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I Resolve...: another saturday night banging out childhood memories
Posted by Steinbeck79, Jan 9, 2010. 1706 views. ID = 3095

I Resolve...

Posted by Steinbeck79, Jan 9, 2010. 1706 views. ID = 3095
This post was written in 30 minutes.
This post has been awarded 9 stars by 2 readers.

I resolve to improve my posture.

Stand as though a string is pulling you from the top of your head, my fourth grade teacher said, right before she told us about the hunched over woman. She couldn't even stand up straight enough to look me in the eyes as she thanked me for carrying her groceries across the street.

If my parents knew the kind of spurious connections Sister Celine was making- connecting posture to osteoporosis- maybe they wouldn't have cashed in their dignity when asking Fr. Kenny for another year of reduced tuition.

Even with the hefty discount, Our Lady of Lourdes took my mother into the workplace. She was the housekeeper at the rectory, cleaning up after three priests and one Columbian seminarian. After school, I sluggishly walked the half block to the rectory and rang the doorbell. It felt fake to ring the doorbell, like I was playing pretend with my mom. She answered it every time and she knew it was me every time. Go to the grand room, she'd say.

I spent my afternoons in that big, musty room, watching Captain Kangaroo and running my hands back and forth over the arms of the velvet couch. Sometimes I took the crystals off the lampshade and hooked them over the tops of my ears while watching TV. The room was wood and red and dark. Ominous portraits were crowded on one wall, floor to ceiling shelves on another.

Occasionally, I'd see a priest walk by the doorway. Only Fr. Kenny ever came in to say hello. I'd rather he didn't. I knew my mom was washing his short-sleeved white shirts and taking a rag to his night table. I knew my mom was setting the timer on the coffee pot and pouring dirty bleach water down the toilet. I knew she was shaking out his rugs and dusting his baseboards. I knew my mom was handling this man's dirtiness and I didn't want him to be friendly to me while she did.

"I'm done, take your things and wait for me in the front." Then she fluffed the velvet pillows and made sure all the lampshades were intact and we walked home together. We walked down the hill, past the high school football field, past the house with the chicken coop, past the boarded up apartment building, and past the duplex where public school kids lived.

Megan, clean up the living room while I make dinner. We'll eat when dad gets home.

Copyright 2010 Steinbeck79. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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