After my blog about jumping in an eighteen wheeler with a stranger, my daughter decided that she wouldn’t be worried about me because I have a pattern of dangerous/self-destructive behaviors. She suggested that I start a series of Flashback Friday Blogs where I tell all of my stupid stories. Or all of the stories of me doing something stupid, which may be two different types of stories. Not sure.
My friend Crystal also likes the idea of a Flashback Friday blog, but she’s more interested in stories from the life of “little Angie.” She’s fascinated that most of my childhood has been wiped out and replaced with a dark screen of nothingness. She thinks it’s a defense mechanism because I’m blocking out some long ago devastating trauma. I think it’s because I had a double concussion once. So I decided that’s as good a place to start as any.
I was in middle school, just barely. And we were having a typical winter day. There had been snow. And where there is snow, there is usually ice at some point. The snow in Pennsylvania is not a neat and tidy snow. It comes in on the tail end of lake effect winds, piling it high on the streets, the sidewalks and the porches.
My brother, Greg, was outside playing that day with Andy from across the street. I remember Andy very vividly. He was Johnny’s brother and I think I told you part of that story a while ago. Anyway, Greg and Andy were on the front porch making a hell of a racket. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.
In between thumps, I poke my head out the door to see what the hell they are doing. They don’t see me. I guess I’ve always had the gift of being invisible. I think it comes with being the middle kid. Turns out they were scooting up to the front door and kicking off it so they would slide across the porch that was snow and ice covered. As soon as I looked out the door to see what they were doing… THUMP… they both kick the door. Basically slamming my head into it on both sides and giving me a double concussion.
I always say that is where the memory loss comes from and not some other (or others) traumatic childhood event, but I may never know because I don’t remember. Go figure. But despite having my skull slammed in a door, the impact jarred my eyesight and ever since that day, my vision has been more than perfect (20/15 if you must know).
But my memory has never returned. Even things that happened after the concussion. Years after even. I still don’t remember. I always joke around and say that if anyone I know ever gets murdered, they might as well just lock me up and throw away the key because unless I had someone with me, I’d have no recollection of my alibi. I can barely remember what I did yesterday or even if I left the house. If I had to explain my whereabouts to someone, I’d be fucked. Which is also why I don’t lie. I’d never remember the lie I told. Not that I would want to be a liar, but some people find that it comes in handy.
I know that memory doesn’t quite count as anything stupid in the realm of what my daughter was talking about, but I felt like it was a pretty important place to start so that you understand why me writing about these memories is something special because they come in waves and are sometimes few and far between.
I usually have to hear a song or smell a smell and then I get this whole flood of memories. Like the smell of pine sol and the BeeGee’s How Deep is Your Love. It reminds of when I was probably 3 years old (or younger) sitting on the floor in the living room with these big headphones on my ears listening to the radio and my mom in the other room cleaning with too much pine sol in a bucket of water. That’s how memories hit me. Never in a normal way. Rarely do they show up when someone reminds me of an incident that happened. It’s usually a random smell like blown out candles that remind me of how much I used to hate confession on Fridays. Or the feel of mud on my hands that reminds me that I was an awful sister and used to laugh while we fed my little sister mud pies and traded her dimes for quarters (because they were bigger).
So every Friday this year, I will try to recall one thing from my past (stupid decision or just trivial memory) and I will share it mostly for my daughter and, of course, for Crystal, who is hell-bent on trying to get to the bottom of my past and why I am the way I am… which is a scary feat to take on.
And don’t forget… Ask Roulette is open for business. That will post on Saturdays. So go ahead and ask the questions you can’t ask your mama… and share it with a friend…