witty-remark's Diaryland Diary

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Today I started reminiscing about my childhood. Back to when we first moved to Canada in the rusted old apartments with the paint peeling from the edges of the balcony railing and water stains dotting the ceiling like footprints marked by piss. Back to when we were so poor that the fridge was always empty but our debt and woes were full. Back to when I invited Clare Beddows over in the third grade, unaware of the humility I should possess for living in such a seedy hole but completely cognizant of it once she told everyone the next day that I shared a dingy mattress with my mom in an empty room with only a closet and a lamp in it. Even though she lived just a block away in a similar apartment, she made clear her living conditions were above mine. That I was different. That the only thing I could afford was shame, and handfuls of it too.

Back to when my I was 7 and my brother would leave me alone at home to sell weed laced with oregano from the pantry to his friends. When I would watch cartoons as loud as the TV would allow to drown out the silence that struck within me a panting heaving fear. When my babysitter would get paid $7/hour to leave me and go behind the convenience store to smoke and invite her boyfriend back. When she'd tell me to "SHUT THE FUCK UP" when I threatened to tell. How I'd oblige because she told me I'd be "so FUCKING cool" if I stayed home alone. How everyone at school would be so impressed and I'd be revered for my courage. Back to when I told people at school and they weren't the least bit in awe. When I just carved myself out into further isolation because THEIR parents loved them enough to ensure that never happened.

Back to when I would wake up at 5 in the morning, with the sunlight barely kissing the dark starry spread of the night before, when my mom left for work because I couldn't fall back asleep once she left. She'd grab the newspaper and set aside the comics which I'd half-heartedly read while sitting on the edge of our apartment steps praying she'd come back. And most days she'd forget to sign my logbook, so at 8, I carefully traced the edges of her signature, practicing on scraps of tissue paper. Each curve and dot and loop a reminder of the woman that just raced out the front door.

12:34 a.m. - Friday, Jul. 31, 2009

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