this is from my journal…if anything it’ll give you some insight to the ‘map’ I follow when I write my stories here at the Bridge.
When I was a kid, I lived on a neat street.
The kids were neat and the parents were neat and all the kids were in Scout Troops or took swimming lessons at the pool.
They all went on camping trips and had barbeques during the summer and during the winter they all went skiing.
Except for me, of course.
When we first moved to this neat street my parents used to try and force me to play with the neighbor kids and I wouldn’t- I said they were Zombies and that I was pretty sure they’d eaten the last kid who lived in our house.
I remember the way my Dad looked at me the first time I said that. He just shook his head and I’m not sure but I think it was weeks before he said another word to me.
I was nine at the time- so I could be off on that by a bit.
The problem was I wasn’t a neat kid, I was that weird little kid that didn’t have any friends and never got invited to parties and I got kicked out of Blue Birds because I forgot to bring the treats when it was my turn to do treat day.
Actually the Blue Bird Leader’s daughter kicked me out- I didn’t care because they never got treats that day-, which still makes me laugh when I think about it.
I may have been a weird kid, but I wasn’t a dumb kid and I made it a point to never be with any of these kids alone- or with their parents who smiled too much.
In fact, I used to have nightmares about those kids and their parents and in my dreams they were running me down with their station wagons.I still have those dreams.
Over the years I ran into some of these kids- I drove one to their final resting place in a hearse, a friend of mine arrested one for molesting his children and another is in prison for killing her stepson.
After I kept hearing these stories I decided to take a drive down that Neat Street.
I saw the Neat Parents- they were puttering around their lawns or checking their mail or talking to their neighbors (just like the old days, it’s true some things never change) and I was horrified at how they all looked so worn out and old and tired and I realized those weren’t the Neat Parents-
I was looking at the Neat Kids.
I slammed my brakes on and pulled visor down and looked in my vanity mirror and checked my face. I don’t know what I was looking for, but it was awhile before I felt calm enough to drive away.
From the backseat I could hear that nine year old Anita who used to be say,
“ Told you, they’re Zombies. Now let’s go home.”
And that’s exactly what I did.