Every report card...mixed in the with the B's and C's like little mouse turds. Your child is "sensitive". Man, I knew cussing. Fuck. Shit. Butthole. That had to have been the worst word I knew. Sensitive. It made my dad's eyes dark and it radiated shame. It made my mom hug me and tell me it was a good thing which always meant it was a bad thing. Shit.
In my room. Playing with my knives. I was strong. I was fast. I always won. Except at fighting. Oh, I won. But damn, I couldn't do it and not end up crying. Being angry always made me cry. On the inside, the anger was a deranged fucking cyclone, but on the outside, I cried. I yelled and demanded justice and ended up crying. That's how I learned what a faggot was. But I wasn't one.
Scared. Big sisters and brothers do such horrible things. They do it and then it is done and it all seems right, but twenty years later you think back and think, 'holy shit, did she know?!?'. Did she know what she was doing. It wasn't fun and games. Not a bit.
And the fucking predators. They see it like a wolf sees a wounded rabbit. Fuckers.
Hit me. Just fucking hit me. Don't yell at me. If you touch me, make it HURT! You can hit me all you want, stop fucking yelling!
Lay on the bed, mind of cold, dripping fire. Sensitive child. Fuck you. Fuck you, school counselor. Fuck you, condescending teacher. Fuck you, speech therapist. 'Talk more, you have such a good vocabulary". Fuck you; I stutter. Leave me alone. Just leave me the fuck alone, so I can disappear.
Sports. Bikes. Guns. Fire. No need to talk. Fucking A. Let's go. Music, pure emotion, but it works. Whiskey, tastes like shit, makes everything black. More. Drugs. Fuck it.
Hate. Ahhh, finally. The antidote. I don't give a fuck! That's it! I. Don't. Give. A. Fuck.
The years pass in blurry old slide-show frames, and the sensitive child twists his brain and speeds his heart up, slows it down, wakes up dirty and bleeding. Hides in corners clinging to cigarette life rafts. I. Don't. Give. A. Fuck.
Birds were the only thing I could ever count on. No one cared if they were sensitive. They were free to soar and dive. God, how I wanted to be a bird. So, the years passed like stop motion photography. Slomps and glamps of stuttering images. Until the crescendo. The sensitive child was not dead, only sleeping, and woke up on the wrong goddamn side of the bed. Emergency rooms. White-light-cleaner-smell and doctors and take this pill and come to this group and you know I'm not gonna fucking do it. Maybe the pills. Depends on what they do.
The sensitive child. Man, how I tried to kill that son of a bitch...but I never did.
I see them everywhere now. I want to tell them it will be OK. There is room in the adult world for the "sensitive child". It is a blessing. You don't want to be rock. You don't want to yell. You don't want to hurt people and be a frat boy asshole. You want love and learning and books and art and THERE ARE OTHERS. Just wait. Be brave and strong and don't let them get inside you. Because they will try. And you will lose so much.
All the years. And no one really told me. No one showed me. God, I wish they would have.
Addendum courtesy of one of my favorite Canadians. No pity sought or required. Pity the INsensitive children.