Untotaled: Stepping 33 (March 12th, 1967) Charley … September 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2364)

(Transcript)

Charley loved to run.

Not me.

I had chubby legs that seemed to be made out of cotton candy, generating the gait of a circus elephant.

In one of the brief fits of verbosity that possessed his soul, Charley once shared with me that running faster and faster made him feel that his feet were leaving the ground and he was soaring into the heavens to dance with the angels.

Pretty articulate for a Midwest kid.

I decided to go out for track and field more or less because I didn’t have anything else to do. Since I could not run or jump, they asked me to try out on the shot put. I did.

I was unimpressed, so I fell back into my acquired nature of quitting. But even though I departed the team, I found myself during study hall sitting at the table with these athletes, and when the monitor left the room, Randy spoke up and gave us a juicy piece of gossip. (Randy was also a runner but never quite as fast as Charley.)

Randy explained that Charley was a “gypsy type.” Now, I do not know what the origin of that phrase was in our community, but I knew that “gypsy type” meant that Charley was–well, dangerous. The adults had other terms for Charley’s problem when they were alone and away from the children.

  • “Effeminate.”
  • “Queer.”
  • “Sodomite.”

Although I had no personal experience with Charley demonstrating such bizarre behavior, in 1967 just the mention of the situation caused your skin to crawl, making you want to avoid any contact with such perverted beings.

Randy knew this. In other words, it didn’t have to be true–just spoken. The gossip mill and bigotry would do the rest.

No one drew close to Charley after that.

He ate alone, he ran alone, he walked alone, he talked alone.

When he asked me why I was not sharing with him anymore, I clumsily replied, “I’ve been busy.”

One day we came to school and he was gone. No one even asked where he was or if he was coming back. Charley was soon forgotten, and the quest for other “gypsy types” was set in motion with renewed scrutiny.

It was many years later that Randy, the accuser of his running friend, came out of the closet, admitting that he was gay. (“Gypsy type” was no longer acceptable terminology.) Randy was lauded for his courage. He was embraced by his friends. Matter of fact, he was set apart as an example of someone who had endured a silent persecution and now was set free.

Mustering some boldness, I asked Randy about Charley. He said he didn’t remember much about Charley.

He paused and then added, “Oh, wasn’t Charley that good-looking kid that was really fast?”

I just smiled, and said, “Yeah. That’s him.”

I walked away from that encounter realizing that there is no such thing as a “righteous” judgment.

It’s all just crapping on people.

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

The Box Created for Me … February 8, 2013

(1,785)

contentsDecember 18th, at Mercy Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, I arrived in this world as the fourth son of James Russell and Mary Adele Cring, weighing in at a whopping twelve and a half pounds. I was a big blob of chub.

Before I had completed taking my first breath of human air, already deposited into my being were weaknesses, strengths, predilections, inklings, chromosomal domination, DNA damage and family traits such as skin color, eye hue and even baldness.

This was my “born” identity. Every one of us has one. To ensure that this particular package of information is reinforced, we are basically surrounded for the first six years of our lives with only a handful of individuals, teaching us how to do everything from holding a spoon to the correct position for crapping. We absorb their culture. It becomes ours. And because it is ours, in our minds it is preferred above all others.

We are taught to have devotion to one set of people who have granted us this identity over, the other individuals we come into contact with who are equally as human, and maybe a more suitable blessing to our lives. I learned the manners of the Cring clan. I absorbed the fears. I heard the jokes. I retained the prejudice: “Eenie-meenie-minee-moe, catch a nigger by his toe…” (Later, arriving in school, I discovered that the more acceptable word was “tiger” instead of “nigger,” but deep in my soul I rejected it because after all, my DNA masters had taught me differently.)

These family members wasted little time trying to influence my destiny. By the time I was six weeks old, they were already guessing at my personality by the expressions on my face (which really were reactions to excess gas, but they interpreted them as personality quirks.) I became a “good baby”–or was it a “quiet little one?” Maybe I was a “real handful.” Could it be that I would be an athlete–because my legs seemed really strong when I kicked my booties off?  Aunts and uncles joined into the barrage of suggestions with their own interpretations of my unformed thinking. Entering the schoolroom made little difference–just exposed me to more ideas and more individuals who insisted that I should stay within the box created for me, and of course, coloring within the lines.

By the time I was thirteen years old, I had taken my twelve and a half pounds at birth and accelerated them to three hundred. No one intervened. Since I was playing on the football team, it was assumed that I was just “one of those big boys.” Or maybe it was because no one wanted to admit they had raised a fat kid. Who knows?

But when I left the security of this conclave of seeming protectors, I was unprepared for the world, which had little toleration for my vices and even more varied demands for my destiny.

My box was delivered into life–but it seemed to arrive postage due.

The result? I am confused. I was told that I was a Cring and everything would be all right if I just followed the household rules. And now, even my family is wondering why I just don’t seem to fit in with the rest of the world around me.

I have outgrown the box in which I was created, but I am frightened to lift the lid and escape.

My God. What’s next?

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: