• Maggie Levine

ArtWrite 8/14: Michal Chelbin

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

The kids were cranked like Jack-in-the-boxes and exploded out of their seats when the bell rang for recess and lunch. But not Joely. The two periods that were supposed to be synonymous with freedom were her daily crucible.

If she opted to join her friends for tether ball or jacks, she was still on the lookout, worrying that Robbie was doing something that would give the kids in their grade another reason to call him weird. If she spent the period pacing the perimeter of the playground as he counted his every step, she resented the fact that he was oblivious to her sacrifice.

No one ever told Joely that children are not meant to exist in a state of vigilance. For years, she continued to soldier on, trudging through the trenches in a sodden woolen uniform with a backpack twice her size.

-- Maggie Levine


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