I only remember living in two homes with my dad and stepmom; the one from my previous post and this one. Admittedly my memory is a little muddled as to which one was first but this one definitely brings the most vivid memories of the two.
This picture was taken just recently and I’m still surprised at how little it has changed. It’s even still the same color but thankfully the house next door is no longer the disturbing shade of purple I remember.
That’s my window…second floor, center. My twin bed would have been to the right of the window, and a large white toy box full of Legos to the left. If you could look straight through that window you would see a door, just slightly to the right of center. On the other side of that door was my brothers room. Go further, through my brothers room, to the back of the house and there was another door to the stairs. So, just so it’s clear, I had three exits. The window, a large square vent that was inconveniently located smack in the middle of my floor (but did allow me an eagle eye view of the living room below), and, of course, my brothers room. On most days my choice was obvious but if ever my brother and I were fighting, well, he definitely had the upper-hand and would often resort to blockading my door and laughing as he suggested I use my Legos to build me a staircase through the vent.
Despite the fact that I recall very little of my dad or stepmom here, other memories are particularly vivid to me.
Standing on the sidewalk watching my brother fly a small black and white kite back and forth…back and forth…higher…back and forth…a little higher, then an unexpected twist and a sudden swoosh and a startling scream as it collided with stepmom, square in the eye! It took a few weeks before I could look at her because the parts of her eye that should have been white were blood red and gave her a freakish, evil, villain-like look.
A favorite was building snow forts in the massive piles of freshly plowed snow in a parking lot just down the street. Then battling for what seemed like hours and never really knowing who the real victor was. The best part of this memory…years later I would meet some of those kids again at a church youth group. People I’m happy to still call friends today. Unfortunately I’ve also saw those piles of snow many years later and was horrified to realize how dirty they were. Funny the things we don’t notice or ignore as kids.
Not far from our driveway there was a manhole cover that had at one time been covered with asphalt. While playing with the neighbor kids we noticed that it had started to break apart. I don’t know why, sheer boredom maybe, but we decided to stand around that stupid hole, in the middle of the street and pick up the chunks of asphalt and throw the back as hard as we could. What could possibly go wrong? Thankfully it was just my pinkie nail that was damaged that day. It was fascinating to watch it slowly turn completely black and then eventually just falling off.
My brother pushing me down the stairs after a particularly brutal fight in which I had bravely or naively (depending on your perspective) crossed over his imaginary line (the doorway) when he had not “given me permission” to do so.
Crashing my brothers bike after thinking I could possibly be big enough to ride it. Then watching in awe as he took it apart, piece by piece. The whole entire thing strewn out across the lawn; nuts and bolts, chain, pedals, frame, handle bars, seat and tires. Neither one of us ever rode it again.
Laying on the front lawn with my brother on a beautiful summer afternoon and calling out the different animals and creatures that we saw in the large puffs of clouds that drifted by lazily.
It’s funny how most of what I recollect seems like normal childhood memories but what I remember most is an overwhelming sadness. I’m finding it hard to understand completely and I’m not exactly sure if I want to. There also seems to be so much that I do not remember. I struggle to form a single memory of our dad beyond the sound of his voice and while I do recall little moments with my stepmom, even those are obscure and fuzzy.