~I was one of the few girls in middle school who developed breasts way too early. Large breasts. Woman breasts. Breasts that boys gawked at, pointed to, and giggled about.
I know this is absolutely true, because one afternoon as I was standing in the lunch line at West Junior High, I overheard B.B. talking about me. Clearly and crisply, I heard Sisto, big boobies, and she’s really easy.
Still, writing this today, evokes the sensation of horror and humiliation. To make things worse, I pretended I didn’t know what he was talking about and continued being friends with him. I mean, isn’t that the way boys talk anyhow? Doesn’t that mean they like you?
Look, after all these years, I remember. I’ve written about these same sexual, demeaning comments in past essays.
She’s. Really. Easy. ( definition, ‘she’s really stupid.’ )
What does that mean; a 12 year old girl with breasts will give away her body, her soul, her virginity?
I started to wear a Calvin Klein jean jacket to school to cover up. Even on 80 above summer days, I utilized the blue material as protection to stop the teasing, the staring.
Boys will be boys. This is how they behave, so I was the one who had to change.
When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see who I should’ve been, who I desired to be. The poet. The writer. The brain.
I saw an imposter, a phony, a plastic girl who was adapting, or trying to adapt to the hostile environment she was in.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Come on, man, this is middle school. So what. Who cares what happened back then. Kids are resilient.”
The thing is, it’s still happening. MORE. And often. And every single day. Read the newspapers. Listen to the news. It’s happening with our own Presidential Nominee.
“Grab them by the P*ssy.”
Oh, well, boys will be boys, right? We will adapt, right? This is locker talk, right?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
At my 20 year reunion, I saw B.B. standing with a group of guys near the mini bar. My hands started to sweat, my heart beat faster. I could even smell West Junior’s waxed floors, the old text books.
As I walked past them, I semi smiled. I had nothing to say to any of them. Not now. Not ever.
“Hey, Sisto,” B.B. yelled after me. “I see you still have big boobs.”
I kept walking, my heels clicking on the tiled floor with purpose and deliberation. I then turned around as I never did in middle school and said,
“And I see you’re still an asshole.”
—Dear, Reader, this is a true story about finally using & finding my VOICE. And now I can’t stop. I will never stop. Have you experienced a B.B. in your life? If so, have you confronted him/her?