I have a hard time with descriptives so this is just my excercise to describe
|I can't remember very much about my childhood, and I can't remember why I don't. But that day sticks out as clear as if it had happened yesterday. That is the day that I realized that everyone has their faults and there will always be one family worse off than everyone else. Never in a million years would I have guessed it was us. I had always tried to keep my homelife a secret from the kids at school, I think Lamont was the only one who truly knew what it was really like. But here I am, as always, starting my story in the middle. It is a bad habit I have always had, I tend to branch off my thoughts, as if never wanting to finish the first. So let me try and get back to the beginning.
The house I lived in as a child, that I remember the most, was on Newport Street in Detroit. It was a big dark green three story home, well four if you count the full basement. It was no different from any other house on the block, other than the color...or so it seemed from the outside. I was five or so when we moved in and to me it was huge. When you came in the front door, something we were rarely allowed to do, you walked into a very large living room with a foyer and a closet. We had your typical 1970's shag carpeting that left the footprints in it for awhile. At the end of the living room there was a real fireplace, the last one I ever had in a house, with red brick around it. I remember the red brick well, the brick of the fireplace was rough and stuck out, leaving little scrapes on our arms and legs if we got to close.
It was in this living room where my stepsister used a potato, ice and sewing needle to give me my first ear piercing. Those piercings later got us both a whooping and me my first infection that I remember. I remember the oozing of the green pus, the hair that was stuck in the holes, and the pain of healing. It was in this living room where most of our punishment was carried out, at the fireplace on our knees.
The dining room does not leave much of an impression other than the windows high off the floor on the neighbors side, but not too high where she could not peer in and "keep an eye" on us. There were three windows in the back of the house. It was through these windows that the ashtray flew, leaving shards of glass in the house and in the grass out back. We continued to find these shards for years after the incident. It was these windows where my brother Kenny and I decided it would be cool to put a shopping cart under and jump into it. The goal was to see how far away we could get it before we missed. I might want to warn other kids...this is not a very good idea. This is where I got one of my scars. The scar on my wrist almost looks like a botched suicide. I can guarantee you it is not. I jumped. I missed. The blood gushed. I screamed. That is the short version of it. I remember the blood pouring out like KoolAid and leaving a large trail as I hopped the fence to Ms. Brown's yard for help. Mom was at work as usual. I remember Ms Brown calling mom and saying "no, it is not bad enough for a doctor." and putting a band aid on my tiny wrist. Well, turns out it was bad enough for a doctor, but by the time mom thought to look at it, it was too late and had started to heal.
The runaway scheme was also plotted in this dining room. I remember mom leaving to go shopping with all the kids but me and Kenny, who as usual were being punished. I don't remember all my "crimes" but I do know I spent nearly half my childhood grounded, and if I remember right I am still grounded. So here Kenny and I are, in our respective corners in the dining room, so Ms Brown could see if we were bad. We decided to play catch with a tennis ball, I mean how much harm could there be in tossing a little, fuzzy green ball back and forth. Well, remember all the windows I mentioned above? Seems back when I was seven I did not have much of a throwing arm, or was it that Kenny in all his mock "manliness" could not catch my wonderful throw? We never did figure out the answer to that one. So anyway, the ball flies through the high window on Ms Brown's side. After Kenny and I got done panicing and figured out that Ms Brown must be napping since there was no immediate response from our elderly neighbor, we decided that Mom was going to kill us...or at the very least maim us. So we hop on Kelly's bike, now that I think about it, why was Kelly the only one with a bike?