November 29th, 2013


prehistory of the moof, part I

I've been meaning to write this for months or years at this point, but never seem to get around to doing so.

I don't remember not having to wear glasses or not being able to read. I learned sometime between the age of 2 and 3; Mom has said that reading the ingredients list of cereal boxes was a common activity for me. As far as I can remember, I've always had lots of books and read voraciously. In a vaguely related vein, I've usually been more comfortable around adults than I was (other) children. Probably because they were easier to understand and could answer all the questions I had.

I can remember flashes of memory from when I was young, instants in time, but not so much in the way of episodes. Probably the earliest was when I was lying in my bed, chewing on a binky, and gnawed right through it; I got up and asked my mom to fix it (as I had been under the impression that she had fixed it before) - but (this time?) she said that now it was broken and there was nothing she could do about it. The particulars of the memory are fuzzy at best; I remember fairly clearly the bed I had, and mom's response, but everything else is inferred from later life's memories (the layout of the house, what the room was like, the tone of mom's voice, etc.) I couldn't have been more than 2.5 at most; I wasn't wearing glasses.

The next memory, though, is quite clear. I was at Mimi's Merry Mornings, a preschool in my hometown. I think I was 4, but I'm not sure about the date. It was a lovely spring/summer day, nice blue sky, fluffy clouds, and we were having Show and Tell outside. I'd decided to show them my copy of Sesame Street magazine. I showed them the various pages of the magazine, and pointed out how in some of the features therein there were instructions for the children (in big letters) and instructions for the parents (in much smaller print, with more complex words) and how interesting it was that for some of the activities it wasn't actually possible to figure out everything required to complete it without having read both sets of instructions. While I don't remember the faces, I remember the overwhelming feelings of blank incomprehension from the rest of the kids there, completely not getting what I was talking about at all. I think I sat down pretty quickly after that, with my mom arriving and driving me and one of the other kids back home soon afterwards. I remember feeling, while riding back, the most profound sense of alienation and dismay. Probably my very first depressive episode, too, but I don't remember anything after the car ride.