I would proudly steal his lunch money again

It made me think of how it felt to not fit in with the socioeconomic majority of my middle school, the kids with their lunch money who hung out in the “commons” wearing new designer clothing, and eating crummy food in the cafeteria with the other poor kids.

I remember slinking past the center of our school knowing my outfits weren’t cool, and heading to the refuge of the breeze-ways to hide my shame in a book.

Your poem brought back to me how boxers tend to come from the outcast crowd, each one striking back at a system that betrayed them due to another kind of pocket-book, and how they win with that by beating their better fed opponents, with heart.

The bullies in my school tolerated me for the look in my eye, the way I naturally harmonized with the thieves, and I’m sure that having lot’s of friends that were girls, strengthened my force-field too.

The bike I rode across town every day, with money I had earned working before the other kids woke up for school, brought me happiness as it took me away each day.

Since the rest of my blog posts tagged with medicine of the ears compile to answer the rest of the questions TK gave at the end of this poem, I’m going to leave this focus as a representation of some of the reasons why I love to ideate on potential ways to improve our school systems.

Thanks for the follow gal, your websites got my juices flowing this morning, and I appreciated the expressions of a kindred spirit, who finds refuge in words paying-out on a page.

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5 comments

  1. You remind me of one of the things that saved me in high school. My interests in video games and anime was shared with those labeled as ‘stoners’ or ‘skaters.’ I befriended some of them. Since people wouldn’t mess with them, they didn’t mess with me. They were great friends for many reasons, but I did appreciate that my association with them meant I was picked on a little less.

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    1. Thanks! I’m glad to hear it did that for you. Your comment made me think of a country lyric that I love, “I’ve got friends in low places”, and another one (hip hop) writing this: “I kind of like being poor, at least I know what my friends are for”;) I love the feelings I get from befriending people who understand my frustrations from their personal experience in the culture of prejudice towards the odd. Fitting in isn’t easy for me, but finding the right outfit has always brought me joy. As an artist, the misfits have always been the ones that felt the best, with shoes that are too big, and shirts that squeeze tight, they inspire in me a dance of clumsy glee, and the happiness as a sense of belonging with people, who encourage it as you have. 😉

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      1. In my high school, you were popular if you were good at sports, rich or good at pretending to be rich. It seemed to me that most people who were ‘friends’ with this popular people were not friends at all. They just liked the financial and social benefits of hanging around them Being at the bottom of the social ladder, you know who your true friends are. They have chosen your friendship over their social standing.

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      2. I’d rather share an apple than eat one in front of somebody. Maybe that’s because I’m not selling apples? I appreciate your thoughts, as they stimulate my juices well. It seemed to me in high school that the beautiful people with their white perfect teeth and shiny new cars were the offspring of the same type of people. You put a rich pretty and a rich pretty together, and that’s what you’d get. I prefer the odd pretties who drive cars for function…maybe that says something about my parents….and the cars I drive….What you said about popularity in school was true to me on a basic human level too. Over the last year of dealing with my heartbreak, I had friends choose to steal, scorn, and spite me. I see it as a reflection of my willingness to give, and how they were ashamed by it, resenting my generosities, and that they were choosing to climb, while I was descending into the pit wholeheartedly in the pursuit of understanding compassion, and preserving my capacity to love, instead of fighting in prideful rejection of pain, while building social status, and perpetuating the cycle of hate. My friendship filter is thicker now, and that makes me sad, but the friendships coming through are cleaner, which helps me feel content.

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