autobio. Of a black sheep of the family
|Sitting in the nieghborhood Java Shop,listening to the light sound of jazz playing in the background. Maked it easy not to think of the past or future. As Micky sat at the table by the window in the Java Coffee Shop,that she had been to so many times growing up. With her shiney long hair and Bohemian styled dress, she slumped over the table with a notebook and pen, writing and sipping on her Styrofoam cup filled with coffee. At first glance she looked like most of the patrons in the coffee shop, but then if you looked closer she had a bemused look look like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. The notebook was open in front her and every once in a while she would jot something down. She glanced around the coffee shope at the other patrons. There were a couple of men having a meeting at the next table with their papers and ceramic coffee cups she would look over at them as their voices rose and fell as though their very being was better than what she was thinking. Glancing at the notebook she was scribbling two words Black Sheep Black Sheep over and over. As she sat there ] the coffee shop emptied out. She bent over the notebook wrote something real quick then leaned back in the seat , took the last sip of her coffee. And as the waitress took her money and if that waitress could have read the last line of Micky's notebook she would have seen. “YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE BOY AND HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE GIRL” in all caps.
Micky was heading out to the old home place were gran wouldnt be there, but the memories would be. Seeing her younger Brother and Sister made her sick to her stomach after all these years. Getting a coffee to go she didnt quite get to the coffee shop's door before she grabbed a seat by the window and set staring out of it with the words “You should have been the boy and he should have been the girl” whirling around in her mind with so many thoughts sticking to this simple sentence.
The first time that Micky remembered hearing that she should have been the boy she was 12 and Seth was 6.Micky couldn’t even remember what action made her parents or grandparents say this. They just said it. And after that first time, they said it a lot over the years.. But, again It wasn't said in a mean way, in fact it was thought to be funny. Ha, Ha! Who knew it was taken to heart by two kids and would effect thier view of each other as adults. Even though Seth said he didn’t remember it being said. But, he denied having a typical family so what did he know. He always had selective memory about thier lives growing up and never good thoughts far sure!
Thinking back to that statement Micky, she thought that was probably when she was she was branded the Black Sheep of the family. Of course, she also remembered hearing later on that she got all the bad traits of both sides of the family. Now isnt that a nice thing to say to a kid of any age. But, was it the first statement or maybe both statements that made her who she was inside, or was it who they weren’t and could never be that made her the Black Sheep
Micky continued to sit in the Java Coffee shop, which she had done far so many years, watching people come and go some familar many more not. The early years before siblings even came into the picture came to her mind as she watched families sit there having thier dinner.
The past floating through her mind like a patch work quilt. She could see herself at 3yrs old taking a nap on her grandparents bed in the back bedroom with her head laying on the window sill. As she remembers seeing her aunt Carrie and uncle Tom bringing home her new born cousin Clara. Micky might have been only three ,but that was a important day and that memory has floated through her mind many times over the years. It is funny how many different snapshots come to mind from that time in her life. And for sure most of these were good memories and memories that no one could change for as the siblings weren’t there
A patch floats by with a snapshot of the family around the christmas tree in grans very house and Clara must of been around two and her mother Aunt Carrie being dead 18 months already. Micky, didn't remember the situation about her Aunts death until years later. But,That was the year that Uncle Tom gave Micky and thier other cousin Romie thier Cinderella watches from Clara.That watch was still in Micky's jewrlry box only with out a band..still ticking away and the Family altogether like every Holiday. Micky thought Gran must have been really sad during that 1st christmas with out aunt Carrie.
There is a patch floating around were Micky was little and she was at a hospital looking at a baby in a incubetor and then a woman in a bed with tubes in her.She could see someone holding her hand and holding the hand of some other little kid going up the stairs leading to the hospital or that what she always thought was a hospital. She has never been sure weather that was clara in the incubator and her Aunt Carrie in the bed. Or it was her and Romie going up the stairs and it was her own mom in the hospital. Or the memory was a combination of twwo different times. And Micky's mother was never able to help her figure this memory out. But, it wasn’t a scary memory so it wasn’t to tramantic. To effect her in any way.
Some of Micky's memories were reinforced by family tales of those early years. So the
patch floating around showed a little girl standing by a fence and a little boy standing on the other side. Wasnt a true memory but She was told the story of living next door to the this little boy years later. Eventually he would have her put her arm through the fence then he would bite her arm. He did this whenever he got the chance she didnt remember this part only the little boy standing on the other side of the fence. She must have not been a bright little girl to keep putting her arm out to be bit.
