Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Writing About My Life

Once again it is all Penelope Trunk's fault.  She wrote this great post in her "How to Blog" section so now I feel compelled to write about myself but in an interesting way because my life may not have been as traumatic or interesting as many others but according to some published authors and professors from the number one writing program in the country, apparently, I have skills.  Personal narrative, memoir what ever you call it is my favorite vehicle and I love to start with a random prompt and just write away for 10 or so minutes to get something started.  My plan is to post these writings, maybe with regularity, just to get it out there.  Maybe I want to show off, maybe I want to see if people think I suck, maybe I just want to couple what some people think I do best with all my other posts about body image, career, food etc.  I kind of feel like I am not really putting myself out there and showing my struggles and wins if I don't share this part of me. So here it goes.  I wrote for 15 minutes.  I looked up a prompt on a generate on-line and the prompt was:

"The streets were deserted.  Where was everyone?  Where had they all gone?"

It was winter and I had fallen on the ice.  Four-year-olds don't have far to go to hit their head on a stair ledge but this one was covered in inches of hard season-long ice. 

I was left outside of my grandparent's trailer.  Mom and Dad were inside.  I could hear yelling.  The sky was grey and getting darker.

Movement in winter coats is hard enough but the fake-fur lined hood of my plaid wool coat was firmly tied below my chin.  Snowmobile boots and mittens kept me close to the trailer.  The snow in the yard was almost as high as me.

Whatever was going on inside must have been important.  My mother had told me to play outside.  She bent down, fussed with my coat and used her sing-songy voice.  I looked around noting the impending darkness, the snow, the lack of things to play with in a retirement community trailer park but it was clear I was staying outside. 

I was told later the fall made me pass out.  That my Dad was so frustrated from the talk with my grandparents that he took off.  That my mother;'s brother had to drive me to the hospital.

I remember the drive.  The top of his car was gone.  The breeze was cool on my face as I lay on my back in the back seat.  The streets were empty, no one else was around as we floated down the road.  I saw a dark sky full of stars.  A sky I wouldn't really see until 20 years later in the Mojave Desert but there it was a blanket over me.  I remember laughing at the sky.

I woke up in the hospital.  My dad was there in a chair near my bed, his long stringy hair hanging over his face as he rocked forward his hands cradling his forehead.  My big sister was there with the same stringy hair.  She came right at me as I opened my eyes.  My mom was behind a curtain crying.  A nurse was nodding her head as she listened to my mother sob. 

"We were telling my parents," her breath jagged, "that we are getting a divorce."

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