Saturday, February 6, 2010

Occupying Time

As a kid I believed in amnesia.  Thanks to Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd I knew if I got a conk on the head I could forget myself completely and all it would take was another conk to make me right again.  Those were the days.

The red house, the first house, had a spacious back yard, kept up and organized in the only way I imagine there was to deal with the noise and constant motion of the Interstate.  There was a patio with a built-in dog kennel and brick barbecue, a huge weeping willow out by the ditch, the laundry line with my white plastic swing attached to a pole and an inordinate amount of ordinary flowerbeds.  I loved the moss roses best.

Along the left side of the yard was a row of fruit trees, apple, pear and cherry, that acted as the natural barrier between us and the neighbors.  I always heard how Dad and the Mr. didn't get along.  "They're too much alike," Ma said throwing my notion of an ideal playmate through the spin cycle.  It would be a good long while before I figured that one out.

Whatever the original intent, those fruit trees were the perfect size, just right for my little self to climb into the saddle of a low branch and bonk my head against the trunk.  Nothing happened, save for a few lost cherry blossoms.

So, I'd bonk again, test myself and realize I still knew my name, still knew where I lived.  Maybe amnesia didn't agree with me.

I eventually went and grew up and learned it takes more than a whack on the cherry tree to make a girl forget, and that forgetting isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Right now I would give next to anything to remember clearly, to be present inside the workings of that little me mind, to wonder at how it all fits into the tiny box that is one moment.


  1. A jewel of a had me laughing in paragraph one and sobered immensely by the last. Second to last paragraph--beautifully put.

  2. You capture perfectly the innocence of childhood, when life is both simpler and and in some ways more confusing. Nice post!

  3. Thank you both. I get lost in these posts, with vivid memories of such small times. Trying hard to puzzle the pieces together.

  4. I've been surprised by memories that present themselves when I'm writing, even when the something I thought I was writing about was as prosaic as pickles.

  5. Isn't it true? I had an instructor for a creative nonfiction class who spoke about writing a long essay about her father while cleaning out the fridge because she found a jar of his favorite jam. This is why I love writing and art as a whole.

    Thank you for stopping and commenting, Carol.