Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Lessons

Mom had taken my brothers and sisters and me to Mrs. McMurphy's house. It was odd to be spending the night with Mrs. McMurphy, but a bit of an adventure, as well. The whole walk through neighbors' yards felt ominous and I couldn't figure why. The long shadows maybe, as the sun settled for the night through the Magnolia trees. Mrs. McMurphy had bananas though, a treat I rarely received, and the scary walk faded into just part of the adventure.

I was six years old, and remember going to sleep fairly easily only to be awakened in the middle of night. The police escorted us back home. We entered the front door of the house. Smashed furniture was in four of the six rooms. The radio, a 50's lime green and plastic, now had a shattered front dial, and all its guts could be studied through the holes created by splintered away pieces. I remember standing where we usually sat as family listening to radio programming of the period and being fascinated by the red light from the police car traveling across the wall repeatedly ever few seconds, while mom and my oldest brother talked with the police. Dad had been arrested.

I was beginning to learn about authority.

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