I’m locked in a struggle. This woman, wearing a very Jackie Kennedy-esque suit–pale yellow–wants me to take a nap. I have a doll, with a plastic curlyque curl on it’s forehead, clutched in my hands. I want to take it to bed with me. She, of the suit, and also a pillbox hat, wants to take it away. She thinks it’s unsanitary. Also that I’ll be spoiled if she lets me do what I want, which is to take the doll with me for a nap, instead of what she wants. We’re in a semi-darkened room, curtains drawn. The room is non-descript, a bedroom in a tract house in a bedroom community. Like all the other tract houses around it, this bedroom is square, has a small closet along the right side of the room in relation to coming in the door. The woman and I are standing next to the bed, she with her back to the door, me facing her.
This is what I believe is my first memory. I see it in my mind’s eye as if watching a movie. I don’t know whether it’s a true memory or something my subconscious has concocted over the years to exist as the defining moment of my relationship with my mother. She became my mother, after first having been foster to me, the last in a series of fosters from the time I was 18 months to the age of 2. Our relationship was adversarial until about two weeks before she died. I wonder if I made that scene up to explain how it was we came to be locked in struggle all of our lives together. But it rings true, somehow. I can feel the heavy air, the silence around us as we stare each other down. My desperation to not let go of that doll, the one constant thing with me, that was MINE, as I moved from home to home within my first adoptive parents’ extended family.
Yes, this is it. My first memory.
This is written in response to the weekly writing challenge, to check it out, and others….the link is below: