Total Pageviews

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Getting your eggs scrambled

Greetings to all y'all,

That is the correct plural for more of y'all than just, y'all. Yes, it is true, English is my second language. I was growed up speakin' redneck. My writing may suffer for this.

Fortunately I got help at an early age and through education and exposure to others who had conquered this affliction, I am now fully conversant in American English, such as it is. I am still fluent in cracker-speak and various other southern regional dialects, and have been known to have occasional lapses, especially when traveling among the natives. I try to do my best at all times, but sometimes one's roots do show, in spite of how much Grecian speech formula you use.

The weather forecast for beautiful downtown Fallon is a cloudy and breezy 44 degrees of Fahrenheit, with about ten cents worth of rain chance and gusts of trash can liberating 40 to 50 mph out of the SW. It should back off a notch or two by evening and only blow about 30 mph. If you let the cat out, tie it to the porch railing with some clothesline so you can reel it back in when it starts yowling. Otherwise it will be home late.

Tonight we have a meeting of the Reno Herpetological Society to attend so we will be out in the wild weather in our little Subaru Forester. The weather guessers say that the snow will hold off until after midnight and I hope that they are right on the timing. We should be home well before pumpkin time.

This is the 18th blog entry I have posted and I am putting in a lot of hours writing, which is good. The blogspot feedback system leaves something to be desired though, and I would love to hear more comments and take more questions from the readers. I write for my own pleasure but, it is for your enjoyment that I post these stories and I would love to know what you like and want to hear more about. 

People have commented many times over the years about how detailed my stories are and/or how amazing or scary my memory recall is. More than once people have been unnerved by my telling them personal details such as: where they live, what their family members (including the dog) names are, their telephone numbers, etc. If I am a stalker, I am a mass stalker. Numbers, especially telephone numbers, get stuck in my head.

The term used by medical people who have examined my head over the years is "Eidetic Memory" and it isn't all fun. As the TV character Monk says, "It is a gift, and a curse". You do get overwhelmed by input and it can make you crazy. 

When I get into the writing "mode", I actually relive the experience like I was there, with sights, sounds and even smells. If I was happy, I am happy. If I was scared, I feel the fear again. If someone spoke from behind me, I find myself turning to look for them. I try NOT to think about going to the bathroom...

The good news/bad news, at least for me, is that I am losing it. I still have some ability to pull up crazy amounts of detail at times, but often now, not on demand. It sounds funny to say it; but I don't know what I know. This makes my writing even more important to me. And finding things in my house even harder.

I have been asked many times, (like most people have), what my earliest recollections or memories are. There are brief mental images from earlier than this, but nothing as comprehensive as these. 

Scrambled Eggs

Many years ago, in the then quiet town of Daytona Beach, Florida, a small boy was supposed to take a nap. He was placed on the bottom bunk of the beds his brothers used and was told to go to sleep, or else. Everyone knows that top bunks are way more fun and three year old boys know how to climb.

I was hanging my right arm over the side, just waving it in the free air of top bunkdom when I slipped into slumber. Problem was, slumber wasn't the only thing slippery. The sheets were tucked in nice and tight, military style with the spread just loose over them. My weight was just enough over the edge to send me downward towards the gravitational conclusion that was inevitable. Murphy was around even in 1956.

Waking up on the way down, I forever have the details of that trip etched into my memory.

On the bottom of the top bunk there were wire coil springs hooked into the metal angle iron frames and suspending a pattern of wire shaped into rectangular boxes, just big enough to get your fingers into long ways, but not your thumb.

The wall was painted a tan color, close to the color of chicken eggs from the farm, not the store, and it was bumpy, not smooth.

The bottom bunk had a darker tan colored spread with red flecks and blue flecks that were like colored grains of rice, not like polka dots, or any other kind of dots. That went by faster than the other two on the way to the last stop.

Black floor tiles must be a bad omen, especially when they have yellow streaks in them like paint was spilled and somebody tried to wipe it up with an old rag. Put those over a concrete slab floor and they are not the soft landing place that one would hope for in head first plunge. I saw those tiles right before I hit them.

