So, I keep starting the story and there is just no flow to it so I have to discard it. Maybe it is all the changes going on in my life or maybe my creative juices are refueling. Somehow I think it is where I left off. It was painful being away from my mother and yet I was terrified of her at the same time. Maybe a part of me is still processing that physical severance from her. Whatever it is, it is postponing the next part to the story.
So, I thought I would share a few memories until Chapter 4 comes to me that probably will not make it into the story but are vivid quick movie like memories I have nonetheless. These little tidbits have been demanding some air time.
As I have said, my aunt Anita (we called her Nita or Neeters) was someone I was very close to. She was my babysitter, actually she was everyone’s babysitter, and she was the person I saw most frequently from my mother’s family. She was the second youngest of my mom’s siblings and probably the funniest out of the bunch. She had a crass sense of humor, a big heart and an even bigger laugh. She stayed friends with my dad for the rest of her life. I believe she was 16 years old when I was born; she was definitely my protector. You see I have this belief that we all have a little ghetto in us. Ya know that “oh no you din’ent” part of you that only comes out when pushed into the right circumstances? Well, Nita’s was always kinda close to the surface. For some people their ghetto is under extreme duress but for Nita it was under the third layer of her skin. Nita could take care of business and God help anyone who hurt someone she loved. Anyways, my mom and dad had separated. My dad moved to an apartment complex where his new friends lived. My mom playing the part of scorned woman decided to move to the same complex. It freaked out my dad in a “am I being stalked by my baby momma?” way but he felt it was good nonetheless since he could be closer to me.
Nita was my babysitter. There were a lot of kids in this apartment complex and it was probably not the best area of town but not the worst. These kids were ratty scrappy lookin kids. They were grunge before people knew what grunge was. One kid in particular was a bully. I remember him clearly. Blond wavy hair, tan shorts, never had his shirt on, dark brown freckles and much bigger than my 2 year old self. He was the kinda kid who is probably in prison today and not ever getting out. He used to kick dogs and throw rocks at cats. He was a frightening child and unusually cruel. Some might say he was not hugged enough as a child.
Well, Nita had bought me a tricycle. A beautiful red tricycle that was my very own. I loved this new found freedom of riding in circles around my auntie and her laughing hysterically at my joy. One day… isn’t always one day? … Nita was inside watching television and I was outside. It was the morning time and the sun was just starting to heat up the concrete. I was cruising around in my “allowed” area of exploration on my tricycle (which was about 10 feet from the door) feeling happy and quite independent. Out comes the little blond 6 year old sociopath from the bushes which were just outside the fence that enclosed the pool. He had his Peanut gang following him. He walked in front of my joy ride and told me that if I did not get off his new tricycle he would push me off and beat me up. I started to cry. Tears burning my blue eyes as I reluctantly surrendered my new pride and joy. He hopped on it and off he went even though he was a little too big for this toy.
Defeated and distraught I went inside for some comfort from Nita. I was crying so hard she thought I had injured myself. She kept asking me “Where are you hurt? Where are you hurt? Are you bleeding?” I finally calmed down and told her what had happened. Hell hath no fury than a pissed off aunt who is watching her niece monumentally upset. Nita told me to wait by the front door for her. It was not long before she came back with the sociopath turned little boy. He had one cheek that was slightly more red than the other. Had she hit him? She held his arm as he pushed my tricycle toward me. He apologized to me, reluctantly. This set Nita off. And I mean off! Her hair lit on fire. Her eyes squinted with furor. She crouched down to his eye level and I will never forget what she said “This is my niece you little piece of shit. If you ever make her cry again, I will hurt you. I WILL FUCKING HURT YOU. You gonna try dat apology one mo’ time.” Oh yes she did. She threatened a 6 year old. Her eyes must have been blazing because he looked at me and said “I am really sorry I stole your tricycle.” She let go of his arm and he ran like the wind. Nita looked down and told me “No one will ever hurt you. I will make sure of that.”
No, his mother never came to confront my Nita and yes he resisted from screwin around with me again. My Nita forever became my protector after that. She had saved me from feeling anxious of the little blond boy after that incident. It could have been one of those personality shaping moments for me as a child, but I think that experience was saved for the little blond boy. He stayed away from me and our apartment after that. I saw him every now and then with his Peanut gang but they always kept their distance. Remember …. Nita was not too far away.