There are certain hurts that take me back to a place years ago, and something just happened that made me think of third grade and Lori Wagner.

Lori was the goat, the freak, the butt of jokes and taunts and torture. I remember her running home crying more than once. I watched it happen and said nothing.

Her only sin was that she had a nose that was distinctly pig-like, and she was really really smart. She said “perhaps” a lot and spoke very precisely. She tried to rise above the torture by ignoring it and saying nothing, and she held her books close to her chest—self defense I suppose. I feel bad for her just thinking about it.

What is it about me that makes me want so much to be a part of things? To be respected and accepted, and invited in?  And what makes me so harsh when I’ve got the upper hand, when I know what’s up, what’s happening, when I’m in “the circle.”

It hurts terribly to be ignored, disdained, dismissed. Dismissed, yeah, that’s the worst. Not even thought well enough of to be hated or talked about.

I’m sorry I didn’t defend Lori, though I didn’t take part in her ridicule. I wish I’d had the courage and character to stand up for her. I would do so now, I think. I wish I could find her and talk to her and say I’m sorry. I think I’ll try Facebook.


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