||[Sep. 15th, 2008|03:39 pm]
The Question Club
Okay, since shinga is always hogging the tqc headlines, how's about we talk about childhood memories instead, shall we? Specifically the bad memories. |
Frozen in ennui, my cotton sun dress wrapped about my thin legs to try to comfort me in the summer night air. It did not work its charms as the cold enveloped me. It was dark in the back yard but the moon let me glimpse the shovels that I could hear hitting the ground in gritty testimony to other, darker, proceedings. My brothers went at it with a fury I did not feel. Even then I think I was dead of emotions, a skinny little 5 year old zombie.
The bucket was one that I had used to gather things as small children do, perhaps a small shell or a rock shaped just so. He told us to stay away. Or wait, he didn't tell us that, he just went about his business and we had a choice to watch or not. He was a cruel man at heart, I knew this. I saw it a lot but it wasn't normally directed at me, I was a daddy's girl after all. Into the burlap sack went the kittens; one, two, three, seven. They meowed their shrill protests and into that sack they went. It was something that HAD to happen after all, right? Too many kittens, too little homes to give them to, not enough money for vet bills in a family of six.
Suddenly, one of my brothers cried out in triumph. Paydirt.
Paydirt. What a strange word, hmm? It held a multiple meaning to me after that, it did.
I didn't cry out though, oh no. I stoically looked on like a good little girl as the bucket was filled with cold water. Down, down went the kittens in a squirming mewling bag. Why didn't I cry, I now wonder? Because I was saving it for many, many years later. A small wet head popped out of the top of the knotted bag, big eyes imploring me. Pushing it back in, my father went about his grim task. A moist bag of grief that resolutely stuck in my throat, a bitter pill of kittens and remorse and sadness. After the first time, there were other ways of dealing with the reoccurring kittens, sometimes exhausting ways in cardboard boxes attached to the family car. After that, I started to collect my treasures in other receptacles.
And then out of the ground came a cache of bones, each tiny body held together within a thin furry skein. The smell was pervasive but it did not turn me away. I had to see after all.
And I saw.
What is a bad childhood memory that you have?