I never saw the kid’s face, but he stood like Ghandi.
What I saw was a sure-footed figure in a blaze orange crossing guard vest in the center of a pushy punchy trippy clump of five or six other kids.
Sticking out of one end of the multi-colored jacket mass was a long pole with a flag on it. My eyes flew to a head thrown back in glee, clearly the leader of the attackers. He tightened his grip on the protruding end of the pole and pulled away from the aggressive mass. The ranks delivered blows to the school patrol’s arms, back and legs until their leader ran free with the prize, waving it high above his jeering lips.
The composed orange vest walked after him— the gang cheered and taunted him — and the lead tormentor teased him by pretending he was tired of the game, surrendering the equipment, then jerking it back.
The white dove never budged.
Watching the school patrol keep his cool, I wandered back in time to fifth grade and the inauguration of girls into the school patrol. This was a big deal, and I was just like every girl who wanted to be chosen.
Hey, these were bra burning days and my trainer was on fire.
But alas — with my Mia Farrow Rosemary’s Baby pixie cut, horn-rimmed glasses and whispering bone thin frame — I was not among the six lucky pony tails selected to make history and stand in the cross walks that year.
Yesterday through adult eyes, the reasons were made perfectly clear to me.