By all accounts I have a terrible memory. Scroll through the various posts on this blog and you will find many "I have no idea what happened next" or "No idea what follows" or "all recollection escapes me". I'd be a great White House Chief of Staff.
When it comes to childhood things get beyond fuzzy. My sisters all remember word for word conversations while my storage banks are more like montages from sepia toned 1970's home movies.
There are moments, however, that have survived the haze and remain clear.
My mother cutting my father's ear instead of a strand of his hair in the apartment we lived in before moving to Paul Ave.
Waking up in the house on Paul Ave and having to crawl downstairs because my leg hurt. It wound up being synovitis, which I'll get into another time.
Sitting in a wheelchair after having been in the hospital for the aforementioned synovitis looking out the bay window of the living room at a thunderstorm.
Singing along to Don McLean's 'American Pie' and making my sisters let me go solo on the final line because I knew how to sing it right.
Sliding into third base in the Quinn's backyard and finding to my horror that my hand had managed to gather up an entire pile of their dog Pepper's shit. I ran home without a word to anyone.
Billy Hodge going through the bushes in my backyard to retrieve a home-run ball from the canoe that hung from the Fisher's shed...he burst back through the shrub shrouded by a cloud of bees, screaming bloody murder.
Seeing my Mum's curly hair after a perm and crying.
Listening to the Red Sox in the dark in my room.
On the nights they didn't play listening to a talk show host named Larry.
Liking the smell of Caladryl so much that I would spray it into the air and breathe it in.
Picking raspberries from the bushes that grew wild on the side of our house.
Getting stung by a bee at the Quinn's house on the inside of my ear.
Going to the doctor after an earache and having him inject water into my ear...the pain was so intense they gave me some sort of painkiller that left me hallucinating the little bear in the boat in a painting on the wall actually sail away.
A war that took place on bikes holding garbage can lids that involved throwing real rocks at real speed.
Crashing my bike into the governor's limo which would be parked across the street from time to time as our neighbor was a state cop charged with driving the gov around.
Going to Homer Ladas' house and everything had onions and mayonaise...I nibbled hoping to fill up on dessert which was chocolate ice cream with coconut so I went home hungry.
Playing with Playmobil sets at Norman Silverman's house.
One of the Fratiello girls spitting on me from a tree house in their backyard.
Seeing 'Star Wars' in a double feature with 'Heroes' at a drive-in, the only time I've ever been to a drive-in.
Crying when the Red Sox lost the seventh game of the World Series to the Cincinnatti Reds.
Staring at a kissing couple on Scarborough Beach.
Getting lost on Scarborough Beach and a man with the blackest skin I'd ever seen save my life by taking my hand and bringing me to the Lifeguard Chair.
Missing the bus at South Road Elementary School and having to wait for my Dad to come pick me up and being TERRIFIED until he got there and bursting into tears once I got into the car and he laughed and told me it was okay.
Walking to school across Mrs. Diamond's farm and fearing the bull.
The crow that would accompany us to school across Mrs. Diamond's farm and wait for school to get out to follow us home.
Outside Kenyon's Hardware Store, circa 1975, I opened the door of our station wagon and prepared to enter the store with my Mother when I was struck by the unavoidable fact that I was going to die some day.
For anything else you'll have to ask my sisters.