I join classes just to listen to people talk. I like to hear them read stories and passages from texts-who cares if they know I’m even there, or if they like me? Ok, so I lied a little. Of course I want people to like me, but if they don’t– as comedienne Joy Behar says, “So what? Who cares?”
I am the fly on the wall, the elephant in the room. My arms are soft and comforting not all that toned up at this stage of life…I’m trying….but actually…whatever. My hugs are real and I never forget a kindness. My hide is tough and spotted, wrinkled at the eye edges, and around the mouth. Women can relax around me, realizing that I’m no competition for their beauty, know what I’m sayin’?
As an invisible matronly type, I like to linger in cafes and libraries, a traveler to nowhere, the voyeur of daily life. Nothing makes me blush.
2) They didn’t know what color to make me when I came down from heaven this time around, so they put freckles all over my skin and stuck a baseball cap on my head. I favored a striped T shirt and sneakers. When I was a kid, I ventured out constantly, even ran away a couple of times. I stood in doorways and watched people. Grampa had gotten on my case one Saturday because I came home overly quiet. He knew I’d been roaming.
I was fascinated by the men in the auto repair shop down at the village. They huddled together, smoking in overalls standing around in a cluster over the hood of a 58 Chevy coupe. With varied voices, some deep, some higher, they’d swear at the machinery. I studied their big hands, their banter, and listened to their words. Once in a while a loud “son of a bitch” erupted over a dropped wrench or a banged knuckle. No time to stop for minor bleeds. The clinking and chunking of the tools accompanied Hank William’s lonesome sound on the radio. Oil and cigarette smoke coated the summer air in rural small town America.
I knew no better. My presence probably made them nervous. One of them called out, “What happened to you? Did you get sunburned through a screen?” I bolted and scampered home with my stinging ears and later sat with my head down as Grampa chastised me for hanging around places where grown men worked.
They called girls with pixie cuts tomboys. We had skinny bruised knees and an affinity for baseball gloves and forts and sliding into home base. But Lord how it changed. How could life be so cruel and intense when age 14 came around, turning my mind and body into a romance novel.
An excerpt from my memoir, aka memwah, aka memroid.
Journal prompt: Write a snapshot from a childhood memory. Take one scene and write a rough draft. Or, you can also do a snapshot or vignette of an event or scene you observe in your daily life. Try to include sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feeling. There is no right or wrong. Be free to express and embellish. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or punctuation. That’s the joy of journaling.
copyright © 2014 Susan E Rowland