Thursday, February 17, 2011


In the first grade, there was this kid who sat behind me and shook all the time. The teacher would hit him with a  long, dirty, yellow ruler. But he wasn't fucking around. He really was epileptic or had some serious issue. He vanished. That same year I remember lots of migrant workers' kids being there. They would come through, pick apples and then move on. The kids were so poor. One of the "apple pickers" stole a stapler and got into a world of trouble. It was just a little kid stapler that was a bright "Laugh-In" orange. Seems she disappeared too.

That same year a preacher came in and told these weird stories on a large board. It was a big board on three legs that had layers of cloth with different backgrounds. He would put these little cut out figures on different backgrounds as he went along. Maybe it was felt. Anyway, he came once a month and would always end with some prayer or moral. Mind you, this was public school.

There was a kid that was REALLY fat. Even by today's standards. He always got made fun of. Little kids are the worst fucking evil creatures there are. They find those weaknesses and jab their ugly little hot dog fingers into the soft spots. Anyway, the fat kid couldn't do any of the physical fitness stuff, and I think they were going to put him back grade only because of that. The fat kid disappeared too.

I remember hearing my second grade teacher was nearly cut up in one of the hay cutting machines. Apparently, she laid low in the grass and it went over her. She had one of those 70's huge astronaut beehive hair dos.

Our third grade teacher only lasted a year. She would put her head down on the desk and cry. Or pretend to cry so we would feel sorry for her. She lived in a trailer behind the funeral home.

The funeral home was great! It was in an gigantic white house just up the street from my house. The parking lot had great hills and we used to ride skateboards there. Behind the parking lot was a patch of woods. You would climb up a hill and disappear in the trees. Nobody could see you. We smoked back there. I don't know why but the back door of funeral home was always open. We went in to take matches, but we didn't venture too far into it's many odd rooms. The room just to the right of the entrance had the machine that sucked your blood out and put the "keep you fresh" liquid in. I never saw the liquid, but I always imagined it being ice blue. I remember hearing during this time that a body wiggled when the new fluid was pushed in. And a side note: if you were cremated, the body would jump around.

We mused endlessly about the bodies that might be there. I wasn't the only one with this fascination. A few years before when my great-grandmother lived down the street from the same funeral home, she watched it all the time waiting for the dead to arrive. When a body did come, she was completely wild. She would stay up all night if necessary to watch lights go off and on in various rooms. She watched the building until the funeral had taken place and the body was gone.


  1. Cindy,
    Forever in my memory is the small dark haired boy with thick black glasses, Troy. I have thought of him often through the years and wondered what happened to him.
    He used to trash around in his wee desk, his feet going inside the area that held the books, the teacher would come over and hit him with the yellow ruler, I was soooo sure my time was comming, after all I sat in the desk behind him, and if he could get the ruler for a strange movement then certinally I would get the ruler, for a malformation of the letter W or watching the man mow the hill side on that huge tractor.

    I cried each day my mother sent me off to first grade, I could not tell her why, it made her sick, I remember her neck flushing, red, rash, sending her child off to the hug yellow bus, all the while tears streaming down her fat little face.

    The beginning of my school phobia , and mistrust of adult authority figures, scared for life. that plus about a million other things that would not be tolerated in todays society.

    Amazingly, I became sick and was in the hospital for 2 week during the first grade, the teacher visited me twice and brought me roses arranged in a ceramic kitten, i still have that kitten,
    (I remember reading in a blue book about a pig who had a necklace made out of marshmellows that was stolen by someother barn yard animal.) amazing what the mind recalls. anyway, mabe she made up for the phobia in some weird way by the memory of my first roses outweighing the yellow ruler.

    another dissapperance was the tall thin boy who just could'nt get the hang of making letters, or drawing cats, or matching pictures, not that he misbehaved in any way, he just couldnt catch on, soooooooooooo he was moved to the back corner of the room to sit in solitary. what happened to Wade?

  2. I totally remember the blue book about the pig who had the marshmellow necklace too. Thanks for the flashback!

  3. I cant get this thing to post my name, just wanated you to know that it was me, who remembered the marshmellow necklace.