I don't know why I was mean to this girl. I called her ugly. Agreed with her family that she was stupid. Didn't find her amusing in the slightest.
I threw her at the world, looking for a place for her to stick. And the world was mean to her as well. The world broke her arm three times, her foot, her collar bone, all of her fingers and her nose. It gave her four car accidents, tearing up her face and premanently damaging her drawing arm. It attracted an abusive man for her to marry when she was young. It gave her a schizophrenic grandmother who named her, "whore" and beat her every chance she got because of the antics of a soap opera star. The world bestowed her with an alchoholic grandfather who enabled the grandmother in every way. Called her names. Said she was unworthy of any kind of love.
It gave her cancer.
Lately, I've been feeling that the universe dislikes me. Maybe because of the way I treated her back then. I've been dealing with random acts of meaness. A vendor at the TACA show stormed my booth three times, damaging a print and screaming at me. I don't even know her name or what she does. The show coordinator apologized. It was not her fault. She cannot control the mental stability of her vendors. But I have to ask, "Why me?" A commentor on a blog I frequent is consistantly rude to the point of being a bully to me despite the fact that I am saying what several other people are expressing. I have to ask, "Why me?" A random stranger in another car gave me the finger and I was not even changing lanes or driving below the speed limit. And yet again, "Why me?"
When she turned thirty, I started to be kinder to her, but I have never really forgiven myself for what I did to her. Maybe now is that time.
For finally loving me.
*This beautiful photograph of my twenty year old self was taken by my dear and talented friend, Vickie Johnson Bradshaw on a trip we took to Panama City.*