Friday, June 25, 2010

Times They are A-changin'...

Everything changes. Nothing stays the same.

With my birthday looming, I find my brain spinning like a calendar Rolodex. All day long. I have flashbacks of my childhood and sometimes I find recollections that I didn’t realize were there. For example, just this morning I rediscovered a memory of trying to convince the girl down the street to give me one of the french fries that she was hiding in a miniature tin lunchbox. It was almost dark outside and I was wearing a yellow bathing suit.

I was fifteen.

Oh, come on – did you really believe that? In reality, I was probably around four. I can’t remember why I was allowed to wander around the neighborhood in a bathing suit at dusk, begging for fries – but then again, this was still the 70’s; a decade where the local high school most likely had a smoking section, your mom probably drank/ate Tab all day and Jovan Musk was considered a fancy perfume. Those pesky seatbelt laws hadn't been invented, yet: One of my favorite childhood memories is playing with my Barbies in the front seat of my mother’s green Pinto. That is, I was sitting down on the floorboards with Barbie on the seat – while Mom was driving.

I found my first grade teacher on Facebook, last year. It was one of the most fantastic things imaginable, to be able to write to her and tell her what an impact she has had on my life. To tell her that I appreciate the educator that she had been - so patient and encouraging. She allowed me to write dozens of “books”. I even wrote one that starred her husband. He sent a small white seal sculpture to class with her, as a “thank you”. I keep it where I can see it every day. It has kept me writing something – anything, for almost 30 years.

I can't believe that I am able to say that I have been doing something for almost 30 years.

I remember a clown cup that I used to have at my grandmother’s house, when I was a toddler. It had a red Kool-Aid stain around the lip of it. I wonder if she still has that cup?

I remember seeing my husband for the first time. It was months before we met and more than a year before we began dating. But I remember. I was almost 16.

I used to hero worship a Shakespearean actor who lead some study sessions, in which I was a student. He had this unearthly power to morph into other characters. He didn't seem like a performer to me, more like a shapeshifter. He could turn himself into any gender, object, animal - you name it. You would really, truly believe that he was the being which he was portraying. I mustered enough courage to walk up to him and say, "someday, I hope I can be just like you."

He looked at me for an hour-long moment and then replied, "someday, I hope you can be just like you." He died, not long after he said that to me: It is some of the wisest advice that I've ever been given.

I'm still trying, my friend.

Even Ten Year Old Me knew that things, they are always a-changin'.

May, 1986

Everybody has changed, I don't know how though, because they are so weird everyone says all you should ever do is run around and chase boys, Me, R, B, D, and C don't think so. they asked me if I liked the Library. I said yes because I can write stories, draw, do home work, write poems and read, and "they" started gasping and saying, "oh, my gosh, she likes the library!" like they were going to die or something! and R started to cry in the library because V said she doesn't like her, and they had been best friends the whole school year so far! MAN! What is wrong with these people? I am going to try and find out! Man!

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