Thursday, April 12, 2007

On Running Away

Mom & me, on running away....
"I'm Running Away!"
"Well, good luck...you won't make it far."
"Yes, I will, too!"
"I don't think so...you don't even have a stick."
"A stick?"
"Yep, a stick & you don't have a bandana either. You won't make it far at all."
"Huh?"
"When little kids run away, they're called hobo's & they all have a stick they carry over their shoulder with all their worldly belongings tied up in a bandana, hanging from the end. Haven't you seen Orphan Annie?"
"I don't have any belongings. I don't need a stick"
"You have some clothes that you'll need to take."
"I don't want them."
"You'll need to take some food."
"Hmmm..."
I grabbed a napkin & wrapped it around a very large dill pickle and then, I hit the brick road, until I found myself walking in circles on a loop around road carrying a half eaten pickle...undecided if I should save it, chunk it, or just keep on eating it.

Kimbies & me, on running away...

"What are you doing out? It's after dark?!"
"I'm allowed to stay out after dark."
"No, you're not."
"Yes, I am."
"No, you're not. Where have you been?"
"Yes, I am. I've been over at Mere's."
"Ewww...you're gonna be in trouble."
"No, I'm not. Mom sent me to look for you."
"What? Why?"
"She said you ran away again."
"Well, then you're gonna be in trouble for going to Mere's"
"No, I won't. Really!"
"Why not?"
"Because if you really run-away, she'll never know I went to Mere's and if you come home, you'll be in more trouble for running away than I will be for going over there."
Kim lazily did figure 8's with her bike around me until we saw Dad on foot, coming to get us both.

Nana & me, on running away...
"Baby, come here & tell your Nana what you want for Christmas."
"I want a suitcase"
"A suitcase?"
"Yes and one that's not too big. I need to be able to carry it myself."
"Are you planning on taking a trip?"
"Yes Ma'am."
"So, where are you going?"
"Maybe I can come see you?"
Nana gave me a small pink suitcase that I would later pack with my swimsuit, my baby doll ripped of all her hair, some hot wheels & a supply of pickles wrapped in napkins.

Mom & Dad, overheard by me, on running away...
"It's pouring down rain, you have to go find her."
"Suzanne, she'll be back."
~Crash of thunder~
"It's lightning & thundering. She's been gone for hours now! She'll get struck by lightening"
"G--Damnit, Suzanne. She'll be back."
"It's dark ...she's been gone too long this time."
"She'll be fine. She'll come back. Now, calm down!"
Mom's gutteral sobs brought me out of the closet, where I had been hiding in with my book since it was raining so bad.

Running away. Out of 5 kids, I was the one who was forever running away.

I wanted the hallowed out hole in the Big Old Oak tree to be my cocoon. I wanted the long-armed branch that flatly spread across the street to be my bed when it was dry. I wanted the dirty earth that grew no grass under the draping leaves of the banana tree to my shady spot and sleeping space when it rained. I wanted the muddy waters under the old wooden dock to be my kitchen. I wanted the seaweed that grew 3 inches thick to be my washrag & soap & the lappy waters of the lake to be my bathtub. I wanted the fallen elephant ears to be my fan, my seat on the dewing grass, my umbrella on rainy days or even a blanket on windy days. I wanted the rocks , nuts & seashells to be my pens and pencils. I wanted the concrete sidewalk to be my sketchpad. I wanted the drainpipes that ran under the roads & down to the lake to be my private thoroughfare.

I wanted a world where one could sit in silence & feel peace.

I wanted a world without the constant drone of a TV in the background. I wanted a world where alcohol didn't smell bad on people's breath & didn't make nice people mean. I wanted a world where music was made from a symphony of sounds that involved no instruments, but birds, crickets, leaves, squirrels & water. I wanted a world where I could stay up all night, as long as the moon was bright. I wanted a world where Santa didn't need to worry about finding a fireplace. I wanted a world where I could be kissed by the sun and showered by the rains. I wanted a world where hospitals, bumper cars & leaky roofs didn't exist and a buggy borrowed from Winn-Dixie was just fine. I wanted a world where the bugs were friendly little lady bugs & dragonflies & the yucky bugs, roaches & such, were left to the world they preferred...in the house. I wanted a world where getting something sweet to eat simply meant plucking an orange from the tree & something substantial meant pulling a fish in with my scavenged bamboo pole. I wanted a world where enemies were your friends & they didn't remain enemies long. A world where war was fought by throwing the rotten oranges at one another. A world where the freshly mowed grass left rows of cut grass that could be gathered to build the softest of beds. I wanted a world where make-up was a smooshed berry smeared on my cheeks and perfume was a fresh lemon rubbed onto my wrists. I wanted a world where having a fur coat meant having a dog to cuddle up to. I wanted a world where all fires were controlled. I just wanted peace.

