The transcript for Josh’s 155th session was originally split, “straddling” the cut chapter prior (Josh Has Shooting Practice). This was the second part of it. This section was edited, cut down, and blended together with Josh’s Post-Boxing Session with Dr. Kennedy to form the new Session Transcript #155 on page 68 of the book.
Mendel: I don’t…
Kennedy: Do you?
Mendel: I was… I was supposed to go out on this date. A double date. With my friend Zik.
Kennedy: This is Zik who’s dating…Melissa?
Kennedy: Right. I’m sorry. And Michelle is best friends with—
Kennedy: The girl you—
Mendel: Right. Anyway, we were supposed to go out. Zik’s brother was going to drive us to the movies.
Kennedy: That was nice of him.
Mendel: Well, not really. Zik caught him smoking in the house and threatened to tell his parents unless he drove us to the movies.
Kennedy: OK. Go on.
Mendel: It was going to be Zik and Michelle and me and this girl Lisa Carter.
Kennedy: Why didn’t you go?
Mendel: Zik told me… Zik told me that he was going to sit apart from us. With Michelle, you know? So that they could be alone and, you know, kiss and stuff. So I would be with Lisa. And he told me that Lisa thought I was cute.
Mendel: And then he… He didn’t mean anything by it. He’s my best friend. He was just trying to help. He told me that Lisa was really nervous and I should just be cool.
Kennedy: Was it her first date?
Mendel: No, don’t you get it? It wasn’t that she was nervous because it was a date! It wasme. She knew about Rachel and the closet and E— Mrs. Sherman and all of it. Everyone knew. Everyone in town.
Kennedy: Your name wasn’t in the paper.
Mendel: So what? Everyone knows anyway. That’s what I’m trying to explain to you. Rachel’s parents told people about what happened in the closet, and then the word got out whythings happened in the closet, and then the trial and everything. And Lisa Carter was afraid.
Kennedy: You did nothing wrong. In this whole…this whole thing, you’re the one person who never did anything wrong.
Mendel: No. That’s not true. I shouldn’t have touched Rachel like that. I shouldn’t have—
Kennedy: Have you ever talked to Rachel about this? Have you ever apologized to her?
Mendel: Her parents wouldn’t let me near her.
Kennedy: But you go to school together. Or you could call her.
Mendel: She doesn’t want an apology. She hates me. She’s afraid of me.
Kennedy: And you think Lisa Carter is afraid of you, too?
Mendel: Wouldn’t you be?
Kennedy: I think you’re over-reacting, to be honest with you. I think you’re assuming that everyone knows—
Mendel: There’s this website. I found it one day. It has scans of all these public documents, you know? For big cases, for anything that hits the news. It has all of these scans about Mrs. Sherman and me. From her allocution. You know, when they made her tell them everything she did—
Kennedy: I know what allocution means.
Mendel: And because I’m under 18, my name is blocked out, but it doesn’t matter. Because everyone knows it’s me, so it doesn’t matter. And everyone knows everything. How can I kiss a girl? How can I touch a girl? What are they expecting? What do they know? How—
Kennedy: There’s no question— Look, I need you to take a moment, OK? There’s tissues in the— Right. Do you want some water?
Kennedy: OK, just— That’s it. Deep breaths, like we talked about. What are you doing in your head right now?
Mendel: Figuring out Zik’s IPA.
Kennedy: Which is…?
Mendel: Isolated power average.
Kennedy: And that helps calm you down?
Kennedy: I’m not going to lie to you. You’ve got a tough road ahead of you. But you’ve got a tough road behind you, too. You’ve come so far in the past couple of years, Josh. The road doesn’t go on forever and you’ve already made a lot of headway.
Mendel: I feel like I’ll never be normal.
Kennedy: Normal is relative.
Mendel: Well, no one will ever think I’m normal.
Kennedy: It’s perfectly natural for you to feel like you’re always going to feel this way. That’s part of being a teenager, and it’s particularly strong for you, given the circumstances. But you’ll date girls, Josh. Yes, some of them may react strangely. Some of them will break your heart. But not all of them. You’ll go to college someday and there will be people who’ve never even heard of Brookdale, much less Evelyn Sherman.
Mendel: I guess.
Kennedy: Trust me. In the meantime, you need to remember two things. One, you need to remember that this is not going to last forever. Focus on your schoolwork and your baseball, and leave yourself open to opportunities. Second, you really need to work on your anger, Josh. If you hadn’t been wearing gloves, someone could have been hurt. Really hurt.
Mendel: I know.
Kennedy: I know that you know. You’re a smart kid. But do you care?
Mendel: I’m not sure.