Much of my childhood was spent trying to hide or confound any number of neighborhood half-wits who it could be said, If he was any smarter, he'd be really dangerous. These were the boys who often started conversations with truly scary lines like, What will happen if we mix kerosene with . . . My mother would lock me and my sister out of the house for summer afternoons to fend for ourselves. I hated this because I knew she was seeing her boyfriend, a man who thought I was retarded because I had a weak eye and didn't say much around him. Not that there was much to say. There are some situations which don't really sustain a lot of chit chat. It probably explains why I hate to be outside my house, taking leisurely strolls to and from my car, oblivious to danger. One of the creepiest commercials of the last few years has been the one advertising the censor in the car -- the one that can pick up the beat of a human heart in the middle of the night as some Ted Bundy yokel lurks in your back seat. What the ad doesn't mention is that you're pretty well fucked if you're in a pitch black parking lot without a soul around for miles (the setting of said ad).
If this weren't training enough for the vagaries of adulthood, I had Leland, half-wit extraordinaire with which to contend. That fool had free reign of my babysitter's house (she was his grandmother) and knew how to lock us in the bathroom (the door locked from the outside for reasons I never figured out). All of us kids learned to foil Leland eventually, but not without a lot of residual damage. His life became the stuff of legend eventually -- he got his sister pregnant, took a younger male lover, lost several fast food jobs. We could joke about him once safely out of his way. Youth, resilence, memory -- a lost world, some for the good, some not.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I always believed in the rainbow and all that shit. Turns out it wasn't true, not true at all." Judy Garland
Drinking magazine suggestion: The Week
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday! Thanks so much for the well wishes! I'm still feeling like hell, but maybe sleeping twenty hours a day will help.