The Scolai

“Just a Good Guy…With a Few Bad Habits”

Karma and Kelly

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During the summer between my 5th and 6th grade years my Dad made a bet with another Realtor in his office. He put $100 on the proposition that a house that he had listed would sell in two weeks. To keep from losing the bet, my Dad bought the house himself. The new house was only a mile or so from where we lived, but it meant that my brother, sister and I would have to attend a new school.

His decision had profoundly affected a 12 year old who would have to say goodbye to his first “girlfriend.”

I arrived at the new school knowing no one and missing my friends. Over the next month I got to know some of the guys in my class and noticed one girl in particular. Her name was Kelly, she had straight blonde hair and reminded me of Marcia Brady (hey this was the mid seventies). One day, I got up the nerve to send my friend Mark over to ask her if she liked me. This was how we did things then. If the girl said “yes,” you were “going together.” She said: “Tell him I’ll think about it.” Not exactly an auspicious beginning.

Later that day, being a kid who was completely bored with school, I did something that she found disgusting. In front of the entire class, she rolled her eyes and loudly stated: “And you wanted me to like you.” Of course, everyone around us started laughing.  Not being one to take an insult lying down, I yelled “Well excuse me for being a nice guy and offering to help you hide the fact that you like girls!” 

For a split second, you could have heard a pin drop. Kelly turned beet red, jumped up and ran squalling to the teacher. She said: “He just called me a dyke.” I was still a year away from completely understanding the term, but I was satisfied that I had redeemed myself in the eyes of my classmates. Unfortunately, the teacher acted as if she were a founding member of GLAAD and sent me to the principal’s office to explain myself.

The rest of that school year was spent being tormented by, and finding ways to torment, Kelly.

Sometime during the summer before 7th grade I heard that Kelly had moved away and for the next 16 years I didn’t give her another thought.

I was assigned to the rescue truck one night during my second year on the fire department. We got a call to respond to a woman who was having difficulty breathing. The address was in a run down apartment complex. It had been a nice place prior to the arrival of subsidized housing and the passel of welfare brats that always seem to follow. 

Entering the apartment, we were directed to a back bedroom. The woman we were there to see was frail and looked at least twenty years older than me. I asked my Lieutenant the patients name. It was Kelly. She was in the final stages of Leukemia, her hair was gone and her head was covered with a brightly patterned scarf. She was slipping in and out of consciousness and her vital signs said she didn’t have long. Her family wanted her transported to a local hospital in hopes that they might buy her some more time. We knew it was a futile gesture, but in these cases you have to abide by the family’s wishes.

When the ambulance arrived, I said “Kelly, we’re going to move you from your bed to the cot and take you to the hospital.” With the drugs she was taking she wouldn’t have known me from Adam, but she grabbed the covers and shook her head violently. A woman next to me said “She wants her pants. She’s naked from the waist down and can’t control her functions.” The woman who had spoken grabbed a pair of sweat pants and helped Kelly into them. I picked her up and placed her on the cot. She probably weighed less than the last time I had seen her.

As the ambulance crew rolled her away, I thought “Karma is a bitch.”

But this time Karma had bitched me.



Written by thescolai

December 31, 2007 at 12:34 am

Posted in Blogroll, Life, Personal

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