Sunday, May 13, 2012

it's a wonder I turned out so good



I was about seven years old when I decided to run away. The precipitating factor was a commercial on TV. It wasn't that I had a bad life by any means. It was just that there was this commercial of this little girl who felt all neglected, packed her suitcase, picked up her stuffed animal and drug everything through a kitchen where her Mom was cooking. In the commercial of some religion or another the Mom saw the girl, walked to her, knelt down beside her and asked what was up. She was running away she explained with a single tear falling from her beautiful eyes and trailing down her cheek. It was quite touching because right after that they were in a park. The little girl was swinging and smiling with the Mom pushing from behind.

It looked fun. I wanted to go to the park. Plus, let's face it, it was a hard, hard life. Sometimes my Mom was creating a meal for her family of five or working to help ends meet or cleaning up another spill or taking one of her kids for their next ER visit pleading with us to not cause a fight. There were times I would run to my room, jump into my canopy bed and just cry about how unfair life could be. I was that little girl. I obviously needed to run away.

It is beautiful, I think, when our young performance artists are inspired by another's work, particularly a religious commercial. just imagine what a Time cover would have done to me, or wait, don't.

Anyway, the day finally came. It was not like there were many speaking parts, just some really cool background music to play in my head. Also I didn't plan on going anywhere so I didn't focus much on the packing. A couple of items from a drawer thrown in, I knew the important thing was to drag it like it was heavy with the clincher being the doll tucked under my arm.

Mom was cooking in the kitchen.
This was it.
I was going to the park.
Forget the brothers. She could leave them there.
I took a right out of my bedroom with the props.
Outside the kitchen I am almost sure I smiled. Then scene.
Slowly I dragged with my head down trying to think of something sad so maybe I could cry.
Slower now I tried to look at her out of the corner of my eye.
Even slower I had to bump the suitcase into one of the kitchen chairs.
Almost through the kitchen I finally had to stop and turn around, clear my throat, say, Mom!
Worst thing was I had an inkling she had already seen me.

Note to future performance artists: The hardest part in improv is when you're all mad and you have to look sad.

Obviously she had not seen the commercial but still here I was dragging a suitcase.
Didn't she care?
Finally she humored me, asked, What are you doing?
Back to scene.
I am running away.
Okay. Good luck, she went back to cooking.

We did end up getting it straight after I finally had to break down in tears and throw a complete fit about how she didn't play the part and the Mom on TV had taken the little girl to the park. No, she didn't take me to the park. She told me to go unpack my suitcase, clean up for dinner and let my brothers know it was ready.

Yes, I did then consider going to join the church where mothers were into swinging little girls. Now I'm just happy I stuck with a Mom who could keep such a straight face.


Today I am so very, very grateful for my Mom. Happy Mother's Day.




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