The best memories I have have childhood are summer related. Riding my bike, with the wind in my hair, pretending to be anywhere but where I was. On my skateboard, I was Farrah Fawcett. My sister even tried to cut my hair into Farrah's flipped style. That didn't quite work out so well for my hair. Even in summer, I was a loner. I collected grasshopper's to feed a praying mantis. I read books and more books. The library, my favorite summer destination. Times were more innocent, or at least they seemed that way. I would ride my bike the many blocks to the library and read anything and everything. Mostly, the kids in the neighborhood thought me weird. I was weird. I was different. I felt more than the average person. And I was quiet. Even now, I am quiet. I don't like the sound of my own voice, perhaps. Or maybe it's that I was never given a voice of my own.
I remember, overhearing a conversation between my mother and my sister talking about me and the gist of the conversation: I was crazy and perhaps needed to see somebody. That frightened me. My only experiences with mental hospitals and psychiatrists were found in books and not necessarily good. Nothing ever happened from that conversation. You see, Mom had a fear of mental illness of her own.
Mom suffered from depression. As a kid, she would often stay in her bedroom all day while Dad worked. Dinner was left up to whatever I could scrounge. By this time, my sister was off with her friends so it was just me and my little brother. Music and books were always my salvation. Ooo Child, things are going to be better. Unfortunately, this was before music became truly portable and I would blast my tunes. Rarely were they heavy metal, nasty music. Nope, more about escape and fantasy.
By the time I reached my teenaged years, I would dread going home, never knowing what to expect but knowing that somehow, happy sounds weren't welcome. I would walk the long walk from the bus stop and mentally prepare myself, bring myself down to a level that would not upset the balance. It didn't always work. My dreams often took me to places I didn't want and those memories would linger. Sometimes, I could not contain myself and would speak out against injustices or take the side of a person that was not able to defend themselves. Always, there are two sides to every story. Tensions existed between my mother and me. I saw too much, too deeply. I felt too much. I wanted to help, I wanted to run away. Even when I was 10, I wanted to run away. I know, doesn't everybody? But I had elaborate plans in place and dreams that propelled me. I stayed until I was 18.
**15 minutes more writing.