This story was a lot harder to write than I wanted it to be. Writer’s block wasn’t even the issue. Frankly, I’m tired of writing tragedies; so, therefore, I feel I have nothing of significance to write. Not all my tales are stories of woe of course, but the sad ones are the ones that hold the lessons.
I could tell the story of when I tripped and skinned my elbow. I was skipping and hollering, “she’ll be coming around the mountain”, in this one-piece short/dress mistake of an outfit that looked like my dog ate a garden of flowers and vomited on the dress. It was full of browns and reds and yellows and all those flowers look stretched and worn. The thing about this story is that I can’t tell it because all I learned was that I was such a freak of a klutz I could trip on nothing and that perhaps I shouldn’t skip while passionately singing because – as I previously implied – I can trip on air.
I could tell the story of when I said my first swear word in front of my mother. We were at Playland, an amusement park here, and I was confronted with the salt and pepper shaker ride. I am not sure if it is still called that, but I believe it is still there. The massive long ride with two cages on each end that just goes around like that hands of an incessant clock. This ride was and is the highest one there, by a long shot. I hadn’t quite had my growth spurt yet so I was still a munchkin. I am sure you can imagine my terror at the prospect of riding this massive giraffe of a skyscraper. Why ride it you ask? You see, I absolutely had to. We were with my older step-sister and my two male cousins who were like brothers at the time. I had to be as unflinching and tough as all of them so I agreed, not having seen the ride. Well – when I did see that ride, I let out a quick but audible “oh fuck”. I was terrified at my crime. My mom thought it was funny because she knew that I had done it by mistake and my utter terror amused her as it so often does. She had let it go unnoticed but I was so focused on how much trouble I was going to get in, I barely noticed I was being strapped in to my seat of doom. I was committed now. The ride made me dizzy and my mother never mentioned the breach so my only lesson learned was not to agree to things just to be cool because it makes you dizzy and swear when you shouldn’t.
I lost any semblance of a family around the age of 8 so my childhood was only filled with me and the ghost of a mother. I can’t write a story about the failed attempts at communication with my mother or the utter failure I have in social settings, despite my outer appearance. I can’t write them because they have no meaning anymore. It would only be words. That is why my story is about stories. My story is not one of joy and ice cream or one of the epic moments of clarity. My lessons have come through in all the little parts of my life. I learned humbleness from an amusement park ride and focus from a side-walk and a scar. I learned that nothing is constant from a divorce I cared nothing about and that blood isn’t thicker than water from a parking lot battle – a story I will keep a mystery.
I can write a story about how all those tiny stories made me who I am. So I did.