I'm not sure why, but I'm sure, as a child, it was because I hated school
. I can remember hating it since kindergarten. Children can be, and usually are, cruel
. But I wonder what it was about me at such an early age that made me so weird that no one would talk to me
. I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that I didn't know how to talk to them.
I was an only child, the only child of old parents, parents who were 38 when they had me. We lived in an isolated trailer park on the outskirts of Ocean City, Maryland. Even when we moved onto the island, there were maybe two or three local kids who lived in my neighborhood, and they went to public school. I was sent to a private school, changed private schools three times, and finally graduated at the age of 16. I try to think of the little things outside of those facts that may have contributed to my fear of Sundays, which were undoubtedly connected to my distaste for all things dealing with school kids my age. I think I had a bully for every school I transferred into and at least one clingy friend who, as fate had it, was even more a social leper than I. I had no hope.
When it was time for bed, there was usually a crying jag I put my mother through, one of several crying jags in a series of growing up feeling virtually alone. She would often lay in my bed with me until she thought I was sleepy enough to doze off on my own, then she'd leave. I was prone to late nights on Sundays, sneaking books under the covers or creeping out into the living room to turn the TV on mute, watching the images flicker on the screen as though it provided comfort against Monday morning. Why couldn't I just hop into the screen, where people were nice to each other?
Even now, Sundays alone take me back to 2nd grade, even as close as high school, even into college. It is a numb and illegitimate fear that has followed me throughout my life, a benign cancer whose growth has ceased to be a point of agitation, a scar that I can trace my fingers on almost absentmindedly as my body is helplessly pulled into unconsciousness.
I spent all of this Sunday alone, most of which I really enjoyed. I have many little rituals that help pass the daylight hours to ensure a good night's rest as a precursor for the most manic day of my work week. I sat in the park, watching the leaves swirl above me. I drove to the gym, put in a full set, ran to work to node a little with a faster modem than the one here at home. I stopped into the grocery store for a few beers and sauce for tonight's pasta. Titanic is on and muted as a sort of company as the clock reads 8:37 p.m. I felt the pangs of those fearful Sunday nights as a child, but dismissed them for the most part. Every Sunday night is just holding on until sleep finds me into Monday morning, when the world will have need for me again.