Monday, March 23, 2009

A Childhood Trauma

I have an endless supply, as we are in the mode of dredging them up from the depths and demanding balm for soothing and justice. Not attempting to invalidate or scapegoat anyone; I just want a level playing field when we talk about these things.

When I was little, children were routinely neglected, by the standard of today's neurotic culture. Often I would leave the house early in the morning, with nary word to any one, be gone all day playing, and return after dark. Mom would say, "Where were you all day, I've been worried sick about you!

"Oh!, I was at Markie's (Mark Holler) house playing soldiers. I'm sorry I forgot to call you.

"Okay. But be sure and call next time. Get washed up for dinner".

Over the hill from us to the south there was a big hill where there was the high school and a pollywog pond. The high school was a bad place because bully big kids went to school there. and I knew they all smoked too. The pond was forbidden, but deliciously alluring. Further down the block were military precise rows and rows of glass "greenhouses" which were not green, but white, for some reason. People lurked there that gawked and gabbled in a strange noise, but never tried to really talk. That place was "nasty". The brown-faced men with slanty eyes who could not talk but screamed strange noises were the perpetrators of evil. Something to do with little boys. Further down the block was Mikey and Johnnies' (Norris) street, where they lived at my Uncle Jim and Aunt Lynn's house.

Something happened one day. I threaded my way to Mikey's to play, over the big hill, past the pollywog pond, past the big kids who smoked, up to the green houses that were white. Someone was with me, I don't remember who. All that glass, seemingly unattended, was just too much temptation for little boys. We started chucking rocks, little-boy sized rocks, at the roof panels, and were rewarded with a occasional slight tinkle of falling glass. But mostly we were ineffectual and weak. Suddenly, I remember hearing a tremendous loud "CRASH" and who ever I was with and I looked at each other and took off without another thought like we were scalded cats. Someone had pitched a really BIG something, and done substantial damage.

Well, there was a fence on the east with little stiles to climb over. Who ever I was with shinnied over that stile lickety split and was safe in Uncle Jim's front yard almost before I even thought about it. But just as I reached the stile, someone grabbed me by the tee shirt collar and lifted, so my little tenny runners came right off the ground. I burst into a tearful fit, and he peered into my face with that brown face, and started screaming in that meaningless gabbling noise. I don't remember what happened after that.


Repressed Traumatic Memory?

No comments: