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He lived across the street and I would lock him in my room.

Issue Date: Friday, Oct. 07, 2005

When I was young my days were veritable cornucopias of make believe. The fiction and fantasy sometimes bled into reality as I went about my daily tasks of entertaining myself in the woods of suburban Atlanta.

When I was inside I wanted to watch television, so my mother would hustle me outside and tell me to be sure to be back before dark. We lived in a subdivision called Somerset and the safe streets and wooded lots were a haven to grow up in.

I, being an animal lover, knew every home that housed a dog, a cat, a bird or a reptile of any sort so during my summer vacations or after school I would make my rounds and visit the animals. Kids? Who the hell cared about the kids? I wanted to be there when Mr. Carter gave his black lab, Lady, her treat or threw tennis balls to her. I wanted to hang out at the Dobie’s and pet their little black Scottie dog, at the Martin’s with LeRoy the Wonder Mutt or roaming the neighborhood with the Starr’s HUGE Golden Retriever, Dusty.

I would make up stories about the people in the neighborhood and their pets. These stories would normally revolve around something that I had seen on television.

Roller skating down Somerset Trace with Dusty trotting beside me I would shout into the breeze, “Faster, better, stronger! …Um, just like Wonder Woman.” Dusty would look up at me and snort as if to say, “Moron.” “Oh? That was the Bionic Man? Well, shit. Thanks for the correction.”

I always wanted to be glamorous, with long flowing hair and ruby red lips, sexy legs and high heels.

I always wanted to be somebody else.

When my mother dropped me off for Sunday School one Sunday at Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta, GA when I was wee, one of the teachers led me off to make a nametag while my mother chatted with the other teacher about what time to pick me up when the service was over. I stayed and enjoyed Sunday School while my mother went and sang in the choir and my father did his deacon-ly duties.

After the service my mother came to the door to pick me up and said, “Hi, I am here to pick up Susan [last name] please.” The teacher (who had led me off to make a name tag earlier in the morning) looked a bit confused and said, “I’m sorry but we don’t have a Susan [last name] here with us today.” And she stepped out of the door so my mother could see past her to the plethora of children clamoring about in the room.

My mother spotted me and said, “Yes, there she is.” She pointed me out and the teacher said, “Oh you mean Cindy?”

The teacher retrieved me from no doubt dancing on the tables and brought me to the door. And there pinned on my chest… and emblazoned on a bright yellow name tag 4 inches high was the name “CINDY”. My mother said, “Oh yes… Cindy.”

Her eyes probably rolled so hard that the tide came in early on the East coast.

I was constantly putting on plays for my family and dance recitals for anyone who would watch, and some who weren’t so willing. My best friend up to the second grade was Paul K.. He lived across the street and I would lock him in my room and make him watch me perform a whole act of the Nutcracker. Without sedative.

One afternoon my mother, my sister and I were meeting up with my grandmother and some of her friends for lunch. My sister was a tornado, and my mother (poor thing) probably did not sit down since Ford was in office, had dressed my sister and I up so very sweetly. We had impeccable manners and we knew when to use them. This was to be one of those times or… we “Would be sorry.” and we would most definitely have to, “Wait until your father gets home!”

So my sister and I hugged and kissed my grandmother when we saw her and went around to introduce ourselves to her friends. My mother introduced herself, my sister introduced herself, and one of the ladies bent down and addressed me and said, “Aren’t you the sweetest little thing? And just what is your name?”

Without missing a beat, I looked up, batted my eyelashes, curtsied and replied loud enough for all of them to hear, “Anastasia.”

I was four.

Quite early to be adapting the name of one of the wicked stepsisters from Sleeping Beauty, no?

By the way… I have made a very crude page for our Cheese Off and will start posting pictures in the next few days or so.

Click for Link to Cheese Off.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

The Graphic Below Courtesy of Papernapkin.

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