I woke up in someones arms, I used to know who it was, but now I can't remember for sure. It was either my older sister or my mother, and they said that my dad had been called at work. Even at three years old I knew that I was in big trouble if dad had to come home from work, then I was out again.

A brief glimpse of the gray outside world through the window of a '55 Chevy Belair, which also happened to be gray and white, was all I got and then went unconscious again. It was probably just as well that I was out of it, because I knew that my dad was foaming at the mouth mad from the fussing and growling coming from the front seat.

Some considerable time later I came to in the hospital to the unpleasant intrusion of a thermometer being inserted into my little boy backside. As my eyes popped open in abject surprise at the sensation, I came to focus on a barred window. Had I been a grown man there is no end to the conclusions I could have drawn about where I was, and what had just happened to me, but fortunately I was spared those images. I was in a hospital that used to have a psychiatric ward right where I was parked and they needed to prevent people from jumping out of the window. Maybe they had thermometers shoved up their butts too, that makes a guy pretty jumpy.

My oldest brother brought me a stuffed chipmunk that day, that I held onto for many, many years and it did help me get past the continuous pain in my head.

I was there for a couple of weeks while they waited for the swelling to go down and whatever else they did to me. I had a fractured skull and no bleeding or cuts on the outside, but my brother told me that I "scrambled my eggs", which I thought was hilarious but my parents didn't.

There has been much debate over my lifetime, by others I might add and not me, about whether I am smart because of scrambling my brain, or did I lose what could have been an even better mind to the injury.

I was enrolled in a kindergarten program in Daytona Beach a year or two later, but that didn't go too well. The teacher accused me of doing something that I didn't do and directed me to lie down on big towel and take a nap instead of participating in the activities. I protested and was struck and forced onto the towel. Once the woman left the room, I was out the window and climbed down the wall and struck out for home through some woods across the street. It was two miles through trees and undergrowth that I had never seen before, but I went like a homing pigeon directly to the backyard of our house. I have no idea how I did it, as I had never passed the boundary of my backyard before that. I wasn't likely to again either, after the spanking I got for doing it, but to no avail, the kindergarten wouldn't take an undisciplined troublemaker like me back again. To use their words, "Obviously there was something wrong with his (my) head." 

Beyond the earliest memories

In first grade in West Hollywood, Florida I started off really well, as my teacher was a prolific reader, and as it turned out, an encyclopedia salesperson. I had made a good impression on the librarian right off and enjoyed rare privileges that other kids did not. I was allowed to check out as many books as I wished to, no limits, while the other children could only take two. I read at a ferocious rate and could recite the book back nearly word for word. Then I got sick with pneumonia from my bronchial asthma and couldn't go to school for six weeks. My fevers were at 105 degrees so often they thought that I would fry my brain like bacon in a skillet.

My teacher brought work for me to do, but it was so easy that I did the assignments in a few minutes. The next day she showed up with a full set of the 1960  World Book Encyclopedia, which she had convinced my parents to buy. There were 21 volumes in that set and I read the entire thing in the six weeks that I was stuck at home. There was nothing else to do.

At seven I was tested in school, twice actually, (because my seventy-two year old second grade teacher didn't believe the results), and scored quite high according to the test proctor. My mother was told of my score and didn't want anyone else to be told. I was on the road to the freakdom of being a nerd in redneckville.

My brother just older than I, made up a story about me having a steel plate in my head from the incident when I was three, (and convinced me it was true) and used to break rulers and other sticks over my head to prove it. Of course I had to endure the blows without showing any pain so as to not embarrass my brother. It is little wonder that I have had severe headaches all of my life.

After a lifetime of banging and bashing my head, I am now a member of Mensa and finally have given in. OK, so I am smart, you don't have to hit me over the head any more, I give up.


I would ask those of you who have bunk beds, to never underestimate the attraction that top bunk holds for children of any age. Just because you told them not to, does NOT mean they won't. I was extremely lucky.

And to remind us all that even the smartest among us, can be made to believe the dumbest things, (like a steel plate in your head), and do something stupid (like allowing people to hit you over the head with sticks), by people they trust in a position of authority or power. Live smarter and be well.

No comments:

Post a Comment