A Long Long Time Ago

Back from the Dead

When you think back, are big chunks of your life missing?

My kids will ask Do you remember? and embarrassingly I sometimes have to reply No, I don’t.

Not a problem if I would rather forget what they’re remembering (or wish they’d forget).

It is a problem when it makes me feel I was six feet under for tracts of time in my get-only-one-shot-at-this life; like I took a bullet in the head because my aim was off and I missed the target.

And what’s the target? Something to remember.

Who doesn’t want to sit by the fireside on dark, cold nights, wizened and wise and eccentric, telling irreverent tales of your sad, bad, mad, richly crazy days to a circle of gobsmacked youngsters who are not scared of you, or your peculiar smell?

I’d love to do that…if I can remember any (I really don’t want to believe I have no sad, bad, mad, richly crazy days to embellish).

I will raise my voice from a deadly whisper – as eyes get bigger and bodies lean closer – and yell Hold it right there, Outlaw! and sense (I won’t see, my eyes are bad) the nervous twitches and sweaty excitement. Hmmf.

I’ll be back from the dead.

In the early days of motherhood I was a zombie. I wasn’t pushing up daisies when something raised me up – I was just fumbling to switch off the alarm, or getting a tiny, hungry mouth latched onto a nipple so I could go back to sleep.

To recall anything from those days I need photo flash cards to light up the synapses and then I go Ohhhhhh, noooooow I remember.

I’m digging in the grave of my memory bank to bring you a bad I have done. I almost hit my birth (not that I remember it) with the spade before I had any luck (not to worry, if I dredge up recent badness I’ll be sure to let you know…before I forget).

  • My best friend and I told a gullible, sweet, not-so-switched-on boy at school that I was the ‘hand model’ for an advert featured in a women’s magazine (when I placed my hand on the page it was a perfect fit). I think we might also have told him I was related to royalty.
  • Telling the daughter of my father’s next-door neighbor my dad had been in prison (true) and he tells lots of lies (true) and never knowing whether this titillating information imploded his world.

In my defense: I was under ten years of age, indignant, and my dad treated his new, pregnant, terrified wife as badly as he had my mom.

He also went back to chookie (a colloquialism for jail) in years to follow. My character sketch was accurate, if somewhat mind-boggling to an innocent, small town girl whose father (I think he was a doctor) had a tinkling water feature in the entrance hall of their house. I doubt she kept my shocking, breathtaking confidences to herself.

If my indiscretion had nasty repercussions I console myself with this soft thought: I saved my first stepmom (a short-lived relationship) years of bruises, fear, abuse and money. Oh my goodness, those are fireside worthy tales…

I do have an ulterior motive for spilling my bad beans.

Do you have blank spaces in your life and…

what sad, bad, mad, or richly crazy can you bring back from the dead?

Tell me a fireside tale.

Pleeeaaaaaase (hear the whine).

xxx TeaShell


P.S. In case you hadn’t noticed, I planted some music under the text because I realized, as I wrote, that I was inspired by Lord Huron lyrics. These guys are one of my favorite bands – I adore their music, and my sons love them too.