When I was 5 or 6 we had those crazy neighbors in Kingston. Our neighbor Nick, the Norwegian, was as cowardly as he was unstable. One day I was playing outside with him, when another neighbor's dog approached us with some kind of animal skull. Both of us were terrified. He ran away, up to his house, while the dog continued to follow me. I ran to the big sliding glass door, which was locked, and started frantically beating my fists against it until mom came and rescued me.
Another time, Nick and I were playing at his house. He said he liked his house more than mine. I was thoroughly offended.
Then there was the sandal scandal. Mom's sandal went missing one day. It was way back when we still left our shoes on the porch. Nick would get angry if I couldn't come out and play. Most of the time it was because I was at Kindergarten. He would kick the door, and one time he kicked a jar of something me and Elizabeth collected off the porch onto the concrete, shattering it. As I said, unstable. A few weeks after mom's sandal went missing, I was playing with Nick, and he showed me that he had stolen the sandal and hidden it under a tarp on his porch. I said we should put it back as a surprise for her. In my head I was thinking, "What a jerk! This kid is psycho and must be stopped." I didn't say anything like this out loud though. The little tact I learned as a 5 year old told me to just get the sandal back, then deal with him. After the sandal was back, I told mom. She was very forgiving. She was glad her sandal was back. I wanted justice. This is probably why we stopped leaving our shoes outside.
The only good things that came from being friends with him were that when we played inside his house, his mom let us have sparkling cider, which they always had what seemed like countless bottles of.
I also learned that I liked soy sauce while at their house, as opposed to our house, where we just had so-ee sauce.
Elizabeth and I would play all sorts of games in our room, like kittens in a box, and when we had bunk beds, we would play like it was a boat and we couldn't get off of it.
When we had the bunk beds, we would also write things on the bottom of the top bunk. She wrote that I loved Mason. The kid on the bus. He was in Thomas' grade, so yeah, I liked an older man, but she wrote it down. It was basically the worst form of treachery when you were in first grade.
I used to swear too. Only on the bus home from school. I would swear because Mason swore. He would sing "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" to me. I would call him names consisting of a swear word, with "bucket" tacked on the end. I was basically the toughest kid on the bus.
Mom would walk me to the bus stop when I was in Kindergarten. There was a cow in the pasture on the way down the road to the bus stop. I was terrified of that cow. I was sure I saw a spot where the cow could get out. Then I was sure he would run after mom and gore her when I was at school.
I had a lot of fears. I was afraid of the dark, but I could only leave the bathroom light on. If I left the hall light on, I was sure mom would come up the stairs with a basket of laundry, try to turn off the light with her elbow, and fall backwards down the stairs. For some reason, I was extremely worried that mom would die some crazy and horrific death. At night I would stand at the door of mom and dad's room and hold my breath so I could hear and make sure that they were still breathing. I was also worried that for some reason, someone was going to put their mouth over the drain of the bathtub and get stuck... leading to death. Also, floss had to be, and still has to be tied into knots after its use, or else I, or someone else, can use it in their sleep to strangle someone.
In Logan, me and Elizabeth would have to go to sleep, but we, obviously, didn't want to. We were TOLD, like every kid, that there was nothing going on after we went to bed, but we were pretty convinced there was some kind of party going on. Then one night, we went to the top of the stairs and saw Deon, Gabe and Devon in the kitchen... EATING AIRHEADS.
I don't remember much of Tony before he went nuts, but I do remember him being at our Logan house and pouring orange juice on his fruit loops.
Thomas once trapped me in one of those orange scouting mummy bags. I think that's what started my fear of... everything. However, I also remember him reading me that book about Bugs Bunny going to space in his Carrot rocket ship.
In the back of the station wagon, Elizabeth and I would sing songs. We'd sing "Daisy, Daisy" and "The Song that Never Ends" until Thomas wanted to beat our heads in.
Gabe and Devon's Logan room was enormous. Or at least I thought it was. It was also always playing They Might Be Giants and had that Morrisey caricature hanging up, along with the "Stay back 20 feet" sign.
Then there was that time Gabe was running to catch a football in the yard in Kingston and ran straight into the blackberry bushes.
When Devon got off the plane when he was getting home from his mission, he was the last one off. He said he dropped his tag, but I'm pretty sure he was just trying to torture us.
Devon, Kelsey and I had to share a birthday cake when we lived in Lacey. They blew out my candles.
Deon and Kelsey would talk to each other in Gibberish. I thought they were talking in another language, so I would demand that they tell me what they were saying. They just laughed and laughed.
Kelsey would tell me about all her boy problems. Mostly her Preston and Carl problems. I had no idea what was happening, but she said I was a good listener.
Kelsey started a "club" in Lacey, consisting of me, Elizabeth, Thomas and her. We would lip-sync to the Beatles and have club meetings in the attic, where there were glow-in-the-dark stars plastered everywhere.
Deon taught me how to play volleyball. She also sent balloons to Wolfle for my birthday one year. She also picked me up from school when I was "sick" one day in first grade. I bit the plastic thermometer. I think that's why it said I had a fever. She took me to "Six Star" and got me a green plastic pony. I basically idolized her.
One time in Logan, I couldn't or wouldn't sleep. Dad was laying on the couch and let me lay down with him. We were either watching sports or "Star Trek". I remember he was wearing a white shirt, because my head was laying on it and his chest was going up and down while he breathed. I think he was asleep, but there was no way I was going to get up and bring any attention to myself, because then I would have to go to bed.
I also remember playing catch with dad in Kingston. I wasn't very good, but I thought it was pretty great, except when I threw the ball when dad wasn't looking and almost hit him in the face. That was back when he had glasses still.
One Father's day, or maybe dad's birthday, I didn't have a gift for him, so I just scrounged up a bunch of stuff from under beds and in junk drawers, put it into a gift bag and gave it to him.
Our family was at a water park once, and I jumped in the pool. I must have been 3 or 4. I was too short and couldn't get up above the water. There were adults around me, but they weren't helping, so mom, who was in her regular clothes, reached in and pulled me out. I think she was even wearing long sleeves. That's all I remember.
When I was 4 or 5 I was a princess for Halloween. We were living in Lacey and mom made me this shiny turquoise princess dress. I loved it. What made it even more amazing, was that she also got me some big plastic jewels to wear with it as jewelry. I loved it so much.
In Logan, at church, they took a picture of me, and we made those horrible noodle and cardboard frames, which they then spray painted silver. I gave it to mom, but first I picked off half the silver noodles, revealing the colorful cardboard of a cereal box underneath.
Mom got me this Barbie wedding dress for Christmas when we lived in Logan. It was amazing. I loved it. Then there was the doll house in Lacey that mom and dad got me. Elizabeth told me I was getting it. I told her there was no Santa Claus.
The only time I ever sleep walked was in Lacey. I woke up during the night, standing up, in the kitchen. I immediately ran to mom and dad's room. For a while I thought, "There's no way. I must have fallen asleep in the kitchen... standing up." I have since realized that impossibility.