This Ain’t Wonderland

 

• Wonder Bread is produced by an established in 1921 bakery, which is indigenous to the North American continent. Each loaded with bleached flour, lily white slice is so devoid of nutrients, flavor and overall character that one has to wonder…

How could such bland bread remain some consumers’ much sought after brand?

• Wonder Bread is also an Americanism. Each stateside statement is used to describe predominantly lily white communities so devoid of racial diversity, that one has to wonder…

How could such tastelessness ever become some inhabitants’ much sought after milieu?

• Wonder Bread also describes the way I recall the early decades of my lifelong hometown… a locale where some of the bygone realtors’ collective attitude had been abundantly bigoted. Why else did our one and only African-American family wind up dwelling right next to the well traveled by freight trains, railroad tracks?

Even as a young boy, I could sense the wrongness of expecting someone to live right next to such unbearable noise. As an adolescent, I finally identified this as racism’s stench. I also realized that, when Wonder Bread communities have few victims to target, some of the locals can and will “think up” new prejudices… albeit not much brain power goes into their “think up” process.

I first became the target of the narrow-minded, when elementary school bullies singled me out as a nine-year-young boy. To this very day, I still have absolutely no inkling as to what I could’ve ever done to trigger their hostility. In fact, in some instances, I did not even know my tormentors’ names! But, none of that mattered to them. From grades 4 thru 9 (inclusive) they did their damnedest to assault me… mostly verbally / sometimes physically. To cite a couple examples…

• Thoughtless Kenny’s mouth incessantly spewed his hateful, hurtful thoughts at me. One morning, he went over to a drinking fountain to, momentarily, water down his message… albeit, not in a good way. Doing an about face, at point blank range, he next punched his bulging cheeks to geyser forth his foul spit / water mixture right in my face.

• In a playground incident, bully Bob roughed me up, held my arms behind my back so his accomplice, James, could punch me in the stomach… so hard that I nearly puked.

Worse yet, no amount of my parents’ written and phoned complaints could ever convince my school’s principal that [1] his raging out of control, unpunished pals were not only denying me my education but also killing my spirit, [2] his always allying with bullies rendered his school no better than an overflowing with discrimination cesspool and [3] left unchecked, his toxic environment could even devolve into something far more grave.

In retrospect, I’ve got to wonder, what would’ve happened had I not skipped school? Had my absence denied my tormentors their chance? “Chance to do what?” you ask? Well let’s just say…

It’s likely a wonder that I lived to tell about it.