Saturday, September 22, 2018

The things you remember while the world changes around you

I have instructed the husband to put a bag over my head to keep from this from happening to me.

Look, let's face it, with this fakakta President in the White House, and people angry and just so fucking ass rude, sometimes, Cookie is one to sit back and stare at the T.V. set like they are here at Shaker Heights Haven Rest Home and Final Stop.

I remember the house on Sherrington Road, and digging a hole in the flower bed with Jeffery Landau.  We wanted to make a swimming pool for ants. Two problems, the ants didn't want to swim - drown actually - and the soil was a rich loam that sucked the water right down.  This meant if we weren't scooping ant's towards their watery deaths, then we were filling the hold with the hose.

I remember the time we were driving in my mothers 1965 Impala, and I was maybe four years old, and the hubcap (my father felt full wheel covers were a waste of money because someone would just steal them and then you had to waste $20 for a set of four) flew off the car while we were going someplace.  It was the left front and for someone so young, I was certain that this was a badge of shame, a sign of impending bad thing.  People would think we were those kinds of people.  You know - the people who don't take care of their nice things, people who were poor.  I would ride on the floor next to the back seat lest anyone see my face and feel sorry for me. 

I remember when my father went to stay at Grandma Bess's apartment when Grandma Bess went to visit her younger daughter in California.  Grandma Bess never came home - she died out there.  Grandma Bess was my half brother's maternal grandmother.  She wasn't my grandmother by blood.  But she loved me and she took good care of me.  Anyway, my two brothers went with Dad to live in the apartment.  Things were peaceful, and then my father came home one day with the brothers.  What I didn't know was that my parents had divorced, they kept that from me.  They also kept that they reconciled from me as well. 

I remember that when after Dad was back from staying at Grandma Bess's things were OK, for a while, then it pretty took on a Hellish reality for the next 30 years until the old man died.  They divorced within five years or the reconciliation. But until he left the earth, it was pure Hell for everyone.

I remember my father taking me to vote at Lomond School.  They were wooden booths with orange draping.  He asked me who I wanted to vote for and being maybe three, I started listing off every adult I knew of.

I remember the horribly long visits with my father's parents, who I loved, but I was so young and there wasn't anyone my age around, and everyone was ancient.  My grandfather loved watching the Wild Wild West.  I didn't like it but I was transfixed by Robert Conrad with his shirt off.  And I knew it was shameful and naughty for me to stare.  I was maybe four years old, and I also wanted Bat Man's uniform to rip open.  I didn't understand why.  I just did. 

I remember the simple joy of dragging my wagon - again with Jeffery Landau, to the top of Glencairn at Newell, and then riding the wagon down the biggest hill in the world, the hard rubber tires hitting every bump and dislodged slate slab that forms the famous sidewalks in Shaker.  We would do this for hours, jarring are innards, first Jeffery and then me.   Eventually, our four-year-old bodies were simply too tired to make the trip again, and we would look for other things to do, like climb the hill behind our garage and find rocks to throw in a bag for our rock collection, which was nothing more than a sack of unspectacular rocks.

And then, after the rocks were too heavy to carry, we swing, run up to Jeffery's, run back down to my house, and then we would go back to doing stupid stuff that kids do, like making a swimming pool for the ants.


  1. the things one remembers! yeah, I don't wanna be like those people at the top either. overdose me.

  2. My mother tells me I have the memory of a elephant. She says I can be somewhere once and remember how to get there again. I do tend to remember everything I guess. Now if I could just pick winning lottery numbers.

  3. Ha! I remember making farms for earthworms in my friend Donna’s back yard. And my gram buying us a new pair of flip flops each summer, but our parents forbid us to say “flip flops” because someone might hear us and think we were poor/“those people.”

  4. Oh Cookie, how is it that you manage to make me laugh out loud at one point and practically weep at another?
    I want you and your hubby to live next door to me so we could be best friends LOL Cocktails on the front porch and gossiping about the other neighbors.