I want my Mommy…even though she tried to kill me.

My mother passed away in 2006.  I think of her every day.  Most days, I’m either laughing at something she did  (she was something of a hillbilly Lucille Ball) or I’m yelling for her to use her freaky other side magic to make my sewing machine work.  Then there are days when it feels like I’m being smacked around by a giant wave of sadness.  The smacker wave has been toying with me for the last few days.  Losing an awesome mom sucks the suckage of all suckiness  – I know, Hallmark should call me.

So, in her honor and to get me to snap the hell out of this funk, I’m sharing with you one of the stories of when my mom tried to kill me.  There are many.  This is just one.

We were riding in Big Red, a cool 1959 red Chevy truck.

pretty big red

Ok, my memory has warped it into a shiny, hip, fully restored version that some country star or vintage truck aficionado would drive but in reality it was a rusted out, torn up seats, bumper on with duck tape, piece of shit that would inexplicably die in the middle of the road and my 11 year old self would have to get out and “puuish” (mom said vowels weird) while mom popped the clutch 37 times until the damn bane of my existence would sputter and start.

realistic big red

My brother was around two years old and, as most kids did at the time, rode in the truck either on my lap or playing trampoline off the middle of the seat, bouncing off of everything yelling, “Fuck, Fuck, Fuck”  (he hadn’t mastered the ‘tr’ sound) – this was pre safety stuff when cars weighed a million pounds, were fashioned out of solid steel for maximum damage, and seat belts were shoved deep into the abyss never to be found again.

I’m sitting with my brother in my lap and my hand on the door. Mom made a sharp turn and the door flew open. The trajectory flings the arm holding the door, my torso, and my head out of the truck.  I look like a crazy ballerina doing some kind of sick bird dance – gripping the handle of the wide opened door for dear life while my left leg is flailing about madly trying to find anything it can latch onto and my left arm is violently flapping like it’s trying to fly itself out of there.

Somehow, my brother had bounced off of my stomach onto the edge of the seat and back into the truck.  As I remember it, my face was millimeters from the asphalt (I don’t really understand the metric system but millimeters sound way closer than inches) and I remember flashing to the elephant man or maybe the guy from Island of Terror after the turtle monster jumped out of a tree and sucked his bones out (I was 11 and my horror references were limited. There were only three TV channels, people!) and I’m thinking my face would never recover so I’m turning my head back and forth in a odd new game of face or brain.  Mom said that this wasn’t possible given that I was 11 and my arm wasn’t long enough to have my hand on the door and my face that close to the road but it’s not like she was a physicist or anything.

So, I’m screaming while frantically shaking my head and somehow the molecular makeup of my arm changes into what I think Stretch Armstrong was made of and I’m getting closer to becoming known forevermore as hamburger face when mysteriously (probably aliens) in some kind of Inspector Gadget move, my arm telescopes back to normal and I shoot back into the truck.  My mother has not stopped or even slowed down during this five-minute ordeal.  Mom said it lasted more like five seconds, I blame that on some crazy mom space-time continuum that happens when your kid’s life is threatened (or aliens), even so she found the time to scream, “Shut the damn door!” and “Get your ass back in the truck!”  Actually, mom, my ass never left the truck.  Mom insisted that if she were trying to kill me, she wouldn’t have risked having my brother as possible collateral damage and that I knew the truck’s door had a tendency of flying open so I should have known better than to sit by it let alone hold on to it.  My how parenting has changed.

Maybe it’s odd that this particular memory can help me snap out of my funk.  My rosy glasses have turned this into something that makes me smile, although, I still flinch a little when someone mentions the Elephant Man.  I think that means that I’ve successfully buried most of the damage from childhood deep into my psyche.  That is the sign of being a healthy, mentally balanced adult, right?


American German – language lesson #12

Nein Herr Wachtmeister, meiner Tochter geht es gut.  (Nine hair vok-my-stir miner tok-ter get es goot) –  No Officer, my daughter is fine.  Ok, Volker did help me with this one.  By help I mean I asked him how to write it and after three letters he grabbed the computer and just did it.  From now on I’m calling every officer I meet Herr Wachmeister (hair vok-my-stir).


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