Saturday, February 27, 2010

This is something I did in Creative Nonfiction. It doesn't totally suck.

Early Memory

I do not remember much of my early life. I had three separate head injuries as a small child which may explain this. One injury was from when I literally ran into a wall. I told my mother I just couldn’t stop. Another injury happened only a week later when I was once again running, this time I tripped and fell into a luckily very sturdy glass table. The third injury is my earliest memory and is still fairly vivid in my mind.

My family was in my father’s taxi. My older sister Marjie, my older sister (the one I actually like) Vickie, and my older brother Shawn were in the back seat. I was between my parents in the front seat since I was just a tiny three year old. Ah, those good old days in the 70s when you could put toddlers in the front seat and booster seats were something you used at restaurants so the wee ones could reach the table.

I remember my mom smelling as she always did, a mixture of French fries, grilled meat and cigarettes. Her skin was the color of russet potatoes. She had not yet begun to get her “summer color” as she called it that would darken her normally to an espresso and sometimes to a chocolate. Her eyes were bluer than the sky could ever hope to be even on the clearest of days. Her hair was a thick chestnut brown cut to graze her shoulders. My sisters and my brother were like her reflection in a pool.

I was my father’s reflection. I shared his pale complexion, his baby fine hair, his dark cloudy blue eyes. I did not inherit his red hair which had turned white by the time I was born. I had pale blonde hair that would darken and gain red highlights as I aged. That day in the taxi, my father smelled of cheap beer. He had not had any beer yet, but his alcohol use was so frequent and extreme, his sweat would take on that odor. His scent mingled with my mother’s reminding me of bowling alley.

My mother had insisted on putting my seat belt on even though it was difficult to get it tight enough to fit around my tiny waist. My sisters and brothers were buckled in and then we took off. I do not remember where we were going to, only that we were going. So we pulled out of the parking space and I was excited.

I wanted to look around me but I could not see my sisters or my brother in the back seat. I had no interest in looking at my father to my left. My mother was too familiar to maintain my interest. I couldn’t see over the dash and out the windshield so I started looking at all the neat things that a taxi has up front. Like my father’s hack license. I was still a year from reading so I did not know what it said but I recognized my father’s picture and some numbers. My eyes then went to the meter. It had numbers and those letter things that my sisters were learning in school. It had a bright red flag that was pointing to the ceiling. It was amazing thing. Then my mom screamed.


I heard metal hit metal and the red flag flew at me. Pain enveloped me and blood erupted from my forehead.


And then blackness


This is really part of a much larger story, but I'd figure I'd let y'all take a look at it. I may or may not put the rest up some time in the future.

Ingrid was furious. This man here, this imbecile, was telling her that she was not pretty enough to win the pageant. She flicked her brown curls out of her baby blue eyes and pursed her full, pouty lips. “Are you insane? I’m pretty than all those other girls. I don’t have an ounce of fat in the wrong place unlike Chubby Chelsea.”

He looked her over again as she stood in the doorway, paying special attention to the soft parts. She had a great body, a gorgeous face, lovely hair, but no, she was not pretty. Her physical form was divine; it was her personality that was ugly and dark. That would keep her from winning; he knew that much for sure. She would need to fake a better personality or improve on her own. He felt she stood a better chance of accomplishing the former. “Ingrid, honey, I said your persona wasn’t pretty enough. Referring to the other girls as chubby won’t help you win over the judges. Neither will your arrogance.”

“What do you know Roy, you old fag? My momma won, her momma won, and I’m gonna win. I’m prettier and more talented than all those hags with their fake niceness, no tits, flabby butts, bloated bellies, and ‘I want world peace’ bullshit.”

“Calm down, Ingrid and listen to me for once. Your momma won because she listened to me. She wasn’t even the prettiest girl and her talent, if you can call it that, was playing the spoons. She won the judges over with her class and style. Two things you have none of right now, Missy.”

The color drained from Ingrid’s face. She looked around his tiny office. She looked at the pictures of him with beauty queens from around the county. She looked at his desk almost completely covered with headshots of wannabe queens begging for his services. Roy was right, she did not want to admit it, but she knew it was the truth. Roy had helped her mother win way back when and he could help her win too if she let him.

Roy’s sea green eyes focused intensely on Ingrid. He was waiting for her to attack his thinning gray hair and the extra pounds he had acquired around his stomach. He knew how she liked to launch personal attacks when she couldn’t win with facts, which was most of the time. He sat and waited for the onslaught. It never came. Ingrid sighed.

“You’re right, Roy”

Roy was stunned for half a moment. He didn’t think she had ever admitted anyone else was right in her entire life. He had known her since she was a stubborn little baby refusing to come out and meet the world according to anyone’s schedule but her own. He had seen her grow into a willful child with no respect for any authority but her own. He took a deep breath. “Sit down girl.”
Ingrid plopped in the chair. Roy groaned and motioned for her to stand again. She rose from the chair and tried again. This time she gently lowered herself into the chair, keeping her legs together and demurely crossing them at the ankles. She looked at Roy and smiled sweetly.

“How’s that, Roy?”

“It’s good, honey. We still need to work on your manners, your attitude, your posture, and your diction. We have a hell of a long way to go, but by God, at least you can sit like a lady.”