School had just gotten over for another year and the freedom derived was a good port against the storms. You see, I have always have had a stress disorder and PTSD due to abuse. But this abuse as it were, was actually where I perfected my brushstrokes. The almost daily paddlings were stressful to a child with high anxiety. Even if I did not get the paddlings myself. The same stench of a kid who barfed and the smell of that and bleach which tried to hide it. I was unsure if my revulsion were over the sickness or the lie that discipline was being maintained.
One rainy morning as torrential rains fell and I remember how dark and gloomy that morning was and I kind of felt like, Mom do not leave me. When we were ready to start our spelling test the teacher said the word ‘gnat’ and everyone started to write the word down and she was livid. She started going down the aisle marking F’s on the quiz paper and I simply erased my entry and she walked right on by,
One thing I could do right was spell with the best of them. My mom used to try and trick me with hard words and I got most of them right to her amazement. Between spelling and vocabulary I was one BAD SOB!!!
I know 7 years old was a bit young to be a ‘pimp’ but I took to it like a pro. I was kind of like Dr Detroit except I got my kicks above the waistline sunshine
The literal nightmare that often intruded into my life were softened by some magic. That magic was the realization that life matters. When I was out of school one year and the blistering Texas sun fried my pasty-white skin, I had a very special friend come into my life. I met the tiny cat one day during the morning hours.
I would routinely feed this frail little blessing and she knew the love and deep emotional impact she had upon me. I was like a locus sans their shell and some new vista started to open. Rather than seeing this as a detour, I took it to love this cat.
I guess all good things must come to an end, because on a hot day in late July, my cat as it were dragged it’s body into our yard and died at my feet. I was shocked and almost out of my mind. My trusted friend had gone through so much to just get back to me.
So inspite of the pain was also the realization that someone/some thing valued me. It kind of validated me and made it easy to deal with life at home. I can honestly say that my dad’s going to work was a seminal moment each day. After that I would aimlessly I would find a place.
A lot happened back then. One day my brother Jeff had decided to throw stones at a Honey Bee nest and true to form, those bees chased us down the road. I got stung a couple of times and my brother at least 20-30.
My other brother is named Mike and I remember being bored as a kid and I used to play games with him. I would shows like Superman and since my brother was basically too young to understand, I would alternate between bully and trusted hero. I was push him and then run around the yard out of sight and then would say if she saw the bad me.
I know that was simply awful but I know now that I am imperfect and this acting out was a world where I felt may … vindicated.
There were so many mini-adventures and while I had many a phobia, I did have moments where my man card was indelibly stamped. I would play with Horny Toads and other friendly insects. True to form the stink bug stank. There were also the Scorpions and ants of all varieties.
As was the custom back there in Texas at that were storm cellars. Like the Wizard of Oz we would go in there during big storms and we even had food, however I believe that food had to be very old. It was kind of that canned food with the pressure seals. It might have okay but call me cynical.
That was where I suffered some issues and the dark gloomy cellar kind of took on other connotations. At night time I would look out the Windy while listening to Otis Redding watching the ships come in. I used to do that too when I was older and we lived in New York State. Only it wasn’t ships but a herd of Unicorns. Okay you got me, they were rhinos with two horns and really bad acne.
Okay I guess you are not that easily hoodwinked but I used to watch the trucks come in across the street. Rain or shine, snow or blizzard I used to take note of the kind of truck, how many wheel sets and the name Cayuga Feed etched into the doors. These trucks actually had their business based just a mile or two down the road. The old mill still stands.
But back to Texas, I spent a lot of school in that state and we did weather a lot of big storms, flying pigs with cruise control and a litany of types of tumbleweed. Which of those do not belong?
At night time when there was peace in the house I used to lie in bed and look outside. Just near the window was a round circle made of bricks that housed a plant. I used to stare and stare at that plant and eventually it seemed to be moving. As a child your imagination runs wild and my certainly did at times.
I used to go to a friend’s house and he was kind of cool. He all forms of Frankenstein stuff and even miniature guillotines. He also knew every back alley in Burkurnett, Tx and he had certain tricks to get through fences, doors and Stargates. I guess you could say the storm cellar was like NORAD.
But as any kid, I had my share of injuries and I was terrified of the doctor and one time everybody was getting strepthroat but me. I was found out to be a carrier and got a shot in my butt. I then made a pass at the nurse,, a 98 year old virgin with Halitosis. I can’t tell you what happened next but I believe I left.
I remember when my mom used to get perms at our place and the stench was nasty. I would go outside and lose some more of my father’s tools that would end up missing. Not to say it was passive-aggressive but it -probably was. His vice scrips become a lion and I would clamp it down.
Which reminded me of something that happened whilst I was there. One day I had lost a library book and rather risk a paddling I pretended to take the book back and put it in it’s place. Bob-Tail Deer!! You see this was payback for a paddling I had received when I shouldn’t have and that was on my birthday. We rumors of electric paddles. We were too young to get the physics of that!