Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

I don't usually do this. But I made a journal entry tonight, that I am going to post here.

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November 14, 2007

Today I had an encounter with a little boy. I was walking down 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, to the train after work. I saw him from a few hundred feet away and smiled. He was very small, about three feet tall. There were flags planted in the sidewalk outside the pizza shop, which his mother was inside. He stood, bent over, shaking the flagpole. He looked like the famous photograph of the men raising the American flag in Japan. He was quite beautiful. A small Mexican child. As I was approaching, he was struggling to lift the flag out of the sidewalk. He succeeded and terror overwhelmed his face when he realized the weight of the flag. It began to crash down. An instinct moved me to grab the child. I ran to him, catching the flagpole just before it knocked his throat. It would not have killed him, but there would have been screaming for hours assuredly, if not a broken tooth or jaw even. We stayed locked in eye contact, this child and I. I was crouched to his height. We both held the pole and looked dead at each other’s eyes. We were paralyzed this way.

“It’s okay,” I said.

I saw his hands grip tighter. We continued to stare. His mouth was agape. We both held the flagpole. The American flag foundered awkwardly in the misty wind of the evening.

His mother jerked him away by the collar. I watched them for a moment, then put my hood back up and redirected myself back towards the train. I have never felt like a hero before.

He looked like my brother did when he was a baby. Before the fetal alcohol syndrome had taken noticeable effect. When Juan Pedro was Zack Malone, and he was still sweet and promising and no one had even the faintest idea that he could grow to be a sociopath. I felt a lump develop in my throat and I couldn’t fight off the onslaught of tears that followed shortly.

It was Juan’s birthday on the 9th. I still haven’t called him. I don’t know why. He is probably hurt. He has never missed a phone call on my birthday.

5 comments:

Lyndall-O said...

this post has burrowed into my chest and is sleeping there like a kitten.

Kendra Grant Malone said...

lyndall,

i have a kitten lying on my chest right now.

Lyndall-O said...

Excellent.

James said...

kendra,
call your brother

Kendra Grant Malone said...

james,

yes daaaaaaad.
(rolls eyes)