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An Army Of One

At the age of six Diane was tricked into an unfortunate situation by a neighbor boy whom she had considered a friend. She doesn't remember this boy's name, but can easily recollect the overcast day in Park Forest, Illinois when she was made to believe that dropping down into a window well to report back on some rat bones located at the bottom was a good idea.

The boy convinced her to do this thing that she would normally have had no interest in doing being 1) not very fond of confined spaces and 2) afraid of rats, both living and dead because he said he was too afraid to go look at the bones himself. Diane was, even at a very young age, interested in being seen as a person who could do things. She was especially interested in being seen (and actually being) a person who could do things that other people could not - either due to lack of skill, or lack of bravery.

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Diane remembers sitting at the edge of the window well and then dropping down to the bottom, feeling the crunch of old leaves and bits of stones and sticks under her feet. The house that this was happening at was not hers, or his, which increased her anxiety levels some. Once in the cramped space with only the well wall in front of her, and a window she had no access to behind her, she realized that it would be difficult to get back out without assistance from her friend, who was now nowhere to be seen. She sucked back a creeping fear about this to focus on the task at hand, the bones that were now in close proximity to her. They were bleached clean from the elements, along with the natural process of rot, and not at all remarkable aside from the fact that they had once supplied a moveable framework for a living thing.

She reached down to poke at them, not so much to actually touch them, but to punctuate the fact that she had done what she set out to do, and then turned her attention towards removing herself from the well. Which she eventually succeeded in doing, although she doesn't remember how.

She looks back at this moment as the first time she realized that she could trust herself more than she could trust other people, which is neither a good thing, or a bad thing.