Friday, August 16, 2013

(Don't Fear) The Reaper

I had a nightmare as a kid about the bogey man climbing up through a hole in the bedroom closet floor. He wore a harlequin suit, had a spiked nose to match the knife he carried, and cut my hand off when I turned on the light switch next to the closet. For years, I used a pencil or ruler to flick the switch from outside the room, fearing having him leave me with a bloody stump.

Then there was this crazy neighbor with red hair and freckles who had even crazier friends.  They tied me to the weeping willow tree in the front yard, put tent caterpillars all over my face and body, and said they would kill me if I cried.  My mother chased them away as they watched caterpillars crawl on my hair, lips and around my nose.  To this day, I still cringe when I see tent caterpillar nests in trees.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tattoo You

I have to admit that I am totally fascinated by tattoos. And tattoos seem to be everywhere and on everyone but on me.

The first tattoo I remember was a great-uncle who had a Popeye-like anchor on his forearm.  It was dark blue and sort of faded, and I wondered where and why he got it.  Because he was a chain smoker with a loud, barking cough whenever he spoke I never asked him about it, thinking that he would cough up a lung with his answer.