In 1958 Russia had launched Sputnik and the folks launched me. In 1962 I was 4 years old and My mother and I , and her 2nd husband, a whisky-soaked house painter with a hollow leg, lived in a giant sideways ham can, in a place called Trailer-City, just outside of Sidney , Nebraska. (Still the nations leading producer of certified millet (birdfeed).
I remember what Brylcreem smelled like, what Gov't cheese tasted like , and what a hair brush felt like on my bony little butt if I told a fib or got in the sock drawer (where Mom kept Grandpas old pistol)
There was a flagpole and picnic tables in the middle of a bunch of other ham cans that looked just like ours, all arranged very neatly out on the Nebraska prairie, like they were circled up for an Indian attack. I thought about that a good bit. (It had only been 100 years since Little Big Horn).
It was exciting and grand. I couldn't wait for the first blood-curdling scream and I really couldn't wait to get scalped like Lee Marvin in the movies. I practiced dying in the front yard till I was blue in the face.
When September came that year I went to kindergarten on a bus just like I was Curious George.I took a nickel to school every day for milk, and a Wonder-Bread bologna and Miracle Whip sandwich for lunch. Still love the stuff:-)
One sad and unforgettable day out on the playground, just after I had given her a small poem that I had slaved over for two consecutive nights before bedtime, as a token of my most tender affection - Her older brother hit me in the eye with a snowball . I cried like a bitch:-). Apparently the poem still needed some work. It was my first experience with the hard edge of romance , and it's also where I first contemplated the hydraulics of a good snowball.
For some odd reason, about this time, perhaps to ease my broken heart, I was drawn to baseball in the must unhealthy sort of ways possible. I didn't really like the game or want to play the game particularly- I just kept getting hit in the head , specifically the nose, with baseballs and baseball bats. 3 broken noses by 9 yrs old, 2 with baseballs, one with a bat. I sucked at the game but I wasn't smart enough to stop doing it. In old Puerto-Rico I would have been left in the jungle to starve, as an act of kindness.
I reunited with my father when I was in my 30's . He was wracked with guilt, not for leaving, but because my mother lied to him and told him that I had a magnetic metal plate placed in my head as a result of the baseball accidents. He felt somehow responsible. What sort of flawed seed could produce a Puerto-Rican child who can't play baseball and can't duck. It didn't stop him from trying to get wrenches and shit to stick to my head when he was working on his car though. He was cold that way.
That's a mouthful of saltines to chew on for now. I'll take up tomorrow where we left off today. I'm kinda curious myself. Music is about to come into the picture as a hormonal tool of influence If I remember correctly. Can't miss that.
Gotta run now an haul Aunt GrandMa out to work up to the Waffle House before her ankle bracelet goes off. She's old, and getting tasered so many times in prison has already made her plenty twitchy enough.
See you Cowhands and Cowpokes manyana :-)