Saturday, July 11, 2015
They Ran Away From Me
Dad's story, told at every family gathering after I entered college, was that they could not get me to run away from home and so they ran away from me. I never thought it was funny but I did come to believe it was one of the luckiest things to have happened in my life.
Mother had registered me for college. I was not even aware she had done it until she got me up one morning and told me I needed to go enroll at the local school, University of New Mexico. So much of what occurred in my life following Mother's cancer was rote or automatic. I just did what I had to do. What people told me to do. Or in the absence of anyone making a decision I just followed the crowds. Like a lemming rushing to the sea. Keep on keeping on.
When I stopped to think I thought of suicide. I kept a notebook of all the thought about methods. I didn't want to make a mess that Mother would have to clean up. Or that would horrify my sister should she be the one that found my body. A friend of mine about that time cut herself open with a carving knife when she could not procure an abortion following a rape. I understood why but thought she was a bit uncaring of her parents.
It amazes me looking back at my high school years how I kept up my grades and aced all those important college placement tests. I took so little interest I do not even remember my scores but have friends that to this day can cite theirs.
I remember the art teacher that came after me with a mat knife. I remember the month of mandatory counselling because I screamed when he did that. I remember standing in a purple cap and gown in the third row of 300 plus students and going up to collect my diploma from the Principal that refused to let me transfer to another high school so I could continue to take art from someone that had not tried to cut me. I remember Mr. Mealy, my English teacher who accepted me on the Phaethon Literary Magazine staff so I could get the credit I needed to graduate without art class.
And I remember enrolling in college with all my high school college prep classmates and wondering if I ever had to see them again on campus. And I remember President Kennedy being shot. And our whole family at last crying together. His funeral gave us permission to grieve it seemed for everything lost since Ruskin Heights tornado.
That was November and in December my family moved to Denver, Colorado and I moved into Hokona dorm in with a steamer trunk Mom packed for me. I flew back for Christmas in Denver to find, Misty, my cat had not made the move. She had run away. Or had they also run away from her like they had from me?
You have to close a door sometimes before you can open another.