At that moment an older couple came into the coffee shop with a little child, which started Micky thinking back of her earliest memories of her grandparents. Micky smiled to her self because thinking of her grandparents always made her smile.As she leans back sipping her coffee, another in the memory quilt floats through her mind. She must have been just a few years old and she is riding in a black car, it was some kind of ford. She is standing (yes) standing between a really young grandmother and grandfather. The memorie of where they had been going or coming from wasthere but wasnt the most important part of the memory, but a small memorie of grocey store flits around that picture it was proabley a picture that happened many timesa
Micky knew that she was told little stories about things that happened when she was real real little. She wondered if her siblings had any of these memories or if they just let thier memories start when they started school or is that what they cared to remember. Someone said memories even shared are through the eyes of each person and that makes the memories all different. Maybe that is true who knows.
Mom always like to tell how she was getting Micky ready so she could go to town and pay bills and while she was getting ready to go the rag man came down the street or alley micky wasnt sure which but either way Her mum came out and micky had given her new shoes to the rag man. Everyone thought that was funny. Micky thinks now it sounds scary
Mum said Micky had always loved to read. And When they came home from town Micky had two bags one with a little toy another with socks or some little outfit and she always left the toy in the bag and took the clothes out unfolded and refold them and put them back in the bag. Micky had lots of books when she was little but she liked to look at her Mum's books even though there were no pictures. Mum always said micky would turn each page one page at a time just like she was reading the book. Mum always said Mick
loved books and clothes. Now that didnt sound bad or black sheepish in anyway she could see. Now When Micky was real little her Dad worked two jobs. He would come home for dinner and then leave again. But when he came home from the last job Micky would be fighting sleep so they would get in the car and drive around until she was asleep. Yes, it did seem like she was spoiled. Micky didnt remember that happening to the other siblings.
Micky remembered her grandfather telling the story of how she came into the kitchen crying and throwing a fit. He asked her what was wrong and she told him, She wanted her own way. Gramps always thought that was funny. As he gave her way a lot she remembered.
Micky realized she had been sitting at the Cafe for quite awhile,her cell was dinging with notifications of message and she knew it was one of them paging her and giving her hell as well. Micky paid for her coffee and went to her car and headed for the the old home place where she was so happy for so many years no matter what they thought. Micky didn’t want to go back to the old homestead with gran being gone. Seeing her younger brother Seth and even younger sister Angie again after all these years made her sick to her stomach. They were so snoddy and hateful
Micky was the oldest and for 6 whole years she was the only child in her family, the only girl grandchild in her dad family. Her mother’s family didn’t have another grandchild for another nine months. So Micky was put on a pedestal by both sides of the family or that is how she felt now.
Seth was borne six years later. For Micky it wasn’t so exciting the world still whirled around her. Micky could barely remember Seth the first few years. Laying in the playpen with a bottle was about the only memory she had of Seth in the house.While she remembered that they lived in the house next door to gran. She just knew she was the center of the world. And life during those early years were happy years for Micky. With grandparents and aunts and uncles, cousins being together, And the holidays were also very happy back then.
The neighborhood was a older neighborhood were the parents and grandparents grew up and had close relationships with all the neighbors and people around town. It was a good place to grow up in for Micky at least.
Things started going south for Micky when Micky was 16years old and Seth was 10 years old, That was when Angie was borne. Micky remembers how her mother was sick after having Angie. Even being sick they moved to Whittier California leaving the grandparents behind. Micky helped take care of angie alittle but she was in High School.. And Micky loved California were she had always wanted to return to,e ven with the hard times there. For her it was the best times.So again through her eyes it was not a bad time. So when did she go to her being the odd man out. For years she tried to ignore it and take the verbal stabs and snubs and it all came back from her immediate family
Micky pulled up to the side of the old homestead were she had parked for years after learning to drive and set with the motor running Knowing it was not going to be a pretty scene for sure. She continued to remember thinking life was suppose to be like Leave it to Beaver, or Father’s Knows Best or even like Andy Griffith's show. And Seth always wanted to know what world she lived in. As if it was a big joke. Of course, her marriage was more like a soap opera thank God that is over now.
