Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Mike's Story Part 4; Friends
By Jenna Orkin
Mike's father's job with the Air Force required the family to move so often that Mike changed schools virtually every year. It's notoriously hard to make friends under those circumstances and it left him lonely and angry, especially after "Dad" started staying away from home for longer periods. He took out his frustration on the family dog, kicking and abusing it. When Dad returned, he immediately got the lay of the land, understanding he was the root cause of the problem. But he also realized that for everyone's sake, the dog had to go. I always felt that Mike's yearning for a "dawg" was partly to make amends to that childhood pet. He needed to prove to himself that he could care for a dog since, as no one questions, he loved them so much.
One day shortly after the family moved to Denver, a kid in Mike's class said, "Hey, Mike! We're all down by the pool. Love it if you could join us. Bring some cookies!"
Mike got excited - Could it be he would finally have some friends?
"I said, 'Ma, quick - get some cookies!'" he remembered.
"She drove me down there. They just wanted free cookies. They laughed at me..."
As he relived this story, Mike looked like the miserable kid he had been that day.
This is the background to the pride that shone from him in recent years when he would say with awe, "I have 5000 Facebook friends!"