It was not raining, and then it was raining. Now it is still raining.
Self heard over the news that a boy somewhere in the South, an autistic boy, was “sucker punched” by his schoolmates. Son was bullied at Sacred Heart Prep. Here’s the name of the instigator: Thomas Hennessy. Self doesn’t know if Hennessy’s father was ever told. Son had bruises on his arms. He didn’t tell self. Her first sight of the bruises was during a family trip to New Orleans. Since the three of us — hubby, self, and son — were all together in one hotel room, son had to change in and out of his clothes in a very surreptitious manner. One evening, however, self noticed bracelets of green and blue on son’s upper arms and said, “JUST A MINUTE. Let me see that.” And then: “WHO DID THIS TO YOU?”
Son was a freshman; Hennessy was a senior. The following year, Hennessy graduated and was admitted to Stanford. The rest of that trip to New Orleans passed in a blur. She wanted to pull son out of Sacred Heart Prep, that very second, but hubby showed unusual firmness and said no. Son graduated from Sacred Heart Prep.
She remembers getting a call from Hennessy. He was all crying and contrite: “Please don’t tell my father.” Self yelled at him. “I suppose,” she said, “You consider yourself a big man. Picking on a freshman!!!”
Years later, she read in a local paper that Hennessy and his girlfriend were arrested for spraying graffiti on the walls of a Redwood City school, St. Pius. Of course he was not put in jail or anything so awful. And then the Redwood City Police Department dropped the charges, or reduced it to a mis-demeanor, or anyway decided not to stain the Hennessy family honor with further imputations. And Hennessy graduated from Stanford (probably with honors, ha ha ha!)
(Self is recalling all of this now because, recently, it came to her attention that Christopher Warren, who was the commencement speaker at self’s Stanford graduation, has just passed away. He served under various Democratic presidents: his daughter graduated from Stanford the same year self did)
Self discovered (from a museum poster at Kirk’s Hamburgers, where she had gone last Thursday with son) that there is an exhibit on the Olmecs at the de Young. Self became a Museum member last November. She’s never even had the chance to attend a single exhibit. Here’s this Olmec exhibit, and self learned several years ago, from a book called 1492, that the Olmecs decorated their temples with effigies of fetuses (Only recently have archaeologists corrected their earlier impression, that the effigies were of “dwarves”), fetuses in all stages of development. The exhibit lasts until May 11. She mentioned it to hubby, but he is very reluctant to drive to the city (“Gas is so expensive these days!”)
Self listens to the morning news and learns that Gaddafi, Madman Extraordinaire, and the cause of yet more bleeding of U.S. funds to a war in some foreign clime (when the war back home is: Record numbers of unemployed, especially engineers, especially in California), once put out a hit on Michael Reagan, progeny of Ronald Reagan.
What??? And then, WHAT?
She looks down at the bookmark she has been using for Karin Fossum’s The Indian Bride: a museum brochure for “Raised By Wolves,” a photography exhibit from many years ago, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit consisted of photographs and other documents collected by photographer Jim Goldberg from runaways, children living on the streets of America. On the front of the brochure, a quote from a street kid: “It’s not like you can go home and watch TV.” Self swears, the boy looks about 12.
Self looks wonderingly at the photographs on the brochure. What a fantastic, evocative title that is: “Raised by Wolves.” One day she’ll write a story with that very same title. Perhaps she’ll even start right now.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.