Words Have Power, They Are Magic Pt 2
My Aunt Sally came to get me and I moved in with her. She was big. Not in size, although she had lots of fat, but in life. She was big. Everything she did was big. She cried big, she laughed big. The thing she did the most was talk. She talked a lot. Her friends would come over and they would sit at the kitchen table drinking coffee and eating powdered donuts. And talk. And talk.And talk.
I was fascinated by Aunt Sally’s talking. Everything on her moved when she did. Her arms and hands would wave in the air. Her chins would wobble. Her belly would move side to side usually discordant with her arms. Her lips sometimes seemed like they couldn’t keep up with the words that flew out of her mouth and encircled everything and everybody. I would sit on the floor and watch. Every once in awhile she would notice me and hand me a donut, the powder drifting of it like snow, pat me on the head and suggest I go play. I never did I just sat and watched.
I actually think I loved Aunt Sally. She made me feel ok inside. Even when she told me about how my parents and sister died. I guess the police chased some bad guy going hundred miles an hour. He crashed into our car and there they went, over the cliff, bursting into flames at the bottom. I used to imagine Blendy holding that stupid puppy and screaming as the fire burned her up. It made me feel happy.
My Aunt Sally told me all this and also said that the police were sad because they killed my parents. So, they gave me a lot of money. She said it was in a bank account and that she took monies from for food and stuff. I didn’t care about that. I was still happy to be somewhere I was not hit. I told her to use it all up. For powdered donuts and coffee. In fact, I was so happy there I went up to my room (I had a REAL room with a bed and dresser and a desk and new crayons!)and drew her a picture. In my picture, I drew her smiling in a big pile of powdered donuts. I put a little dots from her head to a big circle so it looked like she was talking and I wrote in it “I am so happy I could just die!”
A couple of days later my Aunt Sally and I were walking to the store to get more donuts when she ran into a friend walking their dog. She was all dressed in pink. She had a pink dress, a pink hat, pink shoes even her dog was pink. I ain’t ever seen a pink dog before. It looked like cotton candy with little black nose and little black beady eyes. I reached down to touch it to see if it felt like cotton candy. I grabbed a hand full of hair and pulled up intent on seeing if its skin was pink and I guess I pulled too hard. The dog yelped and backed away from my hand. Feeling bad I reached for it again to say sorry. It barked at me and ran, right into the street, right in front of delivery van. The delivery van swerved and came towards us. My Aunt Sally screamed and pushed me away, right before the van came up on the sidewalk and fell on its side, squishing Aunt Sally. I sat on my rear end where I had been pushed looking at the van. One tire was going round and round and a smiling donut on its side declared that Mr. Happy’s Powdered Donuts were the tastiest in the land.
I was sent to my grandparent’s house. My grandpa walked around the house until he found his easy chair and my grandma spent a lot of time talking to her dog that had died the year before. They pretty much had no idea I was there. It was ok. I could do what I wanted when I wanted. Except for school. I had to go there and learned quickly that if I did not show up they came and got me.
I lived with my grandparents for a couple of months. Until one morning, I woke up and my grandma was crying in the kitchen. I thought maybe it was the imaginary dog again but when I went in there, it turned out to be grandpa. It looked like my grandpa was sleeping. The night before my grandpa had said to me that he wished he could just die and get it over with. I had been given that homework assignment where you have to write a sentence for each spelling word. One of those words was sleep. I wrote, “I wish my grandpa would just go to sleep and never wake up.” That was when I knew. I knew. Words have power, they are magic.
After grandpa died, grandma was declared senile and put into a home for senile grandmas. I moved from relative to relative. Until I ran out of relatives. Then I went from foster home to foster home. Some good, some bad. I bounced like that until I was let loose at eighteen. I don’t really have horror stories about them. I don’t have any inspirational stories either. They were just places to sleep, eat, and sometimes get new clothes.
Throughout my childhood and all the schools, I always ended up in the “special” classes. The classes where kids in wheelchairs drooled on themselves their hands curled stiffly against their chest. The classes where the girl with round face walked around smiling saying I love you to everyone. The classes that all the other kids in school would laugh at. Called us dumb, called us retards And so we were, because words have power they are magic
I was not retarded. I just wouldn’t write anymore. They thought I was damaged because of my past. I had learned my lesson, the lesson of words. I was afraid to write. I learned their power. Even when I was trying to help someone, it always turned out wrong. It seemed it was better to not write at all. Because of that, I graduated bottom of my class and having no prospects I joined the military. I was promptly sent to Vietnam. It seemed better than writing. I had no fear of being shot. Because bullets hurt, but words, words have power, they are magic.