Friday, September 12, 2008
Where My Story Starts
Here's another section from Second Day Reported. Hope you're having a great weekend! I'll be coming at you from Mexico next week where Angela's wedding festivities will be.
Maybe that’s where my story starts. Or maybe it’s a little too clever. I’ve been accused of that, by my first graduate poetry professor. You’re really smart and a little too clever. It’s going to be your downfall. I thought about how I got there, the clever part, and my mind brings me to a point where I’m seven years old, trying to keep the garden-variety pedophile, my babysitter Betsy’s touched semi-retarded grandson Leland, locked out of the bathroom while I bathed. The problem was that the door locked from the outside. He could lock any of us kids inside, but we couldn’t really lock him out. Such was the world then and such as it would become. Leland had already treated us to the sight of himself pulling down his pants, yelling, You want Dick Clark, I’ll show you Dick Clark.
We ran into the kitchen where Betsy stirred the instant mashed potatoes. “Leland pulled down his pants and we saw his privates,” I told her.
“Ignore him, honey. He just wants attention.” But he’d already taken off in Betsy’s Pinto off for a Saturday night adventure. You could hear it revving up for miles.
But really there is no beginning to a story like this one. There was a haunted house in my hometown (nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town!) run by the Edgemeade kids, adolescents who lived in a group home for the emotionally disturbed. This quaint turn of phrase could mean anything from having a criminal record (it was the only state facility that took arsonists) to touched that gentle Southern expression which covered so much ground. Each year they’d take the abandoned barracks and turn them into a chamber of horrors for profit. The trusted ones got to play monsters -- Leatherface, Freddy Kruger, all the usual suspects. The locals called it Retards With Fake Chainsaws. The chainsaws were real, though. They just didn’t have blades.
One of my earliest memories consisted of watched a teenage boy chase the object of his desire around and around a fake guillotine, threatening to chop it off if she wouldn’t be with him. “I know where you live,” he told her. “You live with me.”
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams." H. P. Lovecraft
Drinking memoir suggestion: Thin Is The New Happy Valerie Frankel
Benedictions and Maledictions