“Well,” he says. “That’s kinda hard. I kept track of time differently as a child. I do remember being four or five and going to Grandmother’s church. I was excited. I’d heard that her Mister Soandso actually spoke with God and shared 他’s wisdom with their congregation. I was excited. But, when I got out from the back of our truck, I was told by Grandmother that “children go to Sunday School.” I refused, forcing Dad to put his foot down.
Folding my arms, like a Zax I stomped my foot! “I want to hear what God is saying,” I said, loud and clear. No one came to my rescue and I was allowed to skip church altogether. I’m sure I embarrassed the Hell out of Grandmother but all I truly remember is sitting in the bed of our truck, talking to God or an imaginary friend, or maybe just the voices in my head, until church was over.
“Define mistake. If it means something I would do differently, if given the opportunity-I don’t have one. I know that is hard to believe, but I feel blessed most all the time. An example: around 2010 (shortly after moving south of the creek), in a rush to help my little brother, I tossed a felled tree trunk and blew out my back. It almost ended me, the pop was so loud. My brother didn’t notice, and I kept it that way until he got what he’d come for and left. Then I gobbled down an entire Vicodin tablet and crept upstairs to my bed, which is more than three feet off the ground. I have to pull out a step-stool for some guests: )
Anyway, I lie there on my back until morning. I was in the middle of a job and had to finish it up before I could take a break. I rolled out of bed and stood up, but my spine was gone. I threw myself forward against the bed to keep from falling down, waking my wife up in the process..
He stops for a second. “Yeah,” he goes on. “I do not wish to have even those few seconds back. My injury slowed me down long enough to write Hope’s End. And I am thankful for that.
Don’t get me wrong! I have regrets. But, they are mostly of the accidental kind, where I say something or do something completely unaware of the injury I am causing. Harm is never my first intention. However, we humans spend way too much time trying to make the perishable last forever. Therefore, I categorize mistake, alongside death and change beneath the entry titled Things to Embrace. There really is no other choice. Resistance, in this case, is futile- thank God: ) Who wants to live in amber forever…”
Smiling yes while shaking his head no, the author speaks: “I’m starting to sense a pattern here,” he says with a laugh. “And if I’m being honest, I don’t know that my First Memory was really my first. I do remember telling myself to never-forget the experience, and as such, I do believe that Grandmother’s Church was the first memory I stored under that heading.
Now, do I remember looking up into my mom’s eyes as a suckling? Maybe. I don’t know. I equate newborns with being drunk, stoned or high. In my opinion, we all come into this world completely out of our heads. So, for a while, we are (at best) unreliable narrators.
Teenagers go through a similar experience shortly after reaching puberty. They are the highest kats on Earth! And there is nothing anyone can do about it, except maybe educate them long before the change begins.
Wow. Imagine those hormones being introduce into our children’s veins with a hypodermic needle–cuz that’s wtf we’re talking about– The Pharmaceutical Industries wet dream, come true: )
Noah E. Bertolero grew up bending and breaking the rules while searching for meaningful boundaries. He’s written a poetry book, a children’s book and most recently a novella or novel (if photographs really are worth 1,000 words). He created the game, NME, at the turn of the century, and likes to say, “NME is America’s Chess.”
He is currently working on Chapter 6 of TOM’S KURE while getting ready to spend some serious time hammering out his next project.
“I’m not out of the woods yet, but I am still alive…”