Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Minor Departure

I was lying in bed the other night. The late summer sun was still illuminating the blue sky and the room was relatively cool, for once. I was racing my mind backwards through my memories, trying to find that first clear moment.
It was a bright afternoon in Long Beach, California. I was about two or three years old. I could see the long, grey sidewalk stretching out before me and the tree along the front yarn park way was to my left. I was in its shade.
I remember where I ended up, though little about the actual trundle down the sidewalk. The old people who lived around the block from my family had a little visitor that day. I suspect they asked me where my mom was. We would take the route I followed on walks. I think I must've been on auto pilot like a dog wandering after getting out of the yard.
My mother tells me she was terrified that day. She couldn't find me anywhere. I had gone out the front door, down the steps and on my merry way. I don't think I had any idea how dangerous it was for me to be out, so small and alone, in 1980. Not in danger from the people (though, who knows). There was more of a concern for me walking in the street on my own or getting backed over by a car in a driveway.
I remember my Grecian neighbors. Sort of wrinkly and older folks. They always complained about the white butterflies in their garden. "They eat the lettuces!"

Their house was dark and cool in the summer. I know they were from Greece because the woman gave me a small pencil topper doll in traditional Grecian costuming. They told me it was from their home country.
As you can see from the lad in the image I borrowed from, his outfit looks rather like a short dress.
The thing is, the little doll had a mustache and for years I recall wondering why Grecian women had mustaches.
Life is always a little peculiar when you're a kid and things just aren't very clear. Figuring out where you're headed and how to get there is part of the journey. All the weird people along the way are just part of the charm.
I was lucky countless times as a little girl. No one stole me and I always found my way home.

BTW: Anyone who has been reading since the beginning may have noticed I changed the template. I felt like all the hoopla was distracting from the words. You're not here for hoopla, are you? ;) Maybe you're here for OPA! *dishes crashing*


Karl Pieter said...
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Karl Pieter said...

Very cool. I think my earliest memory was of being in a stroller at some kind of sporting event.