First memories- 1984 – 1985

It has been over a month since my last entry. I reached out to both of my parents and then I needed time to recoup.

In a wine-inspired act of courage, I felt a misguided sense of hope that I could share with them that I understood and forgave them (and to somehow escape unscathed). I suppose that I needed them to know that I was over here, trying.

I should have known better- like an old wives tale of two gray hairs growing back in the place of one plucked… my feelings doubled, tripled and started to smother me even more. I needed to take the time to process my interactions, neatly categorize my feelings, and then refocus on the task at hand.

Let us face my first memories which have been buried under thick, dusty doubt. They feel as thin and brittle as onion skin. I resist the urge to tighten my fist and then blow the small fragments from my fingertips to the wind.

Instead, I close my eyes and reach back to my first memory. I try to focus in on a blurry scene of a three year old girl with short, brown locks and an unsure smile on her face. She was proudly trying to show her daddy her amazing cartwheels. When no reaction comes forth she sits down quietly in the middle of the living room of the small house.

The colors are muted brown, and pale yellow sunlight pours through the large windows above. A dreamy figure of a man brushes past- his short, brown locks leave streaks trailing behind him like tiny shooting stars. He is pacing between the kitchen and a bedroom in the back of the house, presumably heating up a bottle of milk for an unseen child placed carefully out of sight.

The little girl sits very still in the living room and as I try to focus on her face again… there comes a faint crying in the distance. Not panicked, but patient and ghostly. It is as if my memory is equipped with the special effects from a David Lynch film. Everything is moving very slowly.

Mother is nowhere to be found.

I pull back from this memory with a lightening speed and am then hit with three more. Each is flat and contained, and I pin them to the back of my mind like polaroid pictures on a cork board.

Me tripping on the sidewalk and cutting my knee wide open.

Me tripping and cutting my eyebrow open on a rusty door hinge.

My sister burning her hand with an iron my mother left out.



That’s all I remember before we moved back to Ohio. We traveled so light on good memories and possessions that we need not pack a pocketbook between the two of us. We both carried our scars and at the time- that baggage seemed heavy enough.

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