Shorty asked me for my earliest memory.
I actually have two that come to mind, and they are both about the same time in my life. They say you aren’t supposed to be able to remember back past a certain age, but I know I go back earlier than that. I have asked my grandmother about these two memories. I was four when both of these things happened.
The first thing I remember is a little girl outside the screen window of my bedroom. She and I were playing dolls and mommas through the window. I was not allowed out of my room for some reason. I remember passing a fake compact through the window to her. It was peach colored, and had a purple rose decal on the top of it. I was sitting on a blue and black checked quilt that my mom still has. I heard someone come outside the house and yell at her. She ran away with my compact.
The other thing I remember a lot more vividly.
It was Christmas time. I was at my grandma’s house. I am sitting in my Aunt Jana’s bedroom in the back of the house. There is a lot of shouting. I look at the walls. They are blue and have puffy rainbows hung on them. There is a mirrored picture of a unicorn and a poster of Bon Jovi. In the corner there is a birdcage with two parakeets in it. One is green, the other blue.
I am wearing my Christmas dress, its black velvet and red taffeta. Its got that scratchy black netting underneath it. In my lap is a new play tea set. Strawberry Shortcake. The dishes are pink and have little fruits on them. I am very nervous. I don’t like the yelling. It frightens me. I want to go back and open more presents. I feel like I am going to cry.
My Aunt Jana comes in. She has on a jean skirt. One of her high heels is broken. She shows it to me and scoops me up into her lap. She tells me she loves me. She tells me not to be frightened of the yelling. I remember looking up into her curly brown hair and grabbing hold of it lightly. She shakes me a bit and calls me Buddy. That’s what she always called me. Buddy. We sit on her bed together.
This, according to my grandmother, is the night my biological dad left my mom for good. Just before I go to the room I was supposedly grabbed by my dad, who tried to make off with me. My aunt Jana broke her high heel by putting it into his boots. Or so the story goes. I don’t remember much of it. Not what happened before. And not after, either. But I remember her room. And the colors. And her coming in and talking to me.
So, not very romantic or poignant are they, Shorty? Spinny, you’re up next.