la Ketch

my life story

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

frances runs away to the bathroom - part 1

Take a step forward, take a step back – back to freshman year I’m afraid. The tail end of it…

I can’t tell you too much about what went down between my mom and step dad leading up to the divorce. I came close to calling my mom and actually asking her to recount the details to me last night but thought better of it. I’m still not quite ready for her to read all of this. I can tell you about the events leading up to it from my perspective and what stands out in my mind is the massive meltdown I had, which seemed to be the catalyst for my mom to actually take action and leave. That and she finally found an intelligent therapist that was like, “Um, hello – you need to leave this man.”

I don’t remember exactly what I was throwing the fit about exactly. I probably wanted to go OUT OF THE HOUSE. I was so tired of being a kept woman and sneaking out was getting totally boring. There’s nothing to do but drive around or go to some lame place and drink and make out. You feel obligated to make out with these guys who are nice enough to come to your driveway and pick you up at the end of it…. ew. Typing that just made me have a mini throw up.

So I started having this massive fit and my step dad had enough of me. He still thought I was an overpriviledged, spoiled brat that needed tough love and discipline. I was screaming at him, telling him to fuck off as usual and you have to understand that if his kids were acting like this he would kick the shit out of them. They weren’t allowed to say, “Fart” so “Fuck OFF” was like, totally off limits and I had screamed it in his face about a million times. He snapped. I could see it in his eyes. It was our final show down. This town ain’t big enough for the two of us. He picked me up by the shoulders (he was a fairly tall man and I was very small) and threw me, pinned me up against the wall. We locked eyes. My eyes said to him, “DO IT. Hit me motherfucker and hit me hard and I will call the police and press charges against you so fucking fast your fucking ugly head will spin.” I think I might have even muttered something in that moment. Something like, “do it.” He dropped me and walked away.

As soon as he dropped me I had a full on conniption. It was everything bubbling up and exploding out of my head. I can freak out pretty hard when I want to and this was a 10 on the Richter scale. A big mother. I was screaming unintelligibly pounding my fists, the whole bit. “I HHHHHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEE YYOOOUU. Ahahahhahahaaa whaaaaaaaa (that’s the sound of sobs) THAAAAT’SSSSS CHILLLLLDDD AAAAABUUUUUUSSEEEEE YOUUUUU FFFFUUUUUUCKKKIIIING ASSSSSHOOOOOLEE. Ahhhhaha hahwhaaaaaa IIII’MMMMM GOOOOOING TOOOOO CAAAAALLLL THEEEEE POOOOOLLLLIIICCCEEEEE Ahhhhaha hahwhaaaaaa MOOOOOOMMMMM Ahhhhaha hahwhaaaaaa CAAAALLLL THEEEEE POOOOLIEEEEECE.

But she didn’t. She didn’t call the police. Everyone just stood back. Finally, I ran out the door. Much to my disappointment, no one followed, probably because it was raining and I wasn’t wearing shoes. I remember tromping out in the field in front of the house, falling down on my hands and knees, waiting for someone to come chasing after me. No one came. I was pounding my fists in the mud very dramatically like, “as god as my witness.” Finally, when I realized no one was coming, I was like, “fuck it I’m out of here. I’m running away.”

As a child, I ran away from home a million times. I did it to get attention. The impetus always being the image I had in my mind of people panicking when they noticed I was gone and searching for me. I first got the Idea when I was about five and I read the book, “A Baby Sister for Frances”. Frances was this totally cool little Badger and she has a series of stories about her that me and my sister and my cousins were really into. The best in the series by far is, "Bread a Jam for Frances." But in this particular story, Frances gets a baby sister named, “Gloria” and she becomes so upset that she runs away under the kitchen table. Her parents pretend not to know that she’s there and they sit at the table and talk about her, “I sure do miss Frances, don’t you?” “Bread and Jam was Frances’ favorite, pity she isn’t here to enjoy some with us now.” And finally of course, Frances pops up and everyone pretends to be so relieved that she’s returned.

I ran away under the living room table because the kitchen table was connected to the wall and you couldn’t put a table cloth over it to hide under. It did not achieve the exact effect I had hoped but I stayed under there for a while and I got some attention for it. I would continue to run away many many more times after this and nine times out of ten, no one noticed when I did it. I wasn’t patient enough. I would always come back way too soon because I was so bored and no one would say a thing. Once though, in a moment of pure inspiration, I ran away into the bathroom. I was about nine. I brought with me my Miss Piggy sleeping bag and a bowl of fruit. I figured that fruit would hold me for a while. I planned on staying in there until I was a teenager. I had this whole fantasy played out in my mind about emerging from the bathroom and everyone just not believing how beautiful I had turned out to be. I also imagined that my dad would build a little trap door at the bottom of the actual door where my mother and sister would slide a food tray through to me. I didn’t figure on my dad having an actual key to the bathroom door – which he did. My sister had gone to him crying that I had locked myself in the bathroom and he immediately went and got the key and opened the door. I was shocked that my plan had ended so quickly. I had only been in there about 15 minutes. I had just finished brushing my hair. He wasn’t mad at me when he came in though. He asked my why I was so upset that I wanted to run away. I can’t remember what I told him.

Being a teenager sucks ass and I will tell you why, as I’m sure you’re all dying to know. You’re coming into yourself, your own identity, all you want is to be independent, to express your ideas about who you are and you have all of this EXPENDABLE ENERGY and SEXUAL ENERGY coursing around in you like a raging war of worlds but you are lacking one major, necessary thing, on extremely necessary thing and that thing is money. You have no money and no way of getting any significant sum of money and that means you have absolutely no power. It means that when you run out into the rain with no shoes on, no one chases after you. No one chases after you because they know, you ain’t gettin very far…

(to be continued after work - sorry busy day!)


At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Adrien-Alice said...

I, too, followed Francis' lead and ran away ALL THE TIME as a kid, with sandwich cookies and little songs, a la our beloved badger. Which went ok until I got some stepsiblings, who were enough older that they'd actually been told things like "running away hurts people's feelings," and they kind of had an intervention. Then then my dad left their mom, but I'd grown out of it by then.

But enough of my story. I'm just lurking around waiting for more of yours.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger la Ketch said...

she was a badger! i said hedgehog. i have to change that. thanks for reading!

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Adrien-Alice said...

I think she was a badger--she had those two little teeth that she brushed with her dad in the mirror in BEDTIME FOR FRANCIS. Plus, hedgehogs live in hedges. Not like badgers, who need houses and aprons and songs.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Brikin Blog said...

um, lunch has been over for quite some time...

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Eve said...

I FEEL you, girlfriend!

My dad had an ex-girlfriend who was just terrible, and she brought out the just terrible in me. We barely spoke, but I think the last thing I said to her was, "You drunken cow!" And she probably replied, "MOOOOoooOOOOO! (burp)"

Love these stories!!!


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