I still do, but I seem to just run in circles...but without the brick road, the loop around road, the little pink suitcase, the dill pickles & lightning storms.

*I started this post on Thursday April 12 & put it on pause when I saw that my ever-so-kinetically-connected sister Singleton had written a beautiful post titled 'When I run away...' LoL! I love that post, I love that we are so connected, even across the miles. And if she ever does run away, I think I'll meet her there! Photos compliments of the WWW.

40 comments:

Bardouble29 said...

I love it, I love the thought of sun kisses and peace...

I told my mom once that I was gonna run away, and She simply said..."Bye" I didn't run away, I was scared she wouldn't want me back.

Enemy of the Republic said...

By the way, I want to move to the South. Any suggestions?

dee dee girl said...

isn't it amazing?! I think one day, I too will run away. Then again, maybe I've already done so. Perhaps we should write of when we return...

it's sweet, being that connected innerly to your sister, that you'd both post on the same topic without knowing. way neato!

Vancouver mermaid/Montreal photographer said...

Wow...that is a well written post! I'm going over to check out your sister's blog now :-)

Michelle

Nithya N said...

it's long time since i read anything like that.i'm not goin to try explaining in words in vain. the post has a great feel

Scott from Oregon said...

I could never understand the logic of running away. I was always into locking myself into the kitchen...

kitten said...

Omgoodness gracious me, I am laughing so hard ...I can just see you figuring out how to get a bandana and a stick to run away with! THen the pink suitcase was too perfect. I always thought of running away when I was a kid, but was too afraid to, I like food too much and I was obessed with the thoughts of starving if I ran away. Sad, huh?

singleton said...

I'm out collecting sticks right now~
peace, love, and paper plates!

Reflections said...

This post made me laugh, remembering how I used to run away. my mom wore babushkas(bandana). I would tie it on a stick, fill it with a can of pork and beans and head down the railroad tracks. I would walk 4-5 miles out of town, get hungry, eat the beans and head back home. We always had hobos and bums stop at the house, and mom always gave them a sandwich out of whatever we had on homemade bread. Lated in life, from a real hobo, he explained what a hobo and bum was. Our house was marked to let other hobos know they were welcome for a handout.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Bardouble ~ Lol, I think 'bye' was what my own mom had said the first time or two, as well. I can remember crying, all alone, wishing she would run away with me...but I was always too afraid as a little kid to ask her. I at least had sense enough to know she couldn't do that.

enemy~ As I beleive you are from the north, I'd suggest coming in the middle of the winter so that your body can get acclimated to the weather. Oh and be sure to wear your 'patience' boots. People talk slow, but drive like mad (if in a large city like Atlanta) and everything shuts down with an inch of snow.

dee dee girl ~ lol, next time I run away there will be no coming back to write of. On the sister connection... it's amazing & not the first time it has happened. It doesn't matter if she is 450 miles south of me, on another level we are always together.

michelle ~ thanks for bopping in. I love your moniker & yes, please check her post out. It literally took me away, wrapped me in white cotton sheets & buried my feet in the sand.

nithya~ Lol, maybe you too have had moments of "I am running away!'

Scott~ I know you keep beer in that fridge!

kitten~lol, not sad at all. It was often the lure of food that brought me back home. Even as a little kid, I quickly figured out that we sometimes have to give up what we want to have what we need.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Singleton~ Lol, as usual sister you were posting while I was reading & replying to comments. I have to run to work in a bit & then, maybe, I'll run away ;) (I don't need a stick or a suitcase...just a toothebrush will do)

Reflections~ Oh my, your mom & mine could be related! My mother once brought a young man, 18, home from the grocery store with us. he had come of age & been released from the foster care system with no place to go. My dad was initially apalled as the fellow stunk & was unkempt & his pants were held together by saefty pins (this was in the early 70's, well before that became a style) Mom told Dad, he'll never find his way without a place to shower & brush his teeth and some decent clothes. Mind you, we didn't have much, but she made do. He was able to get up on his own two feet and for at least 10 years, he sent her flowers on mothers day & chocolate or perfume at christmas. I still wonder about him, as I know he wonders about her.

