@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
A Bony Ass In The Middle Seat
“You sit in the middle.”
“Ah, c’mon! I always have to sit in the middle. It isn’t fair!” An adolescent Lori voiced her woes.
“You’re the smallest. No one else fits.”
“It’s not fair,” I pouted.
Once again, whether in my family’s car or with friends, my assigned seat was the most uncomfortable seat in the vehicle. No back support. Sandwiched between two bodies. To make matters worse, even when my kid brother was the same size as me, he and my sister often fought. Thus, the middle child with a heavy does of middle child syndrome took one for the team and divided them.
For much of my life I had a scrawny body and a big head, kind of like Steve Rogers before he became Captain America. And when we were teens and my friends spent a lot of time driving around in cars, I was shoved in middle seats or put on people’s laps when we had too many passengers. “Lori’s like a half a person, she can sit on someone’s lap.”
To this day, I hate sitting on anyone’s lap. I’m not a child visiting a mall Santa. However, my bony ass would dig into whomever’s leg I was sitting upon.
“Are we almost there yet? Lori’s ass is cutting off my circulation.”
“Oh c’mon, she weighs almost nothing.”
“Her bones are like razors, they’re hitting a pressure point or something. I can’t feel my leg.”
“Well next time don’t make me sit on anyone’s lap!”
Admittedly, I was happy my bony ass was causing them pain. Good! I’m sick being like a service dog for these people. Sick of it!
Perhaps, if the pen is mightier than the sword, writing made me feel some form of strength. For certain, being withdrawn and introspective, I was better at communicating via the written word over talking. My mom always encouraged this. That if there was something I really wanted or needed to say, write it down. This is, perhaps, why when I was filled adoration or wanted to express my heart, I took to paper. Just as well, when I was angry or upset. I could write it. And I could say what I mean. I could make clear what I was trying to convey. Even in today’s digital age, those closest to me will receive letters and notes.
As much as I could build someone up, make them feel special, I could slice like a knife with my words. A perpetual student of the human condition, I can see through to the insecurities of most. I have this dark side to me as well. I prefer it if my monsters torment me, and no others. And, my god, they can be so mean to me.
Still, I have no less love for swords. In fact, I own multiple swords and knives. If I had to guess, I would surmise this obsession also stems from being a runt. That I needed some form of protection. That I need a tool sharper than my ass. Full of mistrust and doubts. You needed to protect yourself.
Bite my silver tongue, over and over, until it bleeds. Holding back thoughts and speech. I’ll save it for the page. Paper is such a lousy shield. So penetrable. Until it’s filled with ink. And then it’s something else entirely. The same happened to me. As frail as paper. Until I could unleash my brain with the pen. Only then did I become more me.
All those years I spent working on my independence, my headstrong belief that it was me versus the world— I ignored my army. My friends. My family. Those I sat in the middle of or upon. My fellow partners in words. Comedians. Fans. Readers. I was never alone. I always had people who would raise a sword for me. For me and my bony ass.