Aug 11, 2008

Dr. Swoozie Nights, Chapter Two, by Leonardo Ricardo

Dr. Daytona will see you now:

"Time gives me the creeps. It is so confusing when I try to follow
the thread of my childhood, Doctor Ricardo.

When I was a little boy? I keep trying to remember what happened
that I didn't get right. All I ever wanted to do
was squeak by and be like other people and do whatever it was/is that
other people do so they would leave me alone. I liked being alone some of the time. My Mom was extra nice and very pretty and a good Mom, I even knew that then. She
loved me a lot and I loved her too. She loved me
"this much" as she would open her arms as wide as she
could and then throw them around me and we would laugh
and we would roll on the bright green grass of my childhood.

Sometimes I can remember those times when I was little, when I was happy or hurt and sometimes when I cried.

I was really a handsome little guy. Ask anybody. I
have a few pictures stuck away somewhere. Even my
older sister Mildred will sometimes admit I was
"adorable." She does, or at least did once that I remember! Milly actually sort of spitted it out for me..."you were adorable." I couldn't believe it when
she mentioned it last year. Milly never gives
compliments to anybody but does get all choked up when talking about/visualizing The Passion of Christ.

I guess you can tell, my sister and I weren't great
friends. Wouldn't you think your older sister, who
thinks you were a "adorable" little guy would want to
show you off to her friends and be loving to you? Dr.
Daytona, what do you think? I would have if I'd been her. But, no, not
Milly the mean. Not her, not my six years older
sister, the one in 'training' to become the first/female humble and sainted angel of death.

Did I ever tell you about the time she took me for a walk accross
the street to the vacant lot? It was attempted murder, Dr. Daytona.

She gleefully walked me over to where they had
dug a foundation in the dirt for something that was never built.
It had steep hardened sides that went down into a pit. One of
those abandoned vacant lots that grew its own bushes
and trees it was so neglected. You've seen the kind? People dumped old junk
into the pit. They dumped wood cuttings, tree branches, dirtfill and
clinkers too. Oh, clinkers are the burnt out
skeletons of coal. Dr. Daytona, in those days people
burned a lot of coal in furnaces to heat their homes in the
Wintertime. The lot I'm describing to you had lots of sharp clinkers at the
bottom of the dug out pit. Nobody wanted clinkers around their
homes. Clinkers were dangerous and everyone knew it...clinkers needed to be hauled away and disposed of fast.

My sister Milly took me for a little walk one
afternoon. I was just walking real good so it was all
kind of exciting for me. She was being extra sweet
that day after we got all bundled up and said goodbye to Mom.

Lucky for me that I ever saw my Mom again.

When we got to the vacant lot, Milly ran to the bottom
of the pit and outstretched her arms, like Mom always
did, and said 'run down to me and I'll catch you.' I
was scared. This was a steep hill. I didn't even run
much yet and she's wanted me to run down a hill with my wool leggings on? I
resisted, she insited! Milly was being ever so nice
that day. "Come on" she said "and I'll catch you," with
a big smile and dipples dippling on her sweet face.

I did and she didn't.

I ran down into the open arms of my sister Milly who
quickly stepped back when I came in for the landing.
She stepped back over the pile of clinkers at the bottom of the pit that she had been
standing on. Face down I went. It was just a
terrible accident they told me and off we went to St.
Johns hospital to get stiched up.

I still have the scar on my's in the center of
my can you see it right here, Dr. Daytona? Ah, you do see it, good.

A pretty wicked gash. It's still a ugly scar but I
try and let my hair cover it and never think of the scar it left inside.

I belived them. I thought it was a accident.

That was the first time I remember being wrong and the first time I ever remember being deceived and betrayed by a fellow human being."

End/Chapter Two


FranIAm said...

Dios mio - I don't know what to say other than... thank you.

That and wow.

Bonnie said...

Hi Leonardo--Your slim volume is a gripping read. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. And, I am soooo glad real won out and you are writing the story.

Sibiling rivalry! My oldest sister once tried to drown the middle sister in a very deep puddle. I am the youngest sister. I hung out with my brother as much as I could during the summer. My mom died when he was born, just a week before my 3rd birthday and he was raised by an aunt and uncle in my mom's hometown which was about 20 miles away. I still love my brother in spite of the fact that he is a baptist. (Yikes!) He loves the BCP that I gifted him one year. (Smile) I want you to know that not all big sisters are mean to there brothers.

Bonnie said...

Arrrgh. Should be their not "there" brothers.

fs said...

Thanks for sharing this so openly, Leonardo. I'm sorry I can't make it to your blog every day; it's sort of weird running around from blog to blog. I don't have the hang of it yet.

Early betrayals of trust are truly primal, aren't they? It's a rip in the psyche, a torn place that never completely mends. I think most have it, but few remember how or when it occurred. At least you had your mom; you had someone to turn to, who loved you.

Milly was jealous. She'd had your mom and dad all to herself until you came along, utterly adorable (and lovable), and took it all away. She tried to get back at you for throwing her out of paradise.

Jealousy/envy gets into real serious evil. Worse than greed, imo.

I was the youngest, the only girl, and was embarrassed, even as a toddler, at the fuss my dad made over me at first. My brothers hated me for it, while I adored them and tried not to play on Daddy's weaknesses, not to be as manipulatingly cute as he wanted me to be. The most jealous, and so the cruelest, of the brothers was the one just ahead of me, too. Very violent and sadistic boy, and I still don't trust him. Mom fell into the bottle after the divorce, and Dad did a 180, so pretty soon there was no one to turn to. It took me well into my 20s to learn not to flinch whenever a man raised his arm. Very embarrassing. I still have an exaggerated startle reflex, also embarrassing, but now just tell people, "Sorry, PTSD".

However, once you get away from all that and figure out how to survive on your own, which can take awhile, life gets better and better. I give thanks daily for the peace and safety of the life I have now. Sometimes it's like I have to pinch myself.

If they give out assignments after we die, I'd like it if they'd let me come back somehow as a comforting presence for unloved children. I think I had one, so maybe there is a job description like that.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Thank you fs, very moving and most helpful unweaving of the web that was weaved...I've never been terribly close to children, excepting my sisters kids whom I adore/adored, they were glad I did and still are very loving back however I'm not much in their lives as I live abroad and they live in Northern California (some near you apparently) is good and I think rather "clearly" about what was and what is...your sharing, whenever you can visit, is very helpful and illuminating to me.