Tuesday, October 25, 2005

accent 1

My first accent should have been something akin to Billy Joel's, but I didn't live there long enough to develop any accent at all, as far as I know. In fact, I lived at that place long enough to form only brief memories of a big yard and white fence, a slide and swingset with pebbles under it I liked to chew on, and a crab apple tree out front that I could climb (and also chew on the crabapples. I was orally oriented, I guess). My room was big with a door out to a second-floor porch, and I had a dream once that the wall above my bed came alive, the paint pushing outward in a snarling grimace, cracked hands pressing into the room and encircling my bed, the plaster nails grasping for me, the cavernous mouth gaping open as if to swallow me. I was 4.

The place of my first almost-accent had a kitchen table that folded up into the wall when we weren't using it. It had a speckled red linoleum top and shiny silver sides, like a table in a diner. I bit through my tongue once while on the teeter-totter in the backyard and didn't cry until I saw the blood in the mirror downstairs. That's when I knew how bad it ought to hurt, and I let everybody know it.

I had a preschool teacher named Miss Dot who dressed up for a talent show like the Fireman's Bride, which all the adults thought was funny so I laughed too. She clomped up and down the stage in huge boots with her bright red lipstick and strawberry-colored bouncy hair. I don't remember anything else about preschool except for that show.

I barely remember anything else at all about my first few years except for being sick. Which at the time we didn't know was me being sick; my Mom and Dad thought maybe there was something wrong with me mentally. But hey, that's a story for another day.

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