Change Your World-NOT your Body

Monday, December 7, 2009

Butch - Fourth Grade

Circa the first few weeks of 4th grade, new school, new kids, new teachers, new rules. I knew right away the gym teacher, Mr. Timney, didn't like me. I just didn't know why and wouldn't until I was an adult. We play Dodgeball on Fridays in gym class, sometimes Mr. Timney plays on a side as well. He's around 33, over 6' and maybe 175-180 pounds, reasonably fit. It’s obvious he prefers females to males, even as a 4th grader I could see that, except for me, he doesn't prefer me. When he plays Dodgeball he lobs the ball at the girls feet in order to try and get them out. If aiming for a boy, he winds the ball up and gives it his all, as if the power he puts behind the ball could not only force the boy out but obliterate him from the planet.

We play Dodgeball with a set of three balls, two larger more difficult to handle balls (especially with our small hands) and a smaller ball (which we can palm/handle). I'm pretty good, quick, agile and I throw hard and accurate. Its maybe a month into 4th grade, Timney is on a team, I'm on the opposite. It comes down to him and I. I have no balls, he gets his hands on the small ball. He looks me dead in the eye and says “If you're going to act like a boy, I'm going to treat you like boy”! Before I can contemplate the meaning of his words, he throws the ball at my head as hard as he can.

This is the ground I grew up on, where I recognize nothing. I'm looking everywhere for me, I look high, I look low, I look out into the mirror of society and like Dracula before me I see nothing. That’s it then, I'm a vampire, only instead of filling myself with the blood of others, this burden of invisibility is filled with the blood of myself. That’s where you come in. Amazingly, YOU see me! No one else does, but you do. It is through your eyes, the eyes of the Femme that I finally find my reflection! Through your eyes, I learn for the first time, I exist! You give me back to me, and in handfuls and mouthfuls we give each other back. But invisibility is a hungry tireless beast, and when you place your hand in mine and we step together into the world, my invisibility invisiblizes us both.

Oh and btw Mr. Timney got his ball caught by a 4th grade girl for the first time and lost the game, I pray it wasn't the last.

dirt
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7 comments:

  1. Nice writing, interesting tale. Do you have other tales of growing up butch?

    ReplyDelete
  2. MF,

    My blog is sprinkled with a handful and I'm actually working on one as we speak.

    dirt

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dirt,

    I wonder would it be possible to have a word in your ear?

    ReplyDelete

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