I just posted a “story” on my Junior High School (Middle School for you East Coasters) FB page. I copied it, and will paste it below. I don’t know how I feel about it yet, and I don’t know the reverberations, if any, but I do know that I can, if I think it’s necessary or appropriate, blame my decision to do so on, um, mental instability. Yeah, that’s it: I’m mentally unstable.

Like, my brain is the Rotunda in the Capitol building, and my thoughts and actions are the insurrectionists

whose failed coup has left me, most of the nation and the rest of the world shaken, angry, and unstable.

My thoughts are terrorists breaching the walls of my cerebellum

For context: this 👇 was posted in the middle of a thread in which posters were asking about random alum’s whereabouts, as in, “does anybody know what happened to ___?” It just so happened that the name that was mentioned at the moment I decided to respond was one of the pretty, popular girls that I felt lucky to hang with. I made it into the popular girls’ clique because I was the best friend of the prettiest, most popular girl in school: the classic, “wise-cracking second banana,” trope; Rhoda to her Mary, and seeing that name, of a random girl who received so much attention, and was constantly juggling the one thing I wanted more than anything else in the world : a BOYFRIEND, brought up a lot of the feelings that I was hoping would have faded completely away by this time, which they didn’t do, no matter how much “work” I have done, no matter how many other attempts I made to prove to myself and everyone else that I was worthy, no matter how many trophies I won, literally or figuratively, that one wound, dormant, perhaps, was still there, and could be reopened with one name. I suppose that’s why, in one of my literary white hot explosions I decided to let Neal know how he was responsible for the wound. If the post did anything at all, I would like it to be the end of the wound’s ability to reactivate. To remove its power to still stir a reaction inside me. It’s been almost FIFTY YEARS since the original injury. There’s not a battle wound or surgical injury that could continue to cause lasting pain after five decades. And I think I just wanted to let Neal know that, although maybe there’s more. I don’t think I need anything from him, although it would surprise me if he wasn’t shocked and very contrite once he learns of this. I remember seeing him at our 10th reunion, and my heart started jumping as though confronted by a frightening, threatening force: adrenaline surged and I was ready to flee, but he smiled and said, “you look lovely!” or a variant thereof, and I relaxed, but still considered discussing the “story” below with him throughout the evening. I made it a point to bring my ex-boyfriend, who was happy to help, knowing that I was desperate to have him, or any attractive man for that matter, by my side at this event, to prove that I was indeed wanted, attractive, and worthy of at least a kiss.

Pretty sure Vicki was at Jon Lipman’s (RIP) 14th birthday party when about 20 of us sat in a big circle in his backyard and Jon was the first to “spin the bottle,” and it landed on ME! It was the most exciting moment of my life, since I was madly in love with Jon ever since we met in VJCC Hebrew school, so this was MY MOMENT! As I walked to the middle of the circle, my heart pounding wildly as I was about to receive the most anticipated kiss of my life, you stated your own opinion about Jon’s unlucky spin clear and loud: “I’d rather kiss a frog.” Your words — at such a vulnerable moment and in front of so many of my peers — were so lacerating, and the wound your words caused was so deep that they created a malformation of my already precarious self-image and affected the way I then perceived myself for years to come. It was as if your words, “I’d rather kiss a frog,” were the dividing line between the 14 year old girl who saw the world and herself one way, and then after your comment, my world, both inside and outside myself, was a completely different place: a world where I was unwanted, unattractive, and unworthy of even a kiss. But yeah, I wonder where Vicki is? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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