Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Computers, Toys, Trips To The Museum


When I was a child, my friends and I used to put talcum powder on our faces and pretend we were dead. If this isn't proof that there wasn't much going on in our hometown, I don't know what is. The kids I know now have educational videos, they have animated movies, they have computers and toys and trips to the museum. We had one free game at the bowling alley and catching crawfish in muddy ponds. By the time I was in high school, our family had an Atari with Pong and Ms. Pacman. But before that, it was up to us to make our own fun, as they say, and playing dead was a game based on who could stay still -- it's much harder than you would think. You can't move or breathe very much. It was a little scary, all of us girls in a row, trying to will ourselves into submission. This fun pastime ranks right up there with the one we were to take up in a few years -- making ourselves faint by cutting off our air supply.
I was good at being dead -- it suited my personality. I didn't have to draw attention to myself, something I wasn't good at anyway. Without a daredevil bone in my body, this game didn't result in me being picked last for something or humiliating myself with lack of experience in all things worldly. Fainting proved to be much more difficult. I could never quite bring myself to the loss of control it required, the way the girls would describe the world falling away and waking up without knowing where you were. All of it was practice for later years when our survival instincts would kick in and we'd have to be able to deal with both experiences with more frequency than one might hope. As for me, I've upgraded my powder, but I still like to stay still and scare people with my ability to resurrect from time to time.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I shrug my shoulders in the scented darkness. 'It's me.'" Mary O'Connell
Cocktail Hour
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Living With Saints by Mary O'Connell
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!
26 days until The Sopranos airs!

14 comments:

Archbishop Adam Midol said...

The concept of resurrection is important, especially during the upcoming Easter season.

That Seventies Guy said...

Once you learned the pattern on Pacman, you could play for hours--days!

The Elephant Man said...

I wish I could've seen Ms. Pacman(H. Rodham Clinton) play with Vince Foster.

Vince Foster said...

What a mouth on that woman. She really knew how to pack it in.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

She's a human vacuum cleaner, if you know what I mean.

Martin Graham Beagle said...

Speaking of museums, the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the ten largest museums in the United States, has an excellent Van Gogh as part of its permanent collection--"The Postman." By the way, Van Gogh was an excellent writer and his collected letters are well worth reading.

Moby Dick said...

For me, a thunderous surfacing is like a resurrection.

Ahab said...

You mother fucker.

Dan said...

As for me, I've upgraded my powder, but I still like to stay still and scare people with my ability to resurrect from time to time.

What an awesome post Michelle! If I knew you back then I would have asked if I could play. We'd spend half our time playing dead and the other half of our time walking the railroad tracks for miles and miles behind my house.

And don't ever get rid of that powder. Ever. Because once you do, you may as well be dead. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

"Upgraded your powder" was a great line. When I was a kid in the country I made up so many elaborate games that I truly did live in a fantasy world. In one game I used seeds such as acorns, chinaberries, and walnuts as races in a kind of war game that involved religion, tribalism, heroism, and a lot of smashed seeds.

the walking man said...

All I remember from the years you're talking (counting your age backwards to the about the same age; 9 or 10 I guess,) is trying not to get my ass beat by my older brothers friends,Trying not to get my ass beat by the fucking nuns, trying to stay away from my father when he was fucked up because I was his favorite target, and throwing rocks through an abandoned factory's windows,and smoking cigarettes. I guess it doesn't matter if you grew up in a small town or a big city you still had to find your own form of fun.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I have done it again, one year in every ten, I manage it, a walking miracle, my skin as bright as a Nazi lampshade. (We all know where this came from.) Nice post.

Bart Cunher said...

You wouln't draw attention to yourself on my balance beam either my little lassie.

Wikipedia said...

Urban legends suggest that male gymnassts do not compete on the balance beam because of the potential of injury to the testicles.