So many thoughts from the past, everything that made her who she was or actually wasn’t She came to the realization that her family was just a normal Fifty’s dysfunctional family like most families of this time. Families with grandparents, father and mother with two kids all living together in one house. Having meals together, kids seen but not heard because kids were kids and that was that.
The only thing that Seth would say about those times was he was a shadow child not seen or heard. Micky thought back and knew that was not who she was then or now as for as that goes.
she didnt call anyone to let them know she was in town and was on the way over, let them stew on it, it isnt like they really wanted her there anyway.
As Micky pulled up to grans house, in some ways she felt like she was coming home like so many times before.. Because on the outside the house and yard looked mostly the same. And there had been little chang in the old nieghborhood as for looks and homes. . Of course, most of the old families were long gone.and , like her the kids in each family headed out as far as they could get from Vandalia Indiana. And few came back to stay.Her car pulled in Parked next to the side of the house like she had done many many times before .It still looked and felt the same as it always had when she came back from where ever life had taken her. Except gran and gramps werent waiting for her.
Looking at the backyard she could see it as it was years and years past. She
could still see the cherry trees that use to be in the back yard. Were she she use to climb and skin her stomach as she slid the tree. Close to the two car garage gramps built with the two seater outhouse close to the alley. He spent many hours during the week piddling around when he couldnt work anymore. That was why the outside stayed as long as it did so he wouldnt track dirt into the house. Of course, the kids used it to (God forbid kids run in and out like they do now)
Thankfully, gran planted honeysuckle plants around the outhouse. The smell would have been bad during the summer heat. Actually, everyone had inside plumbing but some kept the old out houses so when the kids were out playing they didn’t have to keep running in out of the house and she supposed it cost to tear down and feel up.
Every house in the neighborhood had some kind of fruit tree and vegetable garden in their yards. It was more like country than town actually still looked like that.
As she pulled into the neighborhood Micky noticed that the old neighborhood store a block from the house was closed and the one on teh next block was closed too. How many times did she go to the store for gran or with her and charge food and whatever else they needed and then paid for it at the beginning of the month.
The other neighorhood store was were all the kid went as it was thier favorite store because on the way to the neighorhood grade school they would stop for candy. This store had thebest selection of penny candy. Micky remember when the owner use to sit outside on Sunday and wave and talk to everyone. Actually, the nieghorhood was like an extended family. Even now as she drove past the houses she could still give name each family that had lived and grown up there. Throubross store,Biddles, Huges, Old lady Jones, Guesses, Rindingers and ,the trueblood store, conners, pinkston, Ms conners daughter. And on and on.Now she couldn’t even tell who had the houses now except for her grans.
Micky realized there was a lot of family history Seth was to little to remember and Angie wasn’t even born yet to come close to remember. She actually felt sorry for them ,well Angie anyway. Seth was there for alot of that he just choses to be an ass and denie it so he has a reason to act like he does. Was that the time that shaped her into the Black sheep or more the strong person she was.
Not wanting to go into the house and face everyone yet, and she just wanted to look at the nieghborhood and remember ,Micky continued to sit in the car and look out at the house and old neighborhood. Thinking back as far as she could remember or at least things that made an impression to her.
Micky rested her head on the headrest as another patch floated through her mind. These memories are memories Seth or Angie wouldn’t have or to hear them tell it they had no memories from that young . And actually they tried to make her feel guilty for having memories of the family that was there. But, she actually felt happy to have these memeories and wasnt going to apolize for having them. She couldnt help it they were brain dead until they went to school.
Seth came out on the front porch hollering for Micky to get out of the car and come into the house.He yelled over, “what was wrong with you or you drunk or something? She Hollered back ,”I’ll come in when I’m ready”. There it was again, they were always thinking the worse no matter weather they knew they were wrong or what. Well she wasn’t going to jump just because they said to. They were lucky she was back and was going to be in the same room with them period.
As she looked up and down the street, she could count on one hand were the old families still lived, some of the homes had little changes done to them, it still looked like the same neighborhood she had lived in for so long. All that was needed was gran and gramps sitting on the front porch. There just didn’t seem to be as many kids as there was while she was growing up. Of course the neighborhood elementary school wasn’t around anymore and everyone had to be bused to some other place. She was glad that happened way after her time.
