Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My earliest memory

My earliest memory is the dawning of a lifelong habit. I am probably 3  years old, although I may have been 2 1/2. I couldn't fall asleep. My sister, in the bed across the room, is fast asleep. She fell sleep probably before my dad finished closing the door and is snoring lightly. I listen to the crickets sing in the muggy Florida night and tell myself stories. Then, from out in the living room, I hear my mother laugh.  My mother laughs easily and often. Hearing her laugh makes me miss her, makes me lonely and left out. I creep out of my bed and tiptoe to the door. Its never latched, and I inch it open carefully. I know I will likely be spanked if I am caught, but I want to be with my parents so badly. I make my way into the hallway silently and carefully. Then I lose my nerve and lay down on the floor. I know they wont be happy to see me. I know they will just be angry that I am awake. I content myself with laying on the linoleum hallway, cheek cold against the smooth floor, and listen to them chuckle at the television show. They are probably watching Johnny Carson, but I don't remember the content of the show, just the talking and laughing. The memory ends with my cheek on the floor, looking at the baseboards and the white wall of the hallway. I probably fell asleep there. I still have trouble falling asleep, to this day. My mind never shuts up! I can blame caffeine, tv, a good book, but the truth is, my earliest memory is of wondering what else is going on in the world that I might be missing while I lay there wasting time sleeping.

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