I love the word retarded, and it’s a complicated love.
Third-Grade Me: “Blah, blah, blah, my retarded brother.”
In my memory time stands still in this very Quentin Tarantino way. Me standing in the bathroom with the three Charlie’s Angels friends: the smell of elementary school toilets, the sour yellow of the light reflecting off the tiles, the buzzing of the overhead fluorescent bulbs.
Kelly pulls her switchblade comb/brush out of her pocket, and opens it >CLICK< and slowly combs back her feathered hair. Jill pulls out the Bonnie Bell rollerball bubble gum lip gloss and slathers her lips >SMACK<.
Sabrina turns to me and says, “No. We don’t know anyone re-tard-ed.”
And third-grade me can’t help but think, your parents are dah-vorced, for god’s sake! Your Dad doesn’t even live with you! I mean, everyone knows retarded, right?
Then suddenly it all snapped…
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