His brain is squirmin' like a toadAt age 66 I seem to live more and more within a memory palace and think about the past.
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
My first memory is of a snake sticking its head out of a hole in the front yard of my grandmother's house in New York. It was probably the Spring of 1945. I also remember attacking my father with a toy hoe after he came back from Germany in early 1946 and tried to assert his authority. I was astounded with the ease with which he disarmed me. I have lots of other childhood memories. I hope they don't just slip away.
Mom's memory is gone at age 86. She knows who I am so far, but that may not last long.
I remember the Junior High School hazing that we had to endure. They painted us with lipstick on our way to class in the seventh grade. Then there was the bully Billy Mitchell. He had been held back so many times that he towered over everyone else. Also there was Provo, a very muscular bully who was later fried in the electric chair for murder. I had to fight them both, knowing I was doomed to lose...but A man has to do what a man has to do.
It was double session Junior High school for me so I was left alone in the morning. My brother and sister were in regular sessions in grade school and both Mom and Pop were working. Sometimes I made donuts with a can of Crisco. I remember doing push ups to try to develop my strength and playing 45 RPM records very loud like Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire".
The girl next door was really hot and she often sat with me in a tree and tried to make me interested in her, while not really being interested in me. I often wonder what she looks like now at age 66. At 13 she was special. There's a certain memorable fire in being 13 and getting your first fondling and French kiss from a pretty girl. Maybe I won't forget.
Anyway, most of my friends are dead already. Some at 19, some at 21, some in airplane crashes, some at 35 and others at 53. I sometimes think that my life is somehow charmed and I'm immune from death from lung cancer or other causes. If I died somehow, the universe would immediately cease to exist.
Last summer I took Mrs. Phred to Jurarez, sister city of El Paso. There are 3,000 murders a year there related to drugs and we are the only Americans crossing the border that day. We bought some wallets and had lunch. Last night Mrs. Phred saw a TV program about the out of control Juarez murders and chastised me for taking her there. I explain that by standing tall with a steely-eyed glint it protects her from cowardly miscreants
We lived on a Tampa street where the city kept dumping oyster shells to keep the street passable. The Mosquito control people kept coming by with the Fog trucks and we all ran behind them breathing in the poison. At least we didn't get Yellow Fever or Malaria.