I was living with my mother, incidentally just down the street from where we had lived in the post below (re: beginnings). We’d lived in several places before that but this was a different house across the street from Weiland Park Elementary.
The house was a two story house. You would go up these steep steps up to the house which had a full sided front porch. Once inside you had a long hallway into the kitchwith the livingroom off to the left leading into the ‘dining room’. To the right were the stairs that would lead up to the bathroom right off the landing and two bedrooms. My brother and I were lucky, we got our own rooms and frequently changed rooms. Mom and Gary were living in the dining room with a partition between the livingroom and their room.
It wasn’t in any way a new house, as anyone that lives in that area that’s loosely defined as campus, but loosely defined as ‘the ghetto’. The paint was peeling and there was very ugly walpaper in almost all the rooms. There were huge sections of the house that were crumbling to pieces, to where the plaster was coming off and you were starting to see some of the boards. You couldn’t touch the walls without hearing some of it crumbling off.
And we always had a problem with infestations as everyone else around us had horrible living conditions and they would breed then come to our house for a ‘visit’. Prompting mom to carry bug spray and traps for weeks on end until they dissapear.
As an aside, I would like to mention when I read stories about people living in two story houses, this is the house I envision every time. One stories are always my dad. And somehow every house in my stories are modeled off of these.
Growing up there wasn’t easy. But we were able to convince mom to get a dog, eventually. A scrawny little thing we named Little Girl or Puppy. I don’t remember which.
What I do remember, is her last day on earth. I was asleep in my room upstairs. I was having one of my odd dreams where I’m actually watching the things around my house. I watched downstairs as my mom opened the door to step outside and saw as Puppy darted between the houses and down the street.
She had gotten all the way down the street, and as she crossed a side street, got hit by gary turning down the street. I couldn’t believe it had happened. At the same time, when I woke up, I could hear the sounds as they happened. I automatically started screaming her name. I jumped out of bed, ran down the stairs into the livingroom where mom had her laid out as Puppy panted. I laid on the couch and petted her until they took her away.
As an aside, this is also one of my very first ‘odd’ memories. I have these very odd ‘dreams’ if they can be called that, as well as the odd moments of my childhood that’ve defined who I am today. This is one of those. It was so vivid that I couldn’t stop thinking of it for weeks.
I also remember the squirrel that fried itself outside of my bedroom. Squirrels love walking on the power lines. Well this one’s tail got too close to the other wire and fried itself. it took three guys and a pizza box for them to dispose of the body.