Monday, December 15, 2008


The journey to surrender seems unyielding, at times. I wrote of a revelation a week ago - a truth to which I surrendered. I was impressed with myself - with making room for more of me. People wrote to me with words of pride and understanding. I felt quite elated. After some time has passed I feel a bit unsettled with this truth - always true but never before acknowledged. I thought the process was complete and so was I. Hah!
The oppressed memory, now active has facets of insight that slowly have made their intent known to me. I am accepting, however I am ridiculously surprised. How can that be given all I have embraced? And, I am remembering the other victim - made to watch, we were eleven.

I don't think I can detail the experience. Rather, I wish to write about Dennis. He is heavy on my mind, huge in my heart - my dear, dear friend without whom I know I would have died. I still love you Dennis, always have, always will.
A slight boy, with thick wavy brown hair and the brightest blue eyes. He wore glasses and had a perfect face. He looked great in his tight jeans and white T-shirts with a dressier shirt casually undone over it. He wore black boots, always. He said that shoes, strong shoes, made him feel powerful. Especially after.................................. Dennis was an orphan and lived in a home for boys. He spoke of what it was like now and then - mostly it was structured, clean, and for the most part, safe. He said that some times the residents got in to fights and that the staff was rough, if need be. He always said that he stayed out of the way and to himself.

Dennis and I stayed very close together at school and every Saturday too. We held hands, and kissed behind the school and wrestled and ran. On Saturdays' I would often bring sandwiches and cookies and sodas and we would walk to the gravel pit where we would slide down the piles of gravel and eat our lunch by the water below. The water was said to be bottomless. It was told that every year the cranes dug out twenty more feet of gravel and sand until there was just none left. In the warm weather we swam in that water in just our underwear. We were best friends. I warmly recall floating on my back, my young breasts peeking up from the water - Dennis touched them so gently and I floated forever as he explored each one, slowly. I felt my nipples become erect as Dennis swirled them. I was in heaven, and I guess, so was he.

Dennis was a pillar of strength during our difficult times. Somehow he knew what to do and what not to do or say. He always offered to wait for me when it was 'my turn'. I always declined. Dennis did not have many phone privileges at the boy's home but he always found a way to call me the night of..................I can hear him saying, "It will be better tomorrow, I promise", or, "let 'Beauty' (she was my wonderful dog), sleep with you tonight." I always felt like I could make it through until morning after talking with Dennis. In so many ways, he saved me. I like to think I saved him too, that we saved each other during a time we both needed saving.

When Dennis told me he was being moved to a home for boys far away I felt, no, I know my spirit cracked. Watching him walk away from me that Saturday in August was paralyzing. He had parts of me that never should have even been created, but they were. He saw me with our shared violator and had to take that image with him. His eyes were a mirror of my truth. I wonder now how he has carried that image and what it has done to him. I want him to know that I am sorry for what he saw, for what it did to him and that I couldn't stop it for either of us and I know he couldn't either. I want him to know that I was strong that day because of him. As awful as it was for both of us, that his presence saved my life. I want him to know that I know how hard it was for him to be in that conference room and I wish with all my might it wasn't so, but it was. I want him to know I have tried to find him and I haven't been able to. Maybe it is for the best, I really have no idea.

So as this memory has settled into my design I am remembering Dennis - what we survived, how we loved, how we were best friends, and what his eyes witnessed. My design is also part of his. I am honoring Dennis today and remembering that he too is within me - there is plenty of room for Dennis in my truth - in me. I believe that honoring him is another level of healing as I embrace the young man with the thick wavy hair and strong shoes - I am going to imagine myself floating on my back in the water with Dennis. Heaven.

I love you Dennis



Ghost Dansing said...

raveonettes..... aly walk with me

Gail said...

Thank you Ghost Dansing, - beautiful music, amazing song, thank you.....


To Ms. Gail

Yes, in The Jacaranda Tree, the writer Ms. Achebe-Ejueyitche has masterly and motherly treated the short story. The end is depicted as a good one, as the the writer needs to keep the hope of survival in tact.

Naval Langa

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Such a wonderful post. I am glad to be here and found a blog that shares about life. Keep it up.

niar said...

dear Gail,
thank you for stopping by. Your blog is good, I like to read the posting you wrote. keep writing...
nice to meet you