I’m Sorry, Margaret Wendel

I’ve had this really interesting biological thing happen to me the last few weeks. I’ve been terrified, pissed, nervous, overwhelmed, dejected, alone and I’ve been actually smelling different as a result. Now, keep in mind that I’m always smelling great to begin with, especially when I run out of my manly body wash and have to use the little Bath & Body Works bottle of Black Amethyst, but my aroma has been different, and I haven’t been able to place the smell until a couple of days ago: I smell like Margaret Wendel.

Margaret Wendel and I were in the same fifth grade class at Edith L. Slocum Elementary School, and she was tortured mercilessly by everyone — was called ‘corroded’ regularly. Margaret Wendel smelled exactly like I’ve been smelling lately, and I can’t help but feel the stabs in my heart over the fact that she smelled that way because she was scared, was nervous, every single day of her life in that school.

I was, by no means, a ring leader in any of this torture, as I had no power, but I didn’t help her cause. I don’t remember her voice at all, but I remember that she tied ribbons in her hair a lot, wore floral-patterned dresses, and looked like she was smiling all the time because her teeth were so large. I can see her nervous face and those teeth, and I can smell her fear right now, even after the Black Amethyst delousing, and I am so goddamned sorry, Margaret, that you had to live through that. I hope your life is beautiful now.

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