A Time And A Place

Don't You Have A Life Of Your Own?

I've decided I must be a very interesting person for how much people carry on and on about me. Some people will spend days and weeks discussing me and my alleged lifestyle. I find it fascinating when I hear about yet another rumor that has been going around about me as well as a little sickening that people can't get interested in their own lives.

The first time I ever became aware that people were talking about me was when I was in grade school. Every recess the friends would be huddled together talking about me and how I was "adopted...ssssshhhhhhh" (whisper this evil, evil word), and I was left out for much of the first year after we moved to the new town. Seems a sibling decided to tell them some stories about how I wasn't a real member of the family and oh how they talked and talked and could not get enough of the odd creature who resembled a 7 year old girl. You must remember that at times in the past, certain words that are commonly used now caused great uproar if talked about openly. Kind of like when people would whisper, barely audibly, about someone who was sick, "with the cancer". HORROR!

I hardly took notice over the years about the little rumors that were spread around about me because it happened so often. They were stupid rumors. friend rumors. Not even worth mentioning. However the next big rumor that came to my attention was after I got out of high school and was plodding around that summer waiting for my 18th birthday to come around as I was in the DEP (delayed entry program) and would be going into the military the day after.

I can't remember where I was but it was sometime in July when someone informed me that "the whole town" was talking about my antics that summer. This fascinated me because I was pretty bored that summer while waiting to get started with this new life. Apparently, as the rumor went, I was seen, several times, in bars, dancing on table tops and having relations with migrant workers and had gotten knocked up. I laughed when I heard that one. The funniest part was that the story went on to say that I wasn't actually going to the military but being "sent away" because of it. The gossip was so far fetched and unreal that really, there wasn't much to do but laugh at the depths of peoples stupidity. At that point I thought, "let them think what they want."

Obviously in the military, being female, the initial rumors are that you are either gay or you are extremely promiscuous, of which I am neither. I knew that was going to happen as the lone female drill sergeant, whom we absolutely hated wrote us a letter after we graduated AIT, (advanced training), explaining why she acted the way she did to us. She told us what to expect as females in the military once we got to our permanent duty stations and she was right on the money. I still remember, to this day, walking into the McCully club one night to unwind and passing a soldier from the infantry division. I heard him say, "She's fucked everyone here on base. Slut." I wheeled around and stated, in front of all his friends and fellow soldiers "If I was a slut, I would have fucked you as well but there isn't enough money in the world that would make me sleep with you." Dead silence.

I didn't hear a lot of rumors about my supposed sexual life after that. In fact, after that I started getting respect from a lot of the male soldiers who realized that I would go out there and get just as dirty as they would in the field and not complain about it. I would carry the heavy ass shit and march the miles on end just like them and could outlast a lot of them. The only time I got upset was when one soldier had piss poor map reading skills and got us lost, making us backtrack, taking another hour more than was necessary, of hiking in hot, sweaty weather during a competition. I'm sure there were other times people said shit about me but again, it was stuff not even worth mentioning...little shit.

Some years later I was a civilian again and I started working in a bar as a bartender. There were many regulars who would come into the bar night after night after night which was rather pathetic. I did make a friend there in one of my co-workers and she had told me about the Atkins diet one day, gave me the books to read and some little recipes to try whenever I got a sweet tooth. I had gained some weight after my bout with homelessness and starvation and wanted to lose it but nothing had worked. So I tried the diet and BAM! That shit went flying off. I went from 160 to 128 in two months. I was proud of myself. I didn't follow the diet exactly to plan, rather, I made it harsher, eating no carbs at all instead of the recommended amount of no more than 20 for the first two weeks and then no more than 60 thereafter. I had zero carbs for two months. That is fucking hard to do, let me tell ya. But I was determined to lose the weight and change my thought pattern that I didn't have to eat everything in sight. It's something that happens to you when you have starved, literally. Once you come back around from starving, you fear going through that horrendous pain again and you eat as much as you can, "just in case". So I lost the weight and was looking damn good and started buying clothes that weren't baggy and hanging to my knees, hiding everything. I bought clothes that normal people wear and it revealed the weight I had lost. Next thing I know I'm hearing rumors that I'm a heavy drug user, how else would I have lost so much weight so fast. These rumors were started by the patrons who came into that bar every single day. It hurt a little to have it come from them because you build a relation with your customers and they joke around with you, give you little gifts, tell you their life stories, share things with you...so to know that these very same people were talking about my supposed drug use, not once asking me what was going on did put a little sting in my life. I had to tell myself that these people were not worth getting upset over because, look at them! All they do is go to work and come to this bar.

Last year some rumors were spread about me. Bits of truth sprinkled in to elaborately made up bullshit that set a course in motion revealing who truly were my friends and who was just a fucking phony. Found out a lot of people were a bunch of phonies and only talked the talk. They chose to believe the worst, just like all those people througout my life. The thing is, what all of these idiots don't understand is that more they try to tear me down, the stronger they make me.

Of course rumors can hurt but in the end, I am the one who is laughing.

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