WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS WHILE EATING.
How could I have recognized a person I had never seen before in my life?
Still, though, if I had known who she was, I’d have tried to memorize every last detail about her. As it was, our meeting was short and pointed, and in my ignorance, I was content to speak briefly with the mother of The Legend while my daughter chatted away with the glorious Rachel.
Rachel, a lanky blond girl wearing a high pony tail, greeted Charlotte the way most little girls greet my daughter – she excitedly yelled “Charlotte!” then ran over and gave her a big ol’ bear hug. But, after a few minutes of witnessing their cheerful yet dramatic reunion and making small talk with Rachel’s mom, I suggested the girls exchange phone numbers, because I was impatient to get my groceries home and tucked away.
On hindsight, I regret that I did not show her the proper respect, that I did not make offerings of candy and Barbie dolls to this Queen of Kid-dom.
Rachel. The girl. The myth. The legend.
Surely you know of Rachel?
No? You haven’t heard the stories? How can this be?
Well, no matter. It is certain that someday bards will sing songs of her deeds.
Until that time, my limited vocabulary must suffice to pay a small tribute to her greatness. My hope, dear friends, is that my words will shine in this moment above all others so that I may convey to you a glint, a glimmer of the wonder that is she.
You see, I first heard of Rachel about a month ago. We were having dinner together as a family when her name came up in conversation.
“Rachel ate her own vomit on a dare.”
“Nooooo. She didn’t. Did she? Who’s Rachel? And, why would she do that?”
“She’s just a girl I know. Some boy offered her one Sweet-tart if she’d eat her own vomit. And she ate the whole pile off the floor and then licked the floor.”
“No! For one Sweet-tart?”
“Yeah, she’s crazy. She eats bugs too. She says it’s to toughen herself up.”
“Did the other kid give her the whole pack of Sweet-tarts? ‘Cause he should have.”
“No. He just gave her the one. They both got in trouble. But, mostly, just Rachel got punished.”
Have you ever heard of such an amazing being? Of a person trying to rise above this human coil by licking up vomit and eating bugs? Of a person who was made a martyr by some lame daycare worker who couldn’t understand – might never understand – the beauty of what this young woman was trying to accomplish?
Well, I didn’t always understand myself. I kept asking, “Why?”
But, now I get it. She is becoming in sort of a Silence of the Lambs meets Spongebob Squarepants kind of way.
It’s quite mind expanding.
If I ever again see that very special little girl, I will know her for the extraordinary person that she is, and I will view her with the proper amounts of wonder and fear.
Hopefully, my hands won’t quiver too visibly when I hand her a pen and ask for her autograph.