SpongyBones said...

I need some new shoes,mine are worn out from running so fast!

I, like the view said...

lovely post!

I ran away once

my father came to collect me eventually

it was the only time he ever apologised

actually, I'd quite like to run away now. . .

*goes off to look for stick and bandana*

:-)

vicci said...

I can just see it! I use to threaten to run away all the time...never made it very far...usually just 2 blocks over to my cousin Rose's house...we are 2 weeks apart in age....we would jump rope...roller-skate...go to the corner store for penny candy...or wait for the ice cream truck to come around...I just love reading your stories...always! :-)

kj said...

honest to god, slb, this is a really good piece of writing. you are a really good writing. i hope you are in a weekly writing group, as i am, so you can read your stories outloud.

and since i'm now a "regular", what shall i call you? is slb right? or what else? i'm a familiar kind of blog friend so i want your name to be straight...

btw, much of the running away part made me sad. i wanted you to be lovingly found, not have to wait it out, esp. in the dark rain. (even though you were in the closet)

:)

Matt said...

Reminds me of a scene in The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

To whom it may concern,

Keep that skinny girl a runnin'!

Mel said...

I'm trying to think when the last time that I actually DID run away was...
Perhaps I've had my fill?

Nah.
Perhaps I just need to catch up!

JustRun said...

I "ran away" as a kid, too. I made it to the end of the street where I'd sit on the curb and hide behind the fire hydrant until dark. It wasn't until years later my mom told me she could see me from the front window the entire time.

I love that you and your sister are so connected in that way, and I'm glad I get to read about it!

Orhan Kahn said...

You and Singleton would've been the most adorable children ever! Warts & all.

Much <3!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Spongybones~ LOL, we gotta remember to take our shoes off & dance through the clovers, climb the trees & wade through the waters.

ILTV~ Lol, me too! But then again when we were kids, we were running away from someone, someplace or something...and now, I'd like to just run away from myself ;)

Vicci~ I love that you lived close to your cousins. My neices & nephews were blessed like that. Running away would have been much more fruitful for me if I had somewhere like that to go :)

Matt~ I saw that movie, but not the re-make, the old black & white one when I was a kid. I always thought it would be cool to be invisible.

Mel~ Run! My neighbor ran away this week-end & of course came back in time for the Monday grind, but good times!

Just run~ Lol, and that fire hydrant probably seemed worlds away when you were a little kid.

Orhan~ My mother proabably thought differently. LoL. Even though I had a 'frog farm,' I never got any warts & would actually be jealous of my girlfriends that did. Lol, I thought they had something 'special'

skinnylittleblonde said...

KJ~ Thank you very much. I really don't perceive myself as a writer... this is just my place/space to express myself & share some of my thoughts & memories.
My name is Paige, but really I answer to anything...a side effect of being raised by a woman who had 5 kids and would usually go through 3 or 4 names before getting it right. We all learned to just answer to anything :)Lol. Most folks here just call me 'skinny' or SLB, although I have no real preference.
Finally, I didn't mean to evoke sadness, but in hindsight can see it. However I never ran away in sadness and I never longed for anyone to fetch me. I usually ran away with hunger in one sense, and returned home with hunger in the physical sense.
Thanks again for your kind words and insights...they are much valued!

Slick said...

Great post girl, seriously. Love the writing.

You know, you sound like you were a dang handful!

Anne said...

How cute are you?! :D
At least you had some very good reasons for wanting to run away.

kj said...

i can't bring myself to call you 'skinny'. :)

paulo said...

I ran away in 9th grade because I felt my parents were oppressing me. I snuck out in the middle of the night and smoked a doobie on the way over, and then awkwardly climbed the stones on the front of my friend's house so I could knock on his window and have him let me in. His mom ended up finding out I was there, and said I could stay as long as I needed to, but that I wasn't allowed to smoke pot in the house. I hadn't been, I just reeked of the stuff. I went home less than a week later.

I still get fairly regular urges to run away. I can never figure out where I'd go, though. Home hardly seems like a real place anywhere, anyway.

Justgivemepeace said...

slb....23! ilysvvm,icw2su

Drama Div@ said...

From the old familiar faces and
Their old familiar ways
To the comfort of the strangers
Slipping out before they say
So long

Baby loves to run

Behind Blue Eyes said...

