Failure

High School Chemistry – Law – F

Is it yours or mine? That chemistry course I failed in junior year – that was really the last straw for me. I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t go on. And in my mature retrospective eyes, I am amazed that you did not see the truth. You knew I was not stupid. Was I lazy? Was there a lesson to learn? You would teach ME about consequences?

No, dear teacher, dear guidance counselor, dear coach, my entire life at this point was the consequence of actions far beyond my control. I am amazed that I got out of bed in the mornings, that I survived the frightful flights in the night, that I endured hateful words and ominous gaps in what was supposed to be the safe haven of home.

In a time of space exploration and civil rights conflicts and the Vietnam War (all things I might have participated in wholeheartedly given I could be myself, my True Self), I was caught up in my own odyssey, trying to secure my own civil rights and fighting my own wars of domestic violence and rape and abuse.

Not to worry, teacher. I never needed the damn chemistry anyway. And I won my battles and secured my rights and survived the wars.

But I do often wonder what might have happened if you’d stepped out of the box and off the table to be aware and alert and had challenged that young woman to have a vision, to feel hopeful, and to find her voice.

~Dottye Currin