I Remember

I Remember

I remember the flat brown mole on the right side of my small, smooth hand.

I remember wearing starched white blouses that chaffed my nipples and made them raw and sore.

I remember stiff white petty coats we called 'stick out slips,'  wearing them over and under everything, so I could feel like a princess.

I remember a big brigazee before school one morning when I was in kindergarten.  I wanted to wear my stick out slip under a kilt, but Mother wouldn't let me.  

Then Daddy got involved; then his belt came off and things got nasty.

I remember lying in bed in the morning, listening to my mother in the kitchen,  noisily cooking, banging pans and scrambling eggs for Daddy.

I remember fantasizing about tying her up on the kitchen floor and walking on her as I triumphantly waved wooden spoons.

I remember my bedroom door, the heavy oak grain that looked like a giant rabbit standing upright on its hind legs.  

I remember furtively painting MARTHA in red nail polish on my chest of drawers.

I remember Suzie and Bear Boy, my teddy bears.  I lost Bear Boy at the A & P.

I remember the smell of coffee in the A & P, the rich aroma emanating from the grinder as housewives pulverized red sacks of Eight O'Clock Coffee Beans.  

I remember Mr. S., the small, bald, and dour A & P manager.  He was smarmy nice with the housewives, demeaning and ugly to the hired help.

I remember standing on a chair, head bent over the kitchen sink, while Mother washed my hair with a raw egg she had beaten foamy.  

I remember Tommy Falkenberry patiently sitting at the formica table, waiting for Mother to finish washing my hair so I could go outside and play.

I remember Tommy's cap gun:  how thrilling it was to hold;  the loud pop and smell of burning matches when we fired it in the woods.

I remember playing Go Fish with Tommy on the living room floor while Anita watched from the couch and protested that Tommy was cheating.  I didn't care.  I just wanted to be with Tommy.

I remember Saturday morning, a Gene Autry Western playing on the black and white T.V. in the living room.  Mother had set up the ironing board in my bedroom and was ironing the blouse she was going to wear to take Anita shopping.  She unplugged the iron and told me not to touch it, then left the room.

I remember sitting on the bed, eyeing  the iron and wondering if it had gone instantly cold the moment it was unplugged. 

 I remember I did not cry out and there were no tears, but I was careful to conceal my hand the rest of the day as the palm throbbed, burned and blistered.  

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