Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Superstitions

O.K. you’re dealing with a virgin Scribbler here. I’ve been lurking for months and am constantly awed at the quality of the writing. It’s time for me to take the plunge. After that not-so-thinly-veiled disclaimer I will attempt to do something creative with this blank sheet of paper or this blank screen if I put it in computer terms.

Superstitions. Yawn. Hm-m, I’m not particularly superstitious but they do spice life up a bit, don’t they? Obvious ones come to mind like “don’t walk under a ladder” or “if you see a black cat on Friday the thirteenth something really icky will happen to you. And there’s this whole Friday the thirteenth thing itself. How did that get started? Ah, I’ve found a personal knowledge deficit. What fun, it gives me something to explore. Later.

Right now I hear a rhythmic chanting deep in my memory. “Don’t step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back.” Little me is walking home from school wearing my blue and gray plaid uniform and carrying a lug of books. I carefully plant my feet on the spaces between the cracks singing to myself. It gets more challenging on the places where the tree roots have pushed the sidewalks around making cracks that meander in all directions. I try, I really try, to keep my boxy saddle oxford shoes off the cracks but it doesn’t always work because, of course, I try to go as fast as I can and still stay off the cracks. It’s more fun that way and it really doesn’t matter because, well, it’s just a silly superstition anyway. Don’t step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back.

Gees, these books are heavy. And it’s hot. The smog is so thick my lungs ache like I’ve been swimming in a pool with way too much chlorine for way too long. My eyes burn, too. I hate it when Mom doesn’t pick me up from school and I have to walk home. I’ll be too late starting my homework and I’ll be tired. If I don’t get it done I can’t watch Bonanza on T.V. at eight o’clock. I LOVE Bonanza with Hoss and Little Joe, the Ponderosa Ranch, all that space and all those cows and horses. Sigh.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Oops, missed that one. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just a silly, stupid, childish, dumb superstition and I’m too tired to care. Just to prove I’m not afraid I’ll step on every other crack. Oops, I broke my mother’s back. Ha. Ha. Too bad. Oops, I did it again. Poor Mom.

Why didn’t she pick me up? Prob’ly she got to talkin’ on the phone and forgot again. Stepped on a crack, broke my mother’s back.

I wish I had fifteen cents so I could detour by 31 Flavors and buy a chocolate mint ice cream cone. But I need two hands to carry my books so I couldn’t eat it anyway. I try to believe it doesn’t matter but it does. Stepped on a crack, broke my Mother’s back.

Two more blocks to go. One is past the public school where my brother plays baseball on Tuesday and Thursday. I love to go to the practices ‘cause Nils is there. He’s this really cute guy with blonde hair and blue eyes like Aiden Quinn. (Yeah, yeah, I know, Aiden Quinn wasn’t even born yet. But I can fix that later and meanwhile you get the picture, right?) If I don’t get my homework done I can’t go to baseball practice. Step on a crack, break my Mother’s back.

“Hi, Mom, I’m home.” I set my red plaid lunch pail on the kitchen counter. There’s no answer. “Mom?” I yell.

“I’m in here on the couch.” Her voice whines. She sounds tired, pained, distracted.

There’s no immediate emergency so I shuffle to my room and plop my books on my desk. With a sigh I walk to the living room. There lies my Mom with a heating pad on her back reading a novel.

It’s not my fault. Really, really it’s not. It’s just a superstition.

Go to Sunday Scribblings for more.


deirdre said...

I like the way you took this story back into time with commentary by your younger self.

I'm so glad you wrote and posted. Aren't you glad I talked you into it? ;)

Welcome to our little world.

gautami tripathy said...

Great first post. I like the way you arrate it all. Welcome to SS. Great place to be in.

Kimberley McGill said...

I'm new to blogging too - Welcome to us! I so so so much appreciated your comments at Tender Thistles. I'm still trying to catch up with reading all the entries for this week. Your story is engaging - I can't even begin to imagine the shock finding her on the couch like that!

Becca said...

Wonderful story with a great ending! I love the way you took us back into your life, and it reminded me so much of mine...same color uniform and a penchant for Bonanza~LOL

Welcome to the world of blogging. I met you via Deirdre, and hope to read lots more from you :)

Kimberley McGill said...

Just popping in - hope we hear from you again soon!

Wenda said...

Patresa ~ Welcome to our world! Not that you are completely a newcomer if you've been exploring us for a while, but I think you've decided to settle into this creative space, and I'm glad to meet you - even if you did "break" your mother's back that day. Great story.