Friday, March 4, 2011
rain and remembrance
i thought time would take it away.
that after 10 years, i wouldn't hear the voice of the boy across the lunch table telling me, in tone loud enough to cause tears to rise from my gut, that i was nothing but a stutterer. the moment after that big presentation, when the sea of relief was replaced by anguish and a faceless whisper from a boy in the back of the room. "that was g-g-g-great." the teacher by the whiteboard, asking me, while my classmates sat in stale, cold silence, to take a deep breath and start over.
i ran into that lunchroom bully a few months ago and we exchanged the kind of formalities that old high school acquaintances do. a quick side hug and quicker duck out the door. by his wide smile, i could tell he didn't remember. and how could he? but i did. that teacher, the one who also taught my mama, passed away a few years ago. i haven't heard from that whispering boy in ages. last i heard, he got married and lives nearby.
everyone, everywhere, has forgotten. and that's fine. and you know, i forgive them.
but there are days i remember more than i want to. when someone at work raises an eyebrow as i explain something, or a phone call to my family goes silent for a second when i'm trying to catch my breath. when the glottal blocks give way to giant insecurities that make me want to take a vow of silence.
but then there are days like yesterday. when i saunter in to an executive's office and present my case, in a fluency that is altogether alien but more and more familiar to me. with a slow, deliberate message and confidence rising with every fully pronounced syllable. and again, the cycle of doubt recedes.
and isn't that all we can do? to hope that little by little, those moments of exhilaration join like water molecules until one day they bring forth the most beautiful, healing rain. one that will wash away all the bullies, taunts and lingering fear.
yes, a rain deep enough to cleanse away the past and rush me, on its raging ocean, into a happier future. that's all it would take. and i'm almost there. because after the rain comes the rainbow, and you best believe i'm not missing that.