I am always reviewing my past. My forward progress and missteps. Things I said and things I could have done differently. Making sure I didn’t miss out on lessons that could have been learned.
And some how in reaching back I always touch on some sore points. Places that, if I do visit them, still host all the pain and hurt from the day they were inflicted. Perfectly preserved and there to remind me never to let it happen again.
The bright shining spots in my memory’s path are the people who treated me fairly – even humanly when others were not. Elementary school was a veritable deadzone for these beacons. With the exception of a few. Andy Casimir was another classmate who was among the 5 black ones in our class. He also happened to be Haitian and we became friends. He left the school on account of moving upstate and we became pen pals. We wrote through High School and perhaps a bit of College then lost touch. With the invention of Facebook, it’s been so much easier to get in touch with folks that you lost long ago. So I thought to search through for his name today. And lo and behold… his profile came up. He looks to be married with some seriously cute kids and a wife that he seems to dote upon. He’s a Doctor. He looks happy! And I was happy to find him. I like to know that those of us starting from our humble beginnings are making it.
I paid facebook’s $1 extortion fee to send him a message that would go directly to his inbox (because we aren’t friends through the network, my message would have been sent into an abyss if I didn’t). I went on and on about who I was and how we possibly knew each other if he was in fact the same Andy I was looking for. Yadda Yadda Yadda. I pressed send and with it a bit of hope that he would reach back.
Facebook pretty much holds on to every message you send as is if is a life long conversation it’s trying to log. After I sent my message and felt accomplished, another message I’d sent to the same profile in 2009 came up. A touch shorter: “Are you the same Andy Casimir that went to St. Bartholomew?” – that email, too, went unanswered. And in that moment a cloak of invisibility devoured me. The one that would regularly enshroud me all through elementary school. That feeling of “you don’t matter” “who cares about you” “you’re a nerd” “you’re a square” just washed over me again and I regretted pressing send, let alone spending MONEY just to be ignored again.
The only good that came out of this as I sat in my living room and cried was that my baby understood my disappearing nothingness…. He’d been there too and unfortunately for a lot longer than I was. He held me and understood and sympathized on a level that no one else has really reached me on before. And I felt unforgotten…
I meant what I said about not being forgotten in 2014. Now – it is all about being concerned that the folks worth remembering are the ones who do it.