A Door Is Ajar


I know nothing.

I’ve never really had any interest. I drive a civic. And to me, that’s a-ok.

I did have a fleeting fancy with one particular car that I once spoke about on CBC Radio’s Definitely Not The Opera. But that is a whole other story. You can check that out here.

The 1985 Chrysler LeBaron.

That was my Mother’s car when I was in Jr. High.

It’s a memorable car. It friggin’ spoke to you. Like Kit, only more modestly priced.

We would sit outside of IJ Samson — about as inner city a school as you’ll find in a city like St. John’s. My Mother, who — God love her — would do her best to coach me up every morning.

“You walk in there, David”, she’d say, “with your head held high, and your shoulders back. You walk in there like you own the place”.

I’d crack that door to the stabbing winds of February, and the last sound I’d hear before leaving that LeBaron would be “a door is ajar”.

And then nothing. Just the howl of the wind, followed quickly by the perniciousness of “boys being boys”.

I wasn’t alone.

I remember a kid named Jamie that was spit upon pretty much daily. A child living with a developmental disability named Barry who was lambasted by the great unwashed. They used to make him dance for their entertainment.

Like a monkey.

As for me? I was thrown through walls, spit and pissed upon, beaten, tortured endlessly by a long line of people that I can barely remember anymore.

Over time they’ve all blended together into a sort of low-hanging and toxic fog.

But lately, I’ve stepped out of that fog. And I’ve seen the world around me.

And it’s pretty damn good. I’m just sayin’.

And in light of that truth, I’ve only one thing to say:

I forgive you.

I forgive you for the spitting, the pissing, the throwing through walls, the continued attacks, the crying jags at 8am outside of damn near every school I ever attended.

Because today, as I stepped out of my Civic, I found myself standing there with my shoulders back, my head held high, walking with a renewed sense of ownership.

Today, a door is most certainly ajar. And I’m so grateful for that.

11 thoughts on “A Door Is Ajar

  1. YAY! YAY! YAY! You survived some of the cruelest, most dreaded, and “pee-the-bed” moments of childhood. Like you, I wouldn’t go back to that cruel time for a million bucks. You rock, Dave. Never forget that fact. xo

  2. Forgiveness is more for us than those we are forgiving. Most likely they do not even remember the pain they have caused others to carry over their lifetime. Forgiveness heals and you hold your head up as you have accomplished so much. Be grateful for those difficult moments in life as they are what make these proud moments possible. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  3. This post just put a huge grin on my face. It’s one I intend to share with some friends who have faced bullies in their past and haven’t yet reached your level of confidence. I haven’t reached the stage of forgiveness, but I have gotten to acknowledgement and letting it be (or letting it go, depending on your choice of words) and getting those shoulders back. It feels wonderful.

  4. Hey Dave,
    Jim here again…bullies had impacted me big time in lower school. Could there be a “seed” of “push back” that has “intermittently” fueled workouts over the years? I had a 30 pound plus out of shape period in my 20s yet in general working out has been an “intermittent” aspect of my life. It has been more regular though since i first read all your blogs.

    Thanks for that needed push Dave!

    Rock on Bud as you progress day by day into a much, much deserved Spring (our fellow eastern Canadians really deserve it after this winter’s…big, big tough ass weather)


    PS i may try to forgive….you are quite the shining light…..

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