That's so strange. I used to have this fixation with running away when I was a kid. I even planned one time about how I would sew my money (even though I didn't have any) in the seams of my clothes. And for the reasons you say too. To be a part of nature. I love living an a semi-city now, but I do miss nature sometimes. Try this address (sorry I don't know how to make a link http://mixedepisodes.blogspot.com/
Hopefully you'll be able to get in.

Hop

skinnylittleblonde said...

Slick ~ Lol, perhaps a handful but nothing more!

Anne ~ If only life were always so simple, huh? Lol, I really don't think my poor mother thought it was too cute.

KJ~ Lol...you feel free to call me whatever you like.Skinny really isn't a nickname, but a word taht strangers have used to describe me and/or call me out in a crowd. I've just learned to answer it & when I began blogging, I decided to call myself exactly what strangers often call me...ie., the birth of SLB.

Paulo~ When I was younger I considered 'Home' to be where-ever I rested my head. Since I bought my first house 7 years ago, I have tried to make my 'home' my sanctuary...but really it's just an over-sized doghouse. Btw, since you were crashing into your buddies world, you could have at least saved some Mr Sparky for him! ;) LOL.

JustGiveMePeace~ Room 23, 8 weeks and counting down...I am running away & can't wait to meet you & Kimbies there. The elephant ears are fanning us on!

Drama diva ~ Love your play on words! So true...

BBE~ Thanks! I will try to copy & paste later today... I tried my old link again Monday night to no avail, so I appreciate link. For now I have to run pay what bills I can before my running away for fun turns into running away from repossessors & such ;)

Angela Marie said...

Hey! is that my baby up there? LOL! That was a surprise!

I had to laugh reading this!
On running away, I have been on both ends. On My end, I never got to far! However, being on the mommie end (I would gladly take the former), I felt like your mom!

The bond between sisters! :)

Patti said...

took me back to when i was running away...

Hammer said...

I kept an extra set of PJs and a few hotwheels in my suitcase recordplayer just in case :)

singleton said...

SLB...my son is running away at this moment....
into your arms, your words,
catch him if you can........
I need you sister, he needs you....thank you baby, sib....

Pixie said...

I dont think I ever tried to run away, It would have insured a "good hiding" from my grandmother LOL

Nice peice of writing!

Fuzzylogic said...

This is such a delightful and beautiful post Skinny. I simply loved this. I have had such running away moments too while growing up but I never gave it a definite try but now I'm glad I stuck around:)In a real sense I have run away now far from my family and all I can do is long for the times when we will be together again soon. The last 2 paras really moved me. Skinny,you write beautifully!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Angela Marie~ yes, that was your baby...she doesn't run too far from home ;) The bond between sisters is so very tight, much like the bond between mother & daughter...although completely different.

patti~ Glad I could help take you away a bit & hope that you have a safe return ;)

Hammer~ LOL, you are much more prepared than me! I have a suitcase now with only a swimsuit & some lotion in it. :)

Singleton~ Gosh, I Love you so very much! I think I was able to catch him, at least until he fell asleep.

Pixie~ lol, yes...I rec'd a good hiding or two from my pops... always worth it though.

Fuzzy~ Lol, I'm glad I was always welcomed back home. I hope that you get to make it back home soon. Some people say that home is where you rest your head & others say that it's where you rest your heart. I beleive in both, time & circumstances can dictate the priority of each, and it's always subject to change. Run home Fuzzy! :)

Lizard Princess said...

"I wanted a world where having a fur coat meant having a dog to cuddle up to."

I'm sorry to say I didn't take the time to read everyone's comments (I did read the whole post)....
But I just wanted to mention that I love this line in particular.

If you read Isaiah 65, and snippets of 60-64, you'll read about a world like you're longing for- here's a taste:
"To all who mourn...he wil give,
'Beauty for Ashes;
Joy instead of mourning;
praise instead of heaviness.'...
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw as the ox does, and poisonous snakes shall strike no more! In those days nothing and no one shall be hurt or destryoed in all my holy mountain, says the Lord."
Isaiah 61:3 & 65:25


Peace & love!

mig bardsley said...

What a beautifully evocative post.
I ran away all the time, but never in real time, only in my head.

psycho-therapist said...

paiger,
i want a world full of people like you. beautiful astonishing post.
lisa

skinnylittleblonde said...

Lizard ~ I know there is such a time & place...

mig bardsley ~ that's what I do now.

Lisa~ Your words are way too kind. Plus bills would never get paid on time & dogs could be claimed as dependants which might upset some parents.