Throughout the tapestry of our lives, we are constantly weaving ourselves into a masterpiece. Warp and weft threads combine, stretch, and pull taut to create who we are. Our dreams, emotions, thoughts and actions all intertwine to make… us! Memories create one of the most key threads to our lives. Many incidents we may not even recognize as important have helped guide the needle in our past… and weave our future. That’s just who we are! This new little series of mine are just silly drabbles of memories that shaped me into what I think and how I act today. They may be strange… or useless… but hey! That’s just who I am!
Seven years old, bright-eyed and curious, I looked at the ceiling in confusion. There was nothing so spectacular about the ceiling, per say, (although it was a rather ugly off-white) but I was sure I’d just heard a scream emanating from that general direction. I heard it again, coupled this time with a “RRUUSSSSSELLLLL!!!!” and then a breathless “GETITGETITGETITGETITAIEEEEEEGETITGETITAUUUUGH!!!”
As interesting as the ceiling dialogue was, I wanted to see for myself what was going on. I pounded up the stairs, hearing more and more shriller screams from the kitchen. I was becoming thoroughly alarmed. I hesitated outside of the kitchen, imagining what could produce those screams from my mom.
I peered around the wall at my mom. She was standing on a chair, screaming. I looked frantically about for the source of the commotion, expecting some horror, a severed hand, maybe, or perhaps some sort of corpse. My young mind whirred agitatedly as I thought of all the scary things in the world that could be lurking in the kitchen. Dracula. Spiders. Blood and guts. Snapping pointy teeth. Multiplication tables.
What I saw was something completely different. A little fluffball, with cute shiny eyes and a quivering disposition.
Huh. How anticlimactic.
Multiplication tables were waaaay scarier.
My dad bounded in the room, carrying aloft a pair of thick-hided yellowish gloves. He rammed them on his hands, and went after the critter. Scuttling away, deeper into it’s hiding place (which was the pots and pans drawer), it glared at us contemptuously. It bared little itty teeth I could tell would hurt a LOT if they sunk into you. Maybe not so cute, after all…
A squirming small fluffball is hard to catch under any circumstances, but trying to grab it whilst your wife is screaming, your daughter is howling not to hurt the little cute thing (which is, at this moment, trying to tear your arm off with it’s miniscule yet surprisingly strong jaw) and pots and pans clattering, is truly a feat.
My dad should get a medal.
Finally grasping the frightened creature, my dad hauled it out of the drawer with triumph. The little fluffball definitely did not look cute anymore, rather it looked more like he wished we would all die in our sleep. He scrabbled at the glove, the futility provoking him to more anger.
My mom got off her chair. She and I crept closer to the critter.
“Well, I’ll go kill it,” my dad said.
I was mortified. “You can’t do that!” I protested, offended. “It’s so small! It won’t come back…”
My dad let it go, out on the back porch, where it ran away as fast as it could without a glance back.
For some reason, however, this didn’t bring an end to the escapade. I went to put the gloves back where they belonged, but mom insisted to just leave them on the porch, as they were obviously riddled with disease from the small rodent. I didn’t see anything wrong with them, but was reprimanded when I said so. They were dangerous, filled with sickness and hair and lice and all other sorts of unpleasant things.
For two years those gloves sat on the porch.
In my mind, they became almost a symbol of unwanted infection, of festering plague and of all unwanted critters.
Even now, older and (slightly wiser, though that’s debatable) I still feel apprehension whenever I look at the gloves. One has gone missing, who-knows-where, lost by one of our moves or something. We only have the right one, I think. The hide is cracked and parched from no use and too many nights on the porch, and sits dusty on the tool shelf in the garage. I can’t bring myself to touch it. I know anything related to that animal is long gone, but the glove remains as a shrine to illness. The innocuous object is forever in my mind an untouchable relic, because it is filled with disease by a creature.
That glove’ll sit, in my memory and on that dusty shelf, for a lot longer still. And I still don’t think I’ll be able to touch it. I’m still scared of it.
That’s just who I am!