Chapter 1……It got real cold
“If after I die, people want to write my biography, there is nothing simpler. They only need two dates: the date of my birth and the date of my death. Between one and another, every day is mine.”
― Fernando Pessoa, Poems of Fernando Pessoa
I remember my birth quite vividly but before all that, a great woman, my mother, Dianne …with golden blond hair met a dashing young man with short brown hair my dad Ralph. It was a DNA match long before science figured out how to map great looking people. After some nifty research on google, I believe my parents were having great anniversary sex sometime in late December. Boom there you have it, a missed period and my little rock-star self ,was growing.
I am sure when the news hit,dad wanted a boy and mom wanted a girl. In the 60’s knowing the sex was as greater mystery than that of the conception of the son of god. Mom had lots of morning sickness and we shared some colds during our 40 weeks of bonding. Getting her to supply me with my needs during that 40 weeks was not easy. Dam near impossible, I craved apple juice and cookies, she ate things like pickles and potato salad. Miscarriages were on my mothers mind, I could feel it.
I was quite happy in the warm confines of moms protective womb, tossing and turning until it got real confined, so punching my way down the birth canal and giving all the pain and aggravation to a woman that sound asleep in twilight . Hey it was not easy on my end… let me tell you. That little path out is just that, little, tight and I had these large metal claws chasing me and pinching me. I got my arms stuck and I sure remember it being hard to breath at times…and a strange smell when I arrived. As I am popping my head out, the light and that hospital smell got to me. It got real cold and strange faces of masked people,no sign of my mom. Who were these people? all I got was a slap and all kinds of things going on my ears and nose being poked. I really felt very groggy, sleepy and blue subway tiled walls. Still no mom and for sure no dad and shuffled away to a room with glass.
For the first week things were cloudy well it may have been years to a little rock star like me. So many strange people and I just had no idea who my mom and dad were. I was locked away in a glass room people looking at me and still no sign of my mom or dad. As was the norm in the 60’s and 70’s Mothers and dads were not part of the birth process. When I did finally get to meet Mom it was for a short time. Mom would later say to me at some point in my life that, if it were not for my aunts and cousins she would have broken me. Without all help given to her with all those questions that girl with child her first would never know. Mom kept me safe, Dad handed out cigars and did the man pea-cocking and that I am sure of. I sure Mom was nervous and I kept her up many a night being cranky little baby.
Maybe you have read all the stuff up above and think, how does this guy remember this. I am the guy that dreams in color most nights, I believe its not a far fetch. I remember smells like my grandmother cooking Delmonico potatoes and my grandfather smoking cigarettes . I remember the smell of my Aunt Martha cooking a pot roast or the smell of my Uncle Russell’s White Owl Cigars. I have vivid memories that may be true or a figment of my imagination.
One memory is my mother Dianne's struggle with alcohol, I as her infant child sensed this through my infant years. I also sensed my dads struggle with depression. He later on in life would admit some of his purchases of cars and toys were related to making him feel better. The memories are how I see them, like a boy day dreaming and telling a story. My mothers love of booze or prescribed medication may have contributed to my mild child hood disability's. In the sixties and seventies the tests and development scales can not be compared today. Either way my parents loved and showed me off to anyone that would look or have a gander at the blue eyed boy. My aunts and cousins all fought to hold me and to be honest, any woman with big boobs seemed to quiet me down. My mother would sing to me, things like Jesus loves you, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Amazing Grace.
My fond infant memories although mixed with the trials and tribulations of rookie parents, turmoil and arguments got me to 40 safe and sound. I also have a better understanding of who my parents are now and what they were in 1967. I have many haunting memories, but none that have created demons that now follow me. I do hope the vivid memories of birth to age two have helped me and prevented me from passing on the bad DNA to my kids.
History is never meant to repeat itself, it only will if we let it.
( Note this is one of 15 short stories, touching on things fact based according to my memories. This originally was submitted in 2008 for publication.I am a shy writer on Facebook, Journals and now digital storage. Please be kind I am a amateur…..Enjoy :-) …)