What was your first clear memory? Mine is of a hot summer day. My sisters and I are sitting outside on the cement steps in front of a pink house. I’m wearing shorts. I can feel the creeping coldness leeching it’s way from the concrete into my butt. The chill causes my arms to become covered in goose bumps like the hind end of a naked chicken. The coolness is doubly enhanced because we’re all drinking an ice-cold pop. The sweet fizzy flavour dances on my tongue like a tap dancer on steroids.
I recall this with crystal clarity. It’s no surprise to me that my first memory contains junk food. Throughout my life it’s been my lying bastard of a friend. I turn to it when I feel sad, neglected, worried, angry, unmotivated, or drunk. It succours me. It hugs me from the inside out. It is deceitful. We all know junk food is bad for you, hence the word junk. I admit I can’t even pronounce most of the ingredients listed on any package of junk food. That alone should be a deterrent, but sometimes when I’m feeling low it fills the hole. Perhaps some of the chemicals in junk food are similar to Prozac or Zoloft? I confess I am mentioning Zoloft simply because it reminds me of Zorro. If I need a dose of antidepressant stronger than junk food— I would pick Zoloft. I feel it would be a swashbuckling success.
Anyway, back to sitting on the steps, I remember we are moving on that day. Mom and Dad are packing up the house. We are sedated with pops, and from our position we can’t see the ‘Moving— Kids For Sale’ sign on the front lawn. At this point in my memory, I still don’t have a clear sense of either one of my parents. My Grams I remember, but then again, she is the one who bought us the pop. Maybe it was a successful moving sale? Maybe I got new parents that day? I’m not sure. But I do remember, it was damn good pop.
I wrote this blog in accordance with my memory— wow! Did I get a shock.
A little bit ago I pranced downstairs to retrieve a picture of this momentous day. I was quite sure we had a photo. Imagine my surprise when I see that at the tender age of three I was experiencing memory issues. The house in the photo is grey/black glass flecked stucco, not pink. Plus Shannon didn’t have a pop, poor little trooper. And I wasn’t even wearing shorts. I was wearing my sexy red bathing suit with white piping along the edges. Most surprising of all— is that I don’t look like I was enjoying my pop. But I can tell you for certain that I cherished the soda. I think my expression was from watching all the brawls on the sidewalk. You know, just like on Boxing Day, the ‘Moving— Kids For Sale’ sign was causing havoc for the prospective parents.
So here’s what I do know from my unexpected memory glitch, the feelings in this story are accurate. It was a hot sunny day. You can see it, we are all squinting, and there are flowers growing in the dirt beside us. Plus, we are wearing summer clothing so interested buyers can see the type of future doctors and lawyers they are purchasing. And without a doubt, I did feel chilly from the concrete because cement is cool. Last but not least, of course the pop was delicious, it was created to be dishonestly ambrosial. I still enjoy the odd pop.
So you see, my feelings had been honest— but my eyes were not. So in the words of Obi-Wan-Kenobi –“Don’t trust your eyes, they can deceive you.”