Fairy Tales

Isn’t it funny that the day I decide to come back and tell you all that I’m alive is the day I log in and WordPress tells me happy seventh blogoversary? Anyway, I’m alive.

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What’s the earliest thing you remember?

I don’t remember much of my early life. My sister was born when I was three years and eight months old, and I don’t remember anything before her. I think I only remember one thing before kindergarten, and that was moving to our first new house in Oklahoma, something that seems pretty dang memorable.

I remember bits and pieces before I was ten. After that I can remember whole days and weeks, and the months and years have a story flow to them.

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The summer I was nine years old, my grandmother gave me a copy of Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales. I dreamed about it last night, about the sound of my aunt Jurate’s voice as she read The Happy Prince aloud to me.

“Swallow, swallow, little swallow…”

I remember her slapping my hand as I sat on the couch next to her, snapping at me not to pick at my toenails, and then returning to the story as though nothing had happened.

I woke up too early this morning, and I knew exactly where the book was. I tried to retrieve it from the shelf as quietly as possible so as not to wake Ian, even though it had an RC helicopter sitting atop it and another knickknack sitting in front of it. I thought I did well until he rolled over. I apologized and read half the book before setting it on the stack on my nightstand to contemplate.

I read The Happy Prince in my aunt’s voice, and I remembered the tears I shed for The Nightingale. I traced the illustrations and remembered how the Charles Mozley influenced my style at the time.

I’m going to go finish reading it now, and to think about how many of my memories revolve around the printed word.

And picking at my nails.