Little Miss Memory
I remember the time my mom told me it was okay to tell a white lie. I was going to a birthday party @ McDonald’s I was maybe about 6 years old. My sister Lisa wasn’t invited, and my mom told her I was going to the dentist.
I remember when I was really little, I wanted to be a monster when I grew up so I wouldn’t have to be scared of anything. I remember in the second grade I thought I was a dinosaur and I remember the book fairs, when my mom would give me some money to buy the books with the little neon stickers on them. I was in line to get my books and this girl ahead of me had tic-tacs and was pretending to be taking drugs…I was all freaked out, but I didn’t tell on her. In fact, I wanted to try. I did karate in the school yard and raced against the boys and I always won. I always loved karate, even though I never took a lesson. From kindergarten ‘til the 3rd grade, I wanted to be Chinese. I ate rice cakes and other rice meals, I wore Chinese clothes and shoes and was fascinated by their houses, culture, language, art….and panda bears. There was a brief period in the second grade where I wanted to be Ethiopian, but then I decided I just wanted to go there and save the children.
I remember I wanted to be like a squirrel, so I could walk on telephone wires and fence tops. One time I did walk right across a fence top. An un-sturdy, practically broken fence, and I knew I was defying gravity, but no one was there to see me. one time I was talking to a bird, a robin, I think, and it let me pick it up. I held it for a minute, but when the train came by, it flew away. I told my mom about it, but I don’t think she believed me. I asked her to teach me how to whistle, but she said she didn’t know how. She was making pancakes. I can whistle now, you know, but I doubt if I’ll ever be able to get a wild bird to sit on my fingers, besides, I’d be too afraid to get some disease or be bitten.
I used to make forts with the tables and chairs, and bushes, and I would hide for hours, listening to everything that went on inside my gentle head.
Once, I was in my sister’s room playing with my care bears, and someone shot a BB gun pellet right through the window. It just missed me. from that day, until the day we moved, I would sit by the window and have conversations with my friend mark who wasn’t really there.
I had glow worms and rubber toys with finger holes in the bottom that always smelled like candy. I played with paper dolls and made beds for my Barbies with my blankey, which I would never sleep without. I still have that blanket, but I wouldn’t really call it a blanket now, more like cotton and thread. I still need a special blanket for me to fall asleep.
I never wanted to grow up, I always wanted to stay a little kid, cuz being a little kid was fun, and I could watch strawberry shortcake movies, sesame street, the last unicorn and the never ending story. I could suck my thumb or dream of becoming a famous magician who works at ground round restaurants or the theatre in the green. I could read my shel silverstein books and forget to get off at my bus stop, and it would be okay if I made a mistake because I was still learning the lessons of life. But here I am, turning 20 in September, and all I have are old photos and fragmented memories.
by Jymi Cliche