Where I am from (part 2)

I am from the asphalt in my knees when I fell off my bike and also from rice krispie treats and Hawaiian punch at Bible school. I am from 2 cent milk and 3 cent cookies in kindergarten, macaroni paper plate and hand print turkey art as well as from tempera paint. I am from Sesame Street and Mr Rogers. I am from my elementary school classrooms with art, maps, and explorers’ routes to the new world. I am from the teacher’s tobacco stained teeth and bad breath. I am from lined papers and penmanship. I am from notebook binders, as well as vinegar smelling developer fluid. I am from #2 pencils and circles to color in. I am from dodgeball, kickball, Simon says, and tetherball.

I am from my father’s strong shoulders when he carried me on them. I am from my mother’s hands washing my hair. I am from baby shampoo and ivory soap. I am from my sister and brother and our splash fights in the bathtub and pillow fights on our beds. I am from the countless cats we called our own and from the doghouse abandoned when she was given away. 
I am from an ancient house which was cold in winter and hot in summer and from frozen hands after the snowball fights and from sticky faces after popsicles. I am from hundreds or possibly thousands of watermelon slices and the seeds I spit as far as I could. I am from the bells of the ice cream truck and the mad dash to it. I am from countless games of monopoly and crazy eights. I am from huge ants which popped out from between the patio slabs. I am from a huge, old swimming pool and Marco Polo.
I am from a dozen Christmas trees and the cheesy tinsel and from warm fires. I am from cookies on baking sheets in the oven and the hard-to-see-through oven window, long splashed with grease. I am from the mothballs in my mother’s closet. I am from the orphan socks out of the dryer. I am from the burnt part of a marshmallow which I ate first and from the cotton candy at the midway and the junior mints my first date bought me. I am from my first crush and countless break-ups. I am from popcorn and Dots at the movies.

I am from Broadway Shows and dinners at Chinese restaurants in New York. I am from Barnum and Bailey Circus and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I am from rock concerts at large arenas. I am from cigarettes, joints, beer, Boone Farms strawberry wine, and stolen liquor out of my parents’ cabinet.

I am from tears and laughter.

6 Responses

  1. Your essay pulled me in and held me, from the very first line.It is a beautiful embrace. It made me smile to read it. Thank you for the love.

  2. So compelling. Boone’s Farm Strawberry and joints, mine was Apple, both while we trailed the boys’ soccer team as they ran, training through the streets, in Barb’s Pontiac Catalina. Sunshine memories.

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