Yesterday Colin commented on the post. I thought his reaction was insightful enough to be worth sharing. Warning: Heavy therapy ahead.
"I'm the kid in the pic.
She was right that I did seek the tough kids in the park. I'm not sure why--there was no physical threat to me, per se; I was just sickly, asthmatic, lonely, fearful of harm, and sought the confraternity of strength against the weakness I felt inside me. In this way she saw me true.
At seven, I weren’t no angel. I could be cruel, lash out, victimize: fear made me feel weak, a feeling I detested for shame and contested to my detriment. She likely recognized this conflict in me as her own and with this pic unconsciously captured both the shallow-boiling anger and malice within me as well as a kindred, violent alienation within herself. I was her mirror. In this way the clenched fist and silly grenade express what ailed her, me and many temporal beings who comprise the world: wounded love taking refuge in pride."