Neurotic Anxieties


I wasn’t always grown.

I haven’t always been this old. We all were once children.

No one has to explain neurotic anxieties to me. I lived on Carder St., which gives me an idea of my age. I turned three in our new house. My mother’s dream home, under the oak. I had already experienced a litany of insanities. I had hid in a garbage can, because the word was, my father was coming home. He was on the “war path”. Remember those metal cans, with their metal lids. I have no idea how I maneuvered myself into that can and pulled the lid over me, but I did. Everyone was running around, seeking cover and it was  every man for himself. I stayed in that can for a long time. Later, my family was looking for me. They called my name. But I wouldn’t answer. I thought I would get in trouble. I can stay quiet. It’s a cultivated skill.

When they finally found me, my mother had pity on me, and made me a grilled cheese sandwich, that felt filled with love.

Another instance was my first run away. It was on a tricycle. I can recall pedaling as hard as I could, to put distance between myself and my family. I was going to Aunt Esther’s. I desired to be under the warmth of her maternal nature, and  to hear her big laugh. I didn’t make it. I was caught and hauled back home. No one understood my internal world. I was trying to make my life easier, the quickest way that I knew how.

Then there was the over dose. My mother told me that the Bayer asprins were dangerous. So, I climbed the cabinets, with the help of a chair. A neighbor saw me with the empty bottle beside me, sitting on the front steps. His name was Dennis Pass. My mother drove me to the hospital and they pumped my stomach out.

Then we moved. To my mother’s dream home, under the oak.

I was alone, most of the day, with the maid, Pearly May. She loved me. It was me, her, Chubby Checker and Ray Charles. We’d dance the twist and sing Hit The Road Jack. That’s the first song I ever learned to sing. The best of the music world came through a state of the art, radio, intercom system. My parents had it installed in our ultra modern 60’s home, which happened to be surrounded by dairies and dairy people. I lived in a world of high contrasting black and white, highs and lows, love and fear.

Pearly May would drive away and my mother would come home. Her world whined the woes of Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams.

At the time, I had a watermelon garden under the clothes line.

That part of my life was good. When it was peaceful and quiet; until the family returned.

Then they made me go to school.

No one need ever explain to me about neurotic anxieties.

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