I’m thinking that for the most part, for now anyway, “It’s All Good-The Adventures of Shala Good” is going to be a weekly kind of deal. But from time to time I will throw in a little bonus post for dat ass, just to keep the old juices flowing and to keep me from needing to wedge some fabulous but random tidbit into a real post where it doesn’t belong. (Now I have the “Sesame Street” tune, “One of These Things is Not Like the Others”, stuck in my head.) Anyway, without further adieu, I bring you the first ever, BONUS POST:
Conversations With My Mother
My mother is always getting mad at me for not being able to remember people I have absolutely no business remembering. It usually happens when she’s having a conversation with someone else. She’ll turn to me and say something like, “Shala, what’s the name of that kid who sang at our church that time?” And I’ll say “Which church?” and she’ll say, ” In Hallsville!” In a tone that say’s “Don’t fuck with me, Shala. You know damn well which church.” Except my mom rarely EVER says “fuck” or damn”. Her tone says it a LOT though.
Now let me stop right here to give you a bit of background. When I was a little kid, we moved around a bunch because of my dad’s job (which had to do with insulating power plants). We lived in a different house in a different town, roughly every 18-30 months or so. So when I ask, “which church” I am not just being a smarty pants. We went to shit loads of churches. Baptist ones. Anyway, back to my example:
“Sorry.” I’ll say. “But how the HELL am I supposed to remember, that? I was four!” “Watch your mouth!” she’ll gasp. (“Watch your mouth, dammit!” gasps her tone) And then I’ll take a weary breath and explain to her that “It’s a darn MIRACLE that I can even remember making napkin rings out of slices of toilet paper roll (not the whole roll, the core part. The cob? Tube? That.) at that church, because I was four and that most people have no clear memories before the age of seven or so!” And then she’ll glare into my eyes (because I’m clearly fucking with her? Faking pre-school era amnesia? I don’t even know.) before heaving a gusty sigh and returning to her original conversation with the person with whom she was originally conversating, about someone who sang at our church. thirty. two. years. ago. !
Another favorite conversational topic of Mom’s is one that also happens to have taken place over thirty years ago; The (admittedly) harrowing account of her ten month pregnancy and 76 hour labor that resulted in me drowning on my own shit and DYING* in her uterus! Obviously, they were able to bring me back though, so It’s All Good (see what I did there?). Her favorite part of this story is the part where she wakes up after like 3 days to the smell of cigarette smoke coming from the bed next to her (it was the 70’s) and my dad and grandma are waiting there to tell her she now has a baby girl named, ‘Shayla’! At which point her Demerol injection kicked in, resulting in vivid hallucinations of my uncle wearing a “beautiful shirt with Christmas lights on it” as well as the tragic misspelling of my name on my ACTUAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE (yeah, “Oh fuck!) ! Hence “Shala” without a ‘Y’. And so it was, that on a lovely October day, the first cold day of the year, my parents bundled baby me into my dads Pick-Up truck (without a car seat) And drove me to the yellow, scorpion infested house where my first 2.5 years of adventure would take place.
Last month, just a few days before my birthday I was saying to Ol’ Momzie how much I was enjoying the cold weather and that the first cold day of the year is always one of my all time faves. She excitedly pointed out the fact of my being born during the first cold snap of 1978 and speculated that this was perhaps the subconscious reason behind my preference. And then she paused for a second and (I swear on the souls of a thousand kittens) asked, “What was the name of that girl I shared a room with? The one who had a little girl at the same time as me?” And I was like, “seriously? I was a newborn! How could I possibly remember that?” At which she sighed and said, “I really worry about your mind sometimes, Shala. You can’t remember anything.”
* I suspect my early voyage into the the great unknown is at least somewhat responsible for my mild psychic abilities and my knack for accidentally picking haunted houses to rent.