Gowning up here the kids spent most of their time outside and didn’t matter what the weather was. And they didnt have to worry about alot of cars. This part of town was closer to being country than city. They still didn’t have sidewalks. It was a good place have grown up in.
Looking at grans house and the house next door,Micky remebered the story of how the house was built by grandpa while him, grandma, her mom and two sisters lived in a four room shotgun house. They had moved there during the depression. Then he added the two car garage with his work bench. She could see him out there piddling around. SheLoved to play with all the things on that work bench.The house next door was built by clara’s dad with grandpa helping, So those two houses held a lot of memories. But, only one was still owned by the family now. And again Seth and Angie didnt really know the story behind it as it didnt have anything to do with them. Micky remembered her Aunt carrie standing at the back door of her house and she was little maybe 2 or 3, she must have been outside with someone and she had a red coat and matching hat on. And she walking to her aunt. And again not sure about the details.
Micky always thought it was funny that these little memories are all she had of the very very early years you would think there would have been more. She didn’t have any memories of her dad’s family even though they were around she assumed. Not until she was around 5 or 6. But the feeling of love and being safe during that time has always stayed with her.
Grans church was a couple of blocks over. Her and the ladies in the neighborhood organized the church and got it built when they moved into the neighborhoods. And she remembered all the pictures of gran and mom at women’s clubs and church dinners and choirs and amongs all those ladies there was Micky stuck in the middle like she was the queen of it all.. She really didn’t remember that except for the pictures and of course the stories
that went with it. She always thought it was a little odd there were no other kids in the pictures. But eventually she was really happy during these years and again felt safe.
Micky shook her head, all she could could get on those early early years was her life was filled with normal family things and wasnt that out of the norm. And as for as she could see everything sort of whirled around her. But that was normal since she was first in the family. Mick.y thought that Seth and Angie should have some kind of memories of that time in thier lives. After all everything is in the eyes of the beholder as they say
Micky could see Angie opening the back door coming to get her. So she started the car and pulled away from the yard before Angie could get close and yell for her to come in. Angie just stood there looking at her driving away.
Micky decided she just wanted to drive around the old nieghborood and see if there very many changes. She knew there were some new families but still she wondered if it would feel like home. Seth never left Haute so everything seemed like it was the same as the changes came about slowly for him. Heck, even Angie doesn’t recognize the big changes she is nearly 16years younger than Mick
Grans house was on the corner of 19th and pan ave . As Micky was coming down oak ave and turned on 19th st. the houses all looked the same except whoever had Biddles house ,sure wasn’t taking care of the house and yard like the orginal owners . That made micky a little sad she had always loved that house. She always like the idea of a picture window in the bathroom. Funny thing she never remembered seeing it but everyone said it was there.
Micky continued to drive around the nieghborhood. Some of the orginal people were still in their homes or their kids and taken over the homes
As Micky drove around she could see all the places that had meant so much to her as she grew up..
As she drove back to grans she pulled up in the back by the garage. Her memories were coming a little faster and she was old enough to take part in the activities of the family. Now her mom and dad had to their own home
during the early years and Micky could remember those. But after Seth was born she remembered they all lived with gran and gramps more than not. Which was most of the time she didn’t mind at all.
But first, they lived in the house next door to grands. Now Micky did remember her bedroom and how her dad’s sister brought her that neat kitchen set and the dish cabinet had a light in it. Everytime her dad’s sister and family came down they brought her something. Her dad’s sister (amy) didn’t have any daughters only two boys and they were 8 years older than Micky in fact her dad’s brother John had two boys close to amy’s boys age and then John had a boy rob who was mickys age Of course the older boys never had time for Micky as she was younger and of course a girl.
She did remember a family get together that was at her Uncle John’s the only thing about that time she remember being in the back yard.and the youngest boy being around. And smoke coming from the barbucue. Funny the things you remember that memory again was without Seth.
There was many memories from the few times they lived in California before Seth was borned and then again he might have been just a baby she just couldnt place him in those earley pictures.
The earliest memorie with Seth in it was when they were in California and she was in 2nd grade and Seth wasnt in school yet.
She remembered the class she was in before they moved to California and that was Ms hadley's first grade she really loved that teacher. What she did remember about the year or so in california was playing outside sitting on the top of the clotheline post and singing to herself “That's admora” and there was a little boy she played with . She remembered