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Writer's Block: Do you remember?

What is your earliest memory?

At the age of two or thereabouts. Entering our darkened kitchen on 1391 Madison Avenue, in New York. Turning on the gas burners of the stove, on and off... on and off... watching the pretty blue flames flickering. Hm, why doesn't this middle one do anything? Oh well... on and off, on and off... WHUMP! The oven had filled with gas, and oven pilot lights were not universal in those days. The next time I turned on a burner, the gas ignited. I was small enough that the oven door flew open and struck me on the forehead, giving me a nasty cut, but protecting me from the flames - although my eyebrows and hair were singed. I recall looking at the healing wound in my full-length mirror...

My mother reports that for months afterward, when I would hear the sound of blasting at construction sites around Manhattan, my eyes would go large, and I would ask, "Boom?"

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Sep. 27th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)

pretty flames... pretty pretty flames......

You should have become a repair engineer.... pretty flames and magic smokes aplenty....
Sep. 27th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
Wow, you remember that far back? My 58-year-old dad says his earliest memories are from around age 7.

The earliest that I've remembered independently (i.e., without reminders from Mom) are from age 3. I can't say for sure which is the earliest, because I didn't think very chronologically then, but here's my guess: The nursery school was offering pony rides. I took a circuit thru the playground equipment as usual, but Mrs. McGretty (sp?), a slightly overweight brunette with typical '80s hair, told me it was too dangerous to do that with the ponies trotting around. Being nearly autistic then, I was so mad at having my routine messed up that I punched her and cried. My punishment was having to sit on a blanket near the building. At the end of recess, some classmates told me to come in, but I sulkily refused for a bit.

The other major nursery school memory had us called to take a certain number of a certain fruit from a basket. I was assigned one (green) apple and complied. That's it. Why do I remember? Because (1) it was nice to do something right for a change, and yet (2) I suspected that I was assigned only one because they had little faith in me.

Yeah, I don't miss those days.


The Old Wolf

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