I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sins of our mother's

I was raised poor. My mother had ten children, and by the time I was born she already had grandchildren, grandchildren that she raised off and on. I know what it’s like to do without, to be cold, to be hungry, to feel invisible, and to suffer the disdain of teachers who judged me from where I came and not what I knew. I remember going to school without shoes and wishing for cold weather so Mama would buy me a pair. I also remember the sacks and sacks of clothes that came from my Aunt, clothes that I tried to wear but her daughter was a giant and I wasn’t, so those clothes went to my older sisters and not me. I also remember other things, things like going to school without my lunch money and telling the teacher that I forgot it and her saying that if I didn’t pay soon, I was not going to get to eat. I remember not having the money to pay for pencils or paper and I remember never getting invited to join the girl scouts or go home with the other girls for birthday parties. But what I remember mostly is my third grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson, hating me so much, and I not knowing why. I still don’t, I have an idea it was because of my mother’s boyfriend and her living arrangements and in the 60s that was a disgrace and unfortunately for me that teacher took my mom’s mistakes out on me.

One day, after a class party, I was really happy, we had sugar cookies with frosting, and the homeroom mother gave us all extra, and I wrapped mine in a napkin to take home to my little sister. I always felt guilty if I had something that she didn’t get, so this time she was going to get a cookie too. Anyway, we were standing in line waiting and the homeroom mother and my teacher were standing talking, and they were talking about me and they were not whispering. “She doesn’t buy those kids shoes,” I heard my teacher say. I looked down at my dirty feet and wished they would just disappear. I wished they would melt and I wanted them gone and I wanted to hide and I wanted to cry but I wouldn’t cry. The home room mother says, “Doesn’t she let that old drunk live with her.” I looked at my friends they were all full of cookies and koolaide and party favors and were waiting for an answer. The tears were there and all I had to do was keep them from falling for a few more minutes. “Does Orville still live with you?” Mrs. Thompson asked. “Yes,” I say. “Did your mama marry him?” “No.” “hmmm, why not?” “I don’t know.” Please let the bell ring, let the bell ring, let the bell ring.


Post a Comment

<< Home