The Appeal of Grease

January 6, 2020
Fall 1998 - May 2000
a jar of petroleum jelly similar to the one I used to treat my hair in the 90s until it was cut. Find this product at Dollar Trees everywhere. I used to have nice, long hair as a kid. It was more wavy than it was curly. Maintaining it was a challenge enough, but when my first (second, and third) grade teacher kept using it as leverage during corporal punishment, my foster mother had had enough and cut those locks. Apparently she was concerned her monopoly on abusing my body was at risk. I used grease so I could slip out of the teacher's grip, but her nail polish would get stuck on my strands. I attended Archer Street Elementary School for first, second and third grades until I was expelled shortly before my admission to South Oaks Psychiatric Hospital. During that time, I had trouble socializing, was so heavily medicated that I couldn't separate fact from fiction, and for some reason, I constantly harassed this girl on the playground named [#p0t90t]. My teacher was always finding a reason to humiliate me during the class, "to make an example", as she said, but as I my behavior worsened, the students were indirectly inspired by my tomfoolery and she lost further control of the class. She started upping the ante and grabbing my hair. I started using grease so I could wriggle my way out. She then involved [#a2l78a], then the principal, to seek solutions.
Surprisingly, [#a2l78a] took a different approach, which made me less defensive. She had a number of conversations with me to try to pick my brain, both in her office and on the playground during recess. Two questions stand out: • "What color is the sky?"
I answered (correctly) that the sky doesn't have a color of its own, and it's technically clear.
• "What color are the leaves?"
I said, "at least four of them, but the green stands out when the weather is nice."
For some reason, she had this worried expression on her face. I didn't give it much thought then.

I later got word when we returned from Montreal that I had been expelled from Archer Street Elementary. I would attend New Visions Elementary for fourth grade. However, about eight weeks in, I was informed by [#a6l10m] that [#a2l78a] had referred me to a mental hospital, and that she would act on that recommendation. I wasn't happy with it, but I knew that if I made any objections, it would only make things worse. I also knew she was looking for an excuse to get me out of the way so that she could marry [#a5g55g], something I was vocally against, as I saw the attention I was getting lessen, and the abuse worsen when he came into our lives.
Feeling powerless after seeing the wedding bands when they visited me, I shrugged it off at the surface. I was only at South Oaks for about three months. After realizing nothing was wrong with me, they let me go and I was picked up by [#a6l10m], who wouldn't even make eye contact with me for the whole trip except when she didn't have something nice to say. Our relationship would abruptly end on June 26th, 2001, when she tried belting me, but I fought back and threw an object at her. Furious, she lunged at me, but she lost her footing and tried to grab on to the dresser mirror, which came crashing down on me. I avoided it by crawling under the bed as it fell. She then packed my belongings in the Mazda Millenia, and drove me to my (eighth) babysitter, [#a8p44e]'s house in Uniondale.

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