Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember
Posted on Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Here I am, jumping in at the last moment to join the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember.
The challenge has two parts. The first is to write about something you remember. We were given prompts, and I chose to write about my earliest memory. The second part of this challenge is to write freestyle, setting a timer for 10 minutes and to just start writing. No waiting for inspiration. No waiting for my muse to arrive. No preparation. Just write.
This is a difficult task for me. I always believe I should have some sort of inspiration to begin to write. That is my weakness. According to writers who teach writing, the object is to write. Simply write. It’s like running. You just get your shoes on and get out there and run. You don’t wait for your ‘running muse’ to give you inspiration.
With that said, here is what I wrote in my 10 minute session. I took another 10 minutes to edit it. I could go back a hundred times more to tweak it to get it just so, but that is my weakness. And that’s why I need this sort of challenge. I hope you enjoy this story.
I don’t know how old I was, exactly, but I remember the light, sounds, smells, and the pain of the moment. No, not so much the pain as the surprise. The pain came later, right after passing out.
Mom yelled at me for running around without my shoes on. We were playing in a pile of lumber, scrap wood of some sort. The actual area isn’t clear in my mind.
What is clear is falling, then sitting up and looking, with amazement, at a piece of wood stuck to my knee. When I looked closer I saw three nail heads in that wood, which meant there was something very sinister lurking underneath.
I don’t remember screaming, but I do remember Mom and a brother or two and maybe a sister running toward me. The next thing I remember is sitting in the front seat of our station wagon, looking down on that darn piece of wood. I knew by then that it was being held in place by three nails imbedded in my knee.
The car ride isn’t clear in my mind, but the doctor’s office is very clear. Our town was one of those old logging towns with two story brick buildings lining a wide street. The doctor’s office was up a staircase on the side of one of those buildings. Underneath the doctor’s office was a store. Perhaps a shoe store? Or a drugstore? That I don’t remember, but I do recall being carried up that narrow staircase, the wooden stairs creaking.
At the top of the landing there were a series of doors with windows with writing on them. We went through the one for the doctor. The very next memory I have is sitting on the table and looking at the big, tall windows that faced the street, one story up.
And this is my most vivid memory of that day. It was sunny, and the sunlight poured through those wide venetian blinds, opened slightly, so narrow strips of light filled the room and painted every wall, every surface. I remember being intrigued by those strips of light, everywhere. The air was dusty, and I always thought my memory made the room seem fuzzy, but it was probably a mixture of cigarette smoke and dust.
After that, my memory of the day is gone. My Mom told me the doctor had to cut the nail heads off and pull the nails through the back of my knee – they couldn’t be pulled out the way they went in, for some reason.
Mom told me I was 4 years old when that happened. It had to be a pretty scary day for my Mom, but I don’t remember it that way. I just remember being scooped up and carried away to the doctor. I guess Moms do that sort of thing, don’t they. Calm sets in and they just handle it. I’m sure she cried when it was over, but I never knew it.
The funny thing about that whole episode is the thought I kept having on the way to the doctor. As I mentioned, my Mom yelled at me for running around without my shoes on in that pile of wood. Even at 4 years old, I thought; “But, the nails went through my knee. Wearing shoes wouldn’t have made any difference.”
I wonder if I ever said that to Mom, or if I just thought it? Either way, what a little shit I was.
THAT is my first memory.