[warning: standard “I haven’t blogged for a long time and this is my lame apology slash explanation” is forthcoming. Scroll down to the good stuff.]
Benign neglect, that’s what we’ll call this, shall we?
Oh, and my x365 project is going to take me three or four years at this rate, isn’t it? Sort of negates the whole “posting daily” idea. Oh well. I’ll still continue them. Hacking away until they’re exactly 100 words has been rather fun, and certainly the trips into the recesses of my memories have been interesting.
When I was nine I was in the 4th grade. Do the math a minute; I need to point out that I skipped a grade and I was the youngest in my class until grade 9 when I was appalled to meet up with someone even younger than me. She was smart, too. Alice Mayall. Where are you now, Alice?
So I was nine and I was in the 4th grade. Actually, I was eight most of that year. Eight and having a spring birthday, turning nine. This is really irrelevant, but it tells you that I was pretty much a little kid.
I remember two things from that year. No, three.
That was the year I taught myself to hold my stomach in. Been doing it ever since. Except in pregnancy, when I couldn’t, and in sleep, every other moment since then has been one in which my abdominal muscles are contracted. I walked past a large window every day in the school hallway, and one day I caught sight of myself there. Skinny kid. Except in the stomach. Holding it in looked better. So that’s what I did.
That was also the year I had mono. It started with a lot of throwing up and trips to the hospital, a 40-minute one-way drive in the middle of the night. Then came antibiotics, horrible-tasting pasty white pills that I had to take along several times a day with aspirin, which weren’t so bad because they were orange-flavored. I lay on the couch for a month, eating Red Vines and saltines, watching Dick van Dyke and Andy Griffith re-runs, reading all the fairy tale books the library contained. When I went back to school finally, something had changed and suddenly I could wear pants to school instead of dresses. I always connected the lifting of the pants ban with my month at home with mono.
Somewhere along there was the dream that haunted me for years. I know it happened while I was in fourth grade because of the location of my classroom in the dream. And because there was a witch with blue plastic hair that chased me through the empty nighttime school. There was nothing in my eight-year old life that was scarier than that. She had Barbie hair, sort of plasticy but long and flexible, and periwinkle blue. To this day I can’t stand that color. And she was the scariest thing ever.
I dreamed about that witch for years. She probably gave me mono.