Today was our last day of the memoir writing seminar. Despite not really spending enough of our time in the class itself, I’m sad to leave it. I’ve been having such a good time getting to know everyone, and I am definitely enjoying the brief hiatus from reality.
Too bad I have to return from the magical land of writing tomorrow. So tragic.
The last thing we did for the seminar was read our personal memoir piece (that we’d been working on during the course of the seminar) to the rest of the group.
My piece — included below — is one of my earliest memories, when I was about two years old.
I have only broken one bone in my body, and it wasn’t my fault. I also barely remember it happening.
The story, as told by my family, is that my older sister Evangelina, probably eight years old at the time, was giving me a piggy-back ride when she fell over backward on top of me, breaking my leg on the hard cement of the Laundromat floor.
I remember the scene at the Laundromat. In my memory, I am sitting on a washer and I hold up my arms to Evangelina to pick me up. I don’t remember being dropped.
I do, however, remember having my leg in a cast. I used my little plastic vacuum cleaner, the kind that picked up small plastic shapes, as a sort of crutch for balance. Dad tells me that I’d bust around the room, using my little wheels to move twice as fast I’d have been able to do otherwise.
In this whole episode, though, the most vivid memory I have is when my mother took me to get the cast removed. I sat on a sort of hospital bed with white paper covers, my little legs dangling over the side. My mom is sitting to my right. I remember the doctor as a kindly old man with white hair.
He tells me not to worry. This wont hurt a bit.
He comes toward me, and I can see that in his hand is a huge round saw. My memory conjures up an image of a giant round wood table saw that he is holding like a chain saw. It probably wasn’t larger than a pizza cutter.
The saw makes an awful grinding sound, and I am suddenly petrified that he is going to chop my leg completely off.
Even at that age, I knew my legs were important.
I throw myself into my mother’s arms. I guess she succeeded in comforting me, though, because the cast came off. And I still have both legs.