Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Tale of Years, 1: 1980

Memory is tricky, trickful, and slippery.

I remember Grover. I remember the bars on this bed. I  remember later, when the walls are painted blue, which means I remember that they used to be white. I remember Grover falling out of the bed, just out of my reach, and crying and screaming for his return.

Fount from which I sprang.
Matthew, Fry, Cox, Mathews.

I remember the brown van. Two bucket seats up front, wide open space in the back. Wheel wells that serve as seats. Parked in the driveway turnaround where, in the future, Dad installs a basketball pole.

Fish-faces in the backyard, which is 60% grass and 40% dirt. Small tractors and wagons in that dirt,  as rusty as the real things up the road at Ma & Pa's farm. Wheeled around in the red wagon, brown base and red removable rails.

Weaver Road is paved but not lined. Ernie and Jeanette live across that road. We are related in a convoluted way. Ernie is Pa's brother (older or younger? Ernie lives to be older, and Pa continues to work his family's farm, but I think Pa {whose name is Leslie} is the little brother). But Ernie and Pa do not speak. Ernie had a farmhouse too, made of wood, but it is broken and busted by the tornado that comes before my birth. There is a piece of metal in the woods behind our house, wrapped around the top of a tree, that lives on as evidence of this twister. Ernie's house is rebuilt as brick and low to the ground, like ours. Ernie mows his grass once or twice a week, riding a loud, orange mower. Later, we mow his ditch with a pushmower. I am only ever briefly inside Ernie and Jeanette's house. The curtains always seem drawn, though they are often outside. It's a mirror of mystery.

There are haircuts in the backyard.

There are headbutts in the kitchen.

I remember wearing red and blue (like Spider-Man), but I don't know if I remember the outfit, or the picture of the outfit. The thing, or the memory of it.

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