Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Black Dog Was Real

My earliest memory is of walking down the badly paved street we lived on in that forsaken little farming town close, but not quite the middle of nowhere.  Aside me, is a black labrador retriever named Jasper.  Jasper was a wise old soul, who took to herding his 4 or 5 year old charge to the edge of the road, even though it was loose gravel and not much for riding a tricycle on.  It was wet and rainy, and my mind fills with the raw moldy smell of spring, just when the detritus trapped by winter has begun its rot.  It is, at least in my mind's eye, the most beautiful smell in the world, and still to this day, I love that smell and in general spring.  

I have memories of birthday spaghetti and cherry cheesecake.  I have memories of my father coming home briefly for lunch from his next-door office and running head long down the hallway to be caught in his arms, a violent collision of hugs and rough-housing.  I remember so much teasing, yelling and fighting, of all sorts of people coming in and out of the house at all hours, day and night. 

I remember hiding under my bed, terrified beyond comfort at night, for no specific reason I can remember.  I remember how scared I was of my next oldest sister, sheer terror to be exact, that she would "hurt" me again.  I remember how diabolically dark every single room in that house was, at least in my memory, though it probably wasn't at all, in fact, I know that it wasn't.

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