Saturday, June 10, 2017
I was of a young age when I was born. Lack of experience and physical inabilities forced me to spend most of the first few years on my back, with a few moments on my front. Various big people coo cooed, picked me up, put me down, held me, changed me, fed me and kissed me goodnight. I was the centre of attention for a while. When winter ended, I explored the world around me. My mother wondered at my insight. I crawled, poked, investigated the various rooms of our cardboard box. I deduced that summer was near when a flower bloomed outside of our cardboard door and an extremely hot thing, above us, in the sky, burnt the bejesus out of our box. I was drawn to the sound of traffic, as soon as I could stand. There was no turning back when it came to me and traffic. I rushed straight for it, as fast as my little legs could carry me. I was saved from certain disaster, many times, by strangers. Several rainy springs, my mother gathered all twelve of us children together, to collect cardboard, for a new box. Waterproof cardboard was hard to come by. For a long time, I thought the furry fellow, who kept licking me, wagging his tail, was my father. It was Rex the dog. Big people kept him happy with food and water, like me. The only apparent difference seemed to be that they made Rex defecate outside before they disposed of it, whereas I could go right in my pants. I went to school by following the herd of my brothers and sisters when I was of an age to do so. The teachers taught and the students, of which there were many thousands, learned. What we learned is another matter. Children followed marriage. They seemed to pop up regularly, in various rooms of my home. I was, by this time, the proud owner of a wooden packing case. The appearance of new children always coincided with my wife gaining, then, losing, a great amount of weight around the belly area. Often, when the family gathered, in the packing case, we had a karaoke night. None of us could carry a note. Neighbours sent complaints our way, but, in the main, our karaoke nights were successful. We all knew ‘Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog’, by heart, each member of the family sang it lustily. Perhaps the neighbours wouldn’t have complained so much if we sang some other songs, as well. Now that I am old, I grow young again. The others grow old and young again at their own pace. The passage of years winnows things down to bare essentials. It’s normal to return to childhood as you grow old because as the years go by, more and more, you don’t care as a child doesn’t care. If all goes well, I’ll be of an old age, when I die.