Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Family

The great thing about family is they back up the batshit insane memories you have. You have instant confirmation that the thing you're not sure if it was a nightmare or real life actually happened, and then you can trot it out to your therapist and tell her about it.

If you had one.

Which I don't.

By which I mean that when I was hanging out with my Dad he expressed a desire to go back into the White Mountains and go camping. We reminisced about camping trips where he brought the TV and the VCR, a microwave... you know, the necessities. Before we camped out of tents and a pickup though, we had an old Winnie. Most of my memories of the Winnie are of us playing on and in it as children. It sat, idle, in the yard by the garden, next to the old Firebird full of wasps, and we kids would play house, climb the ladder to the top and play pirates, pretend to be long distance truckers. That thing was WAY better than a tree fort.

Anyway, I do have a couple of memories of the Winnie when it was in use. 1: I remember going to a drive-in movie and seeing a man come out from behind a curtain. I was so little, I was sound asleep before the movies started, so I can only guess I saw a preview. 2: I remember playing hide and seek with my parents in the camper while we drove through the mountains. Funny thing is, the best place I could think of to hide was the storage space underneath the seats at the fold-in dining table. It was a tiny space, and I'm guessing I was under five, because that Winnie sat in our yard for a long, long time. I crept into the space and laughed hysterically as my mum searched for me. She'd never find me here! But then it started to seem so dark, so close. I wanted to get out. But I couldn't. All I remember is not being able to open that door, the feeling of terror (I still can't be in close, dark spaces).

But my Dad? He remembers feeling some panic, imagining he'd have to break through the outer shell of the camper to rescue me. Mostly he remembers patiently guiding me as I cried, telling me what I needed to do to save myself. He remembers the relief he felt when I finally worked the latch to that door and freed myself.

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