If you’re a country kid in Oklahoma you remember these words, “The bus is coming!” My brother and I could actually see the bus coming from about a half mile away. Mr. Beavers was a permanent fixture behind the steering wheel. He was an icon of rural route bus driving in his OshKosh overalls, Apache Farmers’ Coop hat and stoic face forward.
On that bus pure evil thrived. To Mr. Beaver’s defense, it wasn’t his fault.
There was this kid who took it upon himself to dismantle and utterly destroy the spirit of a couple of overweight, homely and underprivileged girls who rode that bus. The evil boy couldn’t tell you why he detested the girls, nor could he tell you why their “F’s” on spelling papers evoked his disdain.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Their hand-me-down dresses with patches were particularly good fodder for the boy’s arsenal of contempt. If the girls seemed to be laughing or dared do anything except sit quietly they would be subject to ridicule. It went on for about a semester. It was mean. It was a form of murder, the killing of those poor girls’ souls.
I didn’t directly engage in the aggression. I did something worse. I laughed.
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words, those vile, insidious words,
What suffering when malice brings,
It’s what makes junior high HELL. Continue reading Simple Sabbath: Suffering the Indiginity of it all