Little Known Stories
I don't believe I've lived long enough to know if history repeats itself.
But I know that I replay history all the time.
We all have a data base of stories. Whether they're boasted at parties or whispered in secret, we know exactly which ones will get a laugh, or a gasp, or prove a point. They're the moments we think define us. But what about the rest? If we never speak those runt memories, will they simply cease to exist? So today I'm going to dig into the lint trap I call my mind and dig out as many "little known stories" as I can find. Then I want you to do the same. Give us something new and never heard before. Throw down your runts.
Snap-N-Pop: I don't remember where Dad and I lived before we moved into the twinkie trailer. But I'll never forget the summer we moved in and I made it a mission to find friends. I was eight, awkward and shy, incapable of just walking up to someone and introducing myself. For some reason I thought I had to have an angle, something catchy that would make the kids approach me instead. My first attempt at drawing attention to myself came in the form of a bb gun, followed by a wrist rocket slingshot. I thought I was cool. That is, until I accidentally busted out the window on my Father's truck.
After that I resigned myself to walking the neighborhood. I passed by some houses, the ones I knew to have kids living in them, twelve times a day. I inquired at the local gas station where my Dad sent me for smokes and dime candy. I rode my little blue huffy for blocks in hopes that someone would mention my sweet ride. Nothing worked. A whole summer passed without a single friend to entertain myself with. It wasn't until the following spring that one of my "brilliant" schemes worked.
I was passing by a house one afternoon when I spotted two little girls practicing dance routines outside. I tried to catch their eye as I whizzed past, but they were too engrossed in the Butterfly and Tootsie-roll to notice. Finally it came to me. "Why don't I throw snap-n-pops to catch their attention?" So I armed myself with a hand full of crackers and got my bike off to a break neck speed (just in case they got mad and decided to chase me instead). Pop-Pop-Pop! Their heads raised like prairie dogs. I did it again. Pop-Pop-Pop! "What are you doing?" One of the little girls yelled.
"They're Snap-N-Pops!" I yelled back. "Have you ever seen them before?" I was thrilled. Maybe they would be impressed with my mad popping skills. I'd been practicing how to crack them off my shoe for days. "You can have some if you want. They're really neat." I said as they walked up to my bike. "Of course I've seen them before," the girl snapped. "They're what we give to my little sister on the fourth of July so she doesn't hurt herself." It was like being punched in the gut. "What I want to know is why you're doing them in MY driveway?"
Murder Mystery: It wasn't long after the Snap-N-Pop incident that I met up with the above girl again. I found her to be a lot nicer without her friend around. Within the month we were best buds. She taught me how to dance like a black girl and I taught her how to sneak out of her house after hours. The exchange doesn't seem very fair now. Especially since I can still dance and, well... Unless she's made a living as a criminal, I don't see how the skills I taught her could be very useful. My summers with her were some of the best in memory.
One summer, out of sheer boredom, we decided to spy on all the neighbors in the trailer park. "The Park" as I called it, was something of great mystery to her. She'd always lived in a nice house in a neighborhood. People didn't drink beer on their sidewalks or grow weed in their flower beds where she came from. So I humored her curiosity. It was during one of our "spy-trips" that we noticed something odd about trailer number 9. Although it was vacant, the door handles were pushed in so no one could enter or leave, the curtains inside seemed to open and close by themselves.
It was on one of the days that the curtains were open that we noticed the bullet holes in the windows and the crimson stains on the carpet inside. Stranger still, an umbrella magically appeared and then disappeared from view. It was because of these oddities that we came to this final conclusion... Someone had been murdered in there! Duh. Not only that. The murderer had been caught in the act and as punishment locked in the trailer forever more, destined to live out his/her days in solitary with only a curtain and an umbrella for amusement. Rough. We moved on to other projects the next week. I still wonder about that trailer though.