Location: marengo, il, United States

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Georgia Crackers

Daddy come home and throwed me up in the air again. I wish he would do that more, like he used to.

“Up in the elements you go!”

It’s really scary when I go real high, but he always smiles big up at me.

He got me a slingshot from the store, not the wood kind but a plastic one. I took it outside to the cinder block wall right away where I sat and opened the package, but it fell down inside one of the holes and I can’t get it out. It’s stuck down there forever, now.

At school Mrs. Turner gave Todd a whipping. She made him lay across one of the long tables, and she whipped him with a leather belt while we watched. He’s bigger than all of us, but he bawled pretty good after his momma beat him like she did. We were all glad, too.

Some older kids used pocket knives to carve dirty pictures of a woman’s parts in some of the pine trees at the bottom of the hill next to the playground, and some of us sneaked down to look. And I got socked in the eye during recess with a chunk of coal. That new kid threw it at me after I hollered time-out and stepped out from behind my tree, and it bled really bad. Mrs. Turner got all scared when she saw me and the blood, so I cried while she cleaned me off.

Last Sunday in church it was hot. A lot of the ladies were using those cardboard fans while some man was up front yelling about hell fires and brimstones and Jesus. I kept looking out one of the opened windows, wishing I could be out there. Then I seen a woman taking the path to the outhouse. She had huge breasts, and I kept watching them bounce while she walked, and I got excited in a new kind of way. My brother Joe Allen is buried across the road from the church. We go and see his grave stone sometimes and listen to momma talk about him. Its got a stone lamb up on the very top.

I don’t like to have to take naps, but momma always makes us. Sometimes I lay real still with my eyes shut, but then we sneak outside to play after she falls asleep. Mostly I lay here staying quiet with my knees up, looking at the pictures sewed on my quilt. It’s all yellow except for them.

They are all of a little Dutch girl wearing a blue dress and a blue cap, and she has long blonde pigtails, and in this one, she’s standing up on her milk stool looking down at a mouse who is looking back up at her. In another one she’s sweeping with her broom.

Up here, she is sitting on the same stool, milking a cow. In that one she is setting a table. Can you see her tiny cups and dishes? Oh, and this one at the edge is funny; she is chasing the little brown mouse off with her broom, and he is running away with his tail curled high in the air.

I had a bad dream last night, and I woke up when I fell off the bed. I’m always afraid to hang my arm over the side for too long, because I get to thinking about that mouse, so when I woke up on the floor I was scared to move for a long time.

They had another big fight. Momma was screaming and daddy was yelling real loud like he was mad, and it was hard to go to sleep after they started throwing stuff. I heard some things break a couple of times, too.

None of us knows what blonde pussy hairs are, but momma was saying she found a bunch of them in his car, and he was telling her she is crazy. I wish they would both stop it.

I been saying my prayers like we learned to, but I been asking God to send us company, because they act nice then.


Blogger Gone Away said...

Childhood memories like old photographs, flashes of another time, the happy mixed with the sad, and the mind of a child watching, not trying to understand, just watching and storing. Great stuff, Harry.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Unable, rather than not trying would be apt. Ta, Gone.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Ned said...

Which is worse? The frightening confusion of a child's mind or the sad but clear understanding of the adult? A reminder of our childhood fears, a sadness for our understanding and a caution to see our actions as viewed by the children and the effects those actions and words may have on them.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Harvey Young said...

So the story does continue. I keep thinking that you were peeking in the window of my childhood. These are great memories and sometimes sad ones, but I am just happy that you allowed us to peek in and reflect again.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

I love how you used some stuff that we've had glimpses of before, but now they're restrung, and they feel quite different in this new frame.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

That I'm not sure of, Ned, but I always thought Einstein had it backwards and meant to state, "Relatives are everything".

2:29 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Harvey, it makes me happy just sharing.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Now that's a beautiful turn of a phrase, Jay. Neat-o.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Jodie said...

A strange juxtoposition of the happy memories of childhood and the fears children have but don't share. A very honest recollection of childhood as well.

5:56 PM  
Blogger glenniah said...

When we are children, we imagine things being very wonderful or very bad. Yet when they occur they are never as wonderful or as bad as we had imagined.
Relatives are like chocolate, some are hard, some are soft some are nuts. But they are ours.

4:33 AM  
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