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
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Living With Saints by Mary O'Connell
Benedictions and Maledictions
26 days until The Sopranos airs!