Monday, March 01, 2004

As a small child, I spent most of my time with my paternal grandmother. She lived in a slightly seedy apartment building, one with a courtyard full of tumbled weeds that I would explore unceasingly for hours. As one of those goofy kids who fell down a lot and always ended up in the wrong place, I didn’t really have any friends. Instead, I had this jungle courtyard and Speedy and Kathleen, my imaginary pals, for company. The last day I ever played there was one bright with pineapple sunshine and warm breezes. The heat warmed my skin through my favorite spotted sundress and I focused completely on my quest for doodlebugs. Standing up from an intense study of the square patch of earth in front of me, something shattered painfully on the top of my head. I reached up my hand, sure that my skull was broken and my brains were seeping out, and pulled it back covered in some viscous goo that was bright yellow and milky white. Surprised that my brains and the sun were the same color, I stared at my fingers until something slid down my scalp and fell quickly to the grass. It was an eggshell, and the truth quickly dawned on me; some mean kid upstairs had dropped an egg on my head. I remembered a nature show that my grandmother had just been watching where baby chickens pecked their way out from the inside of eggs that looked, suspiciously, just like this one. As I stood there in the sunny courtyard, I started to cry because I had a dead baby chicken dripping down the side of my face.

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