One of the embarrassing things about being stalked is that it doesn’t just happen to you. No, when someone has decided to focus on you, it smears all over your friends and family. My brothers were followed, because my problem couldn’t always tell if it was me or them in the car. Guys I was friendly with got threatened for talking to me. My mom got to hear about what a whore I was. And on and on.

It was not an easy time. When my brother was “borrowed” after school when I’d been out sick with pneumonia and my problem wanted to have an accounting of how I’d spent my week, I got in trouble for not being able to control my friends. I also got sent over to this guys house on a few occasions to “make up” with him because my behavior toward him was the problem, since it was causing him to act this way toward me, though no one could explain to me what, exactly, I should be doing differently.

It’s weird, in some ways, because that was so long ago and I don’t really feel any anger toward him any more. We were kids. He was fucked up. And it’s been over for a long time. When I am forty, it will have been twenty years.

But the thing that has stuck with me, at my heels like a shadow I can never lose, is that feeling that, objectively, knowing me meant you had to be involved in this fucked up shit, even though, what I would wish for you more than anything is that it wouldn’t affect you in the slightest. That you would never notice.

I know, intellectually, of course, that it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t protect people from what was happening to me. But I still get this feeling, every once in a while, that it sucks for people to know me and like me, because their relationship with me might give someone else an excuse to abuse them.

I’m feeling like that today.

Maundy Thursday with the Scottish Rite

I was expecting a service, like a modified church service, but it not that. It was a rite or a ritual. I couldn’t believe how quiet the audience was, either. Seriously, not a singe phone went off; nobody chatted through it. The only noises really were people sniffling or coughing.

The ritual went in two parts. In the first part, there were seven guys all dressed in black who did a bunch of stuff and then put out the candles on the table. Then they rearranged the stuff and some different seven guys all dressed in white who did a bunch of stuff and then relit the candles.

There were three different times when I got chills, not because anything profound was visibly going on, but because, I’ll tell you what, those guys know how to shift the energy in a place. It’s hard to explain. The dudes in black sat. They stood. They walked around. They said some stuff. At one point, it went completely dark. And by the time it went completely dark, I was like “Oooooo.” Even though they were just doing the stuff I described.

I mean, when I go to church, I know what’s going on. I know most of the words. So, when I get the woos at church, it’s easy to pin-point why. But I am curious about and not quite sure what exactly was heebie-jeebie inducing about a ritual I wasn’t familiar with.

I have a lot of thoughts, but I can’t quite organize them. But it does make me think about the importance of ritual and how we want to do things that we feel people have been doing for years.

I mean, I was sitting there thinking that this was something–or something similar–that Ben Allen did. And that really moved me.

Anyway, I’m still a little overwhelmed. It’s just something I knew nothing about. I thought it was like the Lions or something, but no, it’s doing that kind of stuff, but it’s also functioning for these men in a different way.