Do you have a to-be-read list? Or shelf or pile or bags full, like my kids and I do? Are you such a cool reader kid you call it a TBR? There’s an art to the TBR, and I don’t have it. Take for example my friend and colleague Rob, who one magical year actually accomplished the impossible of actually reading all the books on his TBR shelf before buying more. Not me; it’s just piles everywhere and then I grab whatever, or I end up ordering from the library/internet anyway.
I have a TBW list. I think many of us do, whether we know it or not: these are the stories that may matter most but also can be hardest to tell. What Glennon Doyle calls your “truthiest truth.” And I don’t know about you, but these years since the pandemic began, or maybe it’s since Trump, or wait maybe it’s since… all the wrong and sad and overwhelming things ever… These years have showed me some TRUTH. And the more I know what is true, the more I have to write about it.
And it’s super scary.
What if it hurts their feelings what if they don’t believe me what if it doesn’t count what if I am wrong what if I can’t what if it’s stupid what if nobody reads it what if I’m crazy what if i regret it what if I show too much real me what if what if what if kind of scary.
Here’s the list of things To Be Written in the coming days and weeks. Hold me to it.
- How Mike Spiller, my first gymnastics coach in Texas, fondled my crotch while “massaging” me in a tent of gym mats at a lock-in in the early 80s
- How Mike Spiller is still active in gymnastics and other youth camp settings, to my horror and stupid surprise
- How I didn’t realize what Mike Spiller did was bad at first, so starving I was for affection and approval
- How I did tell what Mike Spiller did, but not right away and not firmly enough, maybe
- How I lived out a life for the almost forty years since then, in all the messy and fucked up ways people live lives, but with the additional mess that Mike Spiller left behind for my head
- How I work at Penn State and did not re-report Mike Spiller even when child sexual abuse was all anyone talked about
- How I watched the trial of Larry Nassar and did not re-report Mike Spiller
- How I recently reported Mike Spiller to USA Center for SafeSport
- How it appears that I am not the only one who has something to say Mike Spiller
- How now I am doing everything I can to encourage others who may have similar experiences with Texas gymnastics coach Mike Spiller to contact me
- And whatever happens from there.
Thanks to the many people who have tried to love me at some point since 1982 and have recently answered questions when investigators have gotten in touch. I’m diving into the big scary TBW.
Here’s to all the truthy truth!