sit for hours on a Saturday afternoon hoping that he would walk past my place to the variety store. Little did I know that there was a different store that he likely went to. I would borrow erasers, pencils and crayons—even though I had my own. I would drop things on the floor so that I could pick them up. I would tap him on the opposite shoulder as I walked by.
During that time, a normal class consisted of writing down what the teacher was writing on the blackboard. I actually found that I learned quite a lot this way. The notebooks that we were given were bound, soft covered with lined pages and two staples to hold them together at the spine. Needless to say, it did not take long to fill one with the stuff that was on the blackboard. I remember concocting a story. I thought that it was feasible enough that I could pull it off.
I called my crush at home and explained that I had forgotten that the first half of the notes for our test the next day were in my last notebook. I said that I had only brought the most recent stuff home and therefore was unable to study and I was wondering if I could borrow his notes. He said sure, I could come and pick it up.
It was all I could do to contain the energy that was bursting out of me as I headed out the door. I was going to get a book from my crush. What would he say? What would happen? The possibilities were endless. I walked up to the side door and knocked. His mother came to the door. I explained who I was and why I was there and she handed me his book explaining that he had left to play hockey. How Canadian.
Years later I visited my hometown on a trip from university and saw him across the floor at a very large bar, The Station I believe, named after the previous use of the building. I was unable to go over and say hello. I felt butterflies in my stomach and could not bring myself to speak to him.
I had some kind of health class in grade four.
My teacher had asked us to bring in a barbie or a groovy girl doll and during the class she held up the barbie and said, “This is not what people look like. You do not need to strive to be like this because you can’t be like this. This is not healthy.” And then she held up the groovy girl and said, “This is how you should look. This is what real people look like. Don’t try to be the barbie, try to be the groovy girl.”
I don’t remember the exact context or her exact words but I think she was the only teacher to ever say this to me and actually try to make it meaningful by saying somethings besides “The media is stupid!!1!! Don’t feel the pressure!!>!@!”
Thank you Mrs. Jenkins. You are the best.
Grade FourAndrew Vincent And The Pirates
Artist: Andrew Vincent & The Pirates
Track: Grade Four
Album: A Short Trip With The Pirates (2001)
Label: Kelp Records
Remember when you first discovered music? For me it was jumping up and down on my friend’s bed while listening to School’s Out For Summer. For Andrew Vincent, it was quite similar… just 10 years later.