Lightning Bug

In between when we lived in the big stucco house and when we moved to the duplex, we lived in a Cape Cod on 57th Street. Just east of Merle Hay Plaza. A plaza was an outdoor shopping mall then. Years later my Mom took me to a Hubert Humphrey For President rally there. Our house shared a double driveway with the house next door. One of the kids who lived there laid out on that driveway in the sun one day until his skin blistered.


In our basement, my dad and his brother, my uncle Bud, built a huge model train track. With mountains and towns and people and cars and all of that stuff. We wore engineer caps and red kerchiefs and watched the trains go around. I think I was about 4.


We had a Ford. Black and White. 1958 I think. Once when my Mom was driving, as she pulled up to our house, I thought she was going to park. I pulled up the door handle to get out. But she was turning into the driveway. The door swung open and I was hanging on for dear life to the door, with my feet still in the car, like something in an old cartoon, or some clown at the circus. I hate clowns.


The lady next door watched us sometimes. Once, when we were over there, my sister was taking a nap in the grown up bed. For whatever reason I went and looked in at her. She had cut her head open on the knobs on the head board and there was blood everywhere. It seems like my sister and brother cut their heads open a lot.


I slept upstairs in that house. One night I had a bad dream and was going down the stairs to find my parents. But there was a huge bug at the bottom. A foot long. I don’t know what you call them, but they are kind of flat and they have about a hundred legs all the way around. I screamed until my dad came and got me. There wasn’t really a bug. But I still hate those things.


There then was a field behind that house, between our back yard and Merle Hay Road. One night we went out there and caught fireflies and put them in Skippy peanut butter jars, with some grass. There were millions of them out that night, everywhere.


Something bad happened when we lived in that house.