I was going through some google docs to set up a document to log all the clothes I’m throwing away. Reason for the clothing purge has to do a lot with my last post that none of you are allowed to see! You’re not missing anything. I was having a hissy fit. It isn’t worthy of posting but I have it there to remind me of a few of my insecurities.
So about two years ago it I made an attempt to write a novel for NANAWIRMOEUOWERU or some equally obnoxious acronym, basically the month of November is ‘write a novel!’ month. I lasted a page and half before I gave up. I just re-read and while a little rough ..needs a little bit of work …I thought it was pretty damn neat. I have also participated twice in the RPM challenge which ironically is this month. Record 10 songs or 30 min of music in the month of February. I’ll torture you with that some other day.
Here it is. Very unedited..please forgive.
Novel for NANOWIRMO
Memories can be very strange. At times they are crystal clear and others are like a thick mist that sort of swirls about your head. I often look back and wonder if my memory is accurate or if the mists have taken a strong hold of my thoughts and shaped them into something else. Have you ever been asked “What’s the oldest memory you have?” I like to freak people out by telling them I remember the doctor cutting my umbilical cord or my circumcision. The look on their faces becomes a mix of disbelief and horror. You know they are thinking..”Bullshit..but if he’s not that’s horrifying!” Right after this moment you know they are trying like hell to see if they remember those moments from childbirth. Pushing their thoughts into a clouded past, the brain trying desperately to provide them with something, which most likely isn’t even real. That’s what us humans do. We make shit up for stuff that we can’t remember or contemplate. I do have to admit I don’t remember much from my childhood. Hell, the one clear memory I have isn’t even an actual memory. It’s a picture of me standing in a brown basketball uniform holding my sisters hand. The number seventy-seven ironed onto the front. Brown? I’ve lived in NH all my life and I can’t think of one team that’s brown. Maybe it was for the Nashua Shitballers or something. I try to actually recall that moment. What I mean is , obviously at one point in my life I was standing there with my sister and someone was pointing a lens at us snapping a picture. Sure I can make it up but really its not there. Which brings up another thought, I can’t ever remember anyone taking my picture. Can you look at any photograph and actually remember the camera and picture being taken? It’s almost as if the camera itself induces some sort of amnesia. I’ll have to remember to check mine to see if there is an amnesia button. There are some moments that get reconstructed and those that are burned into my memory. You can’t miss those. You don’t really recall them as much as they appear and play out in full technicolor fashion. I still can’t say they are 100% accurate but they are damn close. One that stands out the most from my days as a toddler was the day my sister was hit by a car.
I grew up in southern NH , middle class home. My father worked as a manufacturing engineer and my mom was a stay home mom for quite a few years. I don’t remember when she started working, I think sometime after we moved to Litchfield. The house in Nashua where we lived was a small 3 bedroom house with a finished basement and tiny bit of backyard for us to play in. I think the most amusing thing about my memories of this house was how large I thought it was. The backyard had 4 major sections. It was fenced in and I remember the gate opening to the left side of the back yard. As you entered you immediately had the above ground pool on the left. Past the pool and up into the back section of the yard was the patio. I remember the red brick patio blocks..and one other memory. I remember making a huge mess out there with my Spiderman web goo. The smell of the chemical and stringy goo all over the furniture still stands out. I don’t remember what I was doing but I do remember the feeling of being a god damn superhero by saving my family from that twisted furniture. Moving along the back fence you came to the sand pit. There was your typical metal play set made out of steel tubing that rusted the moment you sank it into the ground. There was the stainless steel slide that removed skin on contact in the burning summer sun and the chain swings with the plastic seats that ALWAYS pinched the skin on your fingers. The chain swings could be something out of a horror movie. Chunks of flesh hanging from the rusted links slowly swinging back and forth, slowly fade out to include the slide covered in blood and burned flesh still smoking from the last kid that dared to use it while only wearing shorts. The rest of the back yard directly behind the house was just open grass. It was the patch of grass I learned to ride a bike on, played many games of wiffle ball and got a fat lip trying to play with a real baseball.
The neighborhood that this house was is was a small section of nashua tucked down along the merrimack on the south side of the city. We identified ourselves as the neighborhood by the south armory. There was a national guard base right on the corner of the main street that lead down to us. My house was on the farthest street back. Just across the street from my house was another identical house and beyond that was the traintrack and the “woods”. Carol was the little girl that grew up across the street from us and she was my playmate growing up. Her house was a small light blue cape. I played over there a million times but only a few memories stick with me. Red,light green light, mudpies, getting a stick in my eye and my sisters accident. I actually still frequently dream of Carol’s house. Carol is never in them and most of the dreams focus on that backyard. The backyard was a boundry, an invisible wall that allowed us to peer beyond but never venture past. My parents and Carol’s parents were very intent on making sure that we never crossed this boundry. Stories of kids lost in the woods, criminals roaming around down there and various animals that would attack us. In reality they didn’t want us crossing an active railroad line and playing down in a major river. We didn’t know that and we sure as hell didn’t want to find out. The rail line itself was heavily used and every time a train came we ran down to the fence and waved to the engineers. They blew their horns and we waited for the caboose (yes they still had them back in the 70’s) and waved to the crew on the back end. I still dream of those moments of running up to the fence. Except in my dreams there’s always a strong urge to break beyond the fence and when I do I get the feeling that I’m being chased and I run back up to the safety of the fence and watch the train continue by. In my dreams I have never made it to the other side and into the woods.
you can have your asshole speak in the first person
There you go. That last line is a classic way of my inner self telling me to shut up and go back to being the quiet guy in the corner. At least I think it is…See, the problem is I don’t have any memory of typing that last line, yet I have already built a story in my head , me sitting at the computer frustrated and putting on the screen my insecurities knowing no one will ever see them. Then again…maybe Lise added that as a funny, apparently I have shared this doc in the past. 🙂 I really want to finish this little bit though. The memory of what happened to my sister IS very vivid and very burned into my memory. Carol’s house played a roll in that day also, which is why to this day it has become some sort of touchstone of my really early years.