Y Un Gran Estrella

My great-grandmother once sold a watermelon to Kevin Von Erich. Or was it Kerry? Hell, I don’t know. What I do know is that she was working at a little fruit stand on the side of an old country road in Bowie, Texas. Just outside of where she used to live, in the little town of Sunset.

From what I’m told, you could find her glued to the television set during episodes of World Class Championship Wrestling. She’d watch from her rocking chair as The Fabulous Freebirds battled it out with The Von Erichs in the Dallas Sportatorium.

Now, some folk’ll tell you not count all your eggs in one basket, but I’ll bet dicks to sawdust that you’ll never sell a piece a fruit to your favorite wrestler.

Deaf Before Dishonor

Just like my vision, my hearing is for shit. I’m constantly popping my ears so that I can hear properly. They are forever ringing throughout each and every day.

I once punched my mom in the face. Her resulting black eye was a product of my post anesthetic haze. The doctor said it was normal for a child to blame one of their parents for having to undergo surgery.

My tonsils were removed due to constant ear infections. Before that I had several sets of tubes put in my ears to deal with the frequent drainage. It was very irritating, to say the least.

Each procedure left my eardrums with a new layer of scar tissue. They’d rip one set out, and put another one in. One morning I shot myself in the ears with a water gun, removing the tube in my right ear. My mom was super pissed. We had just been at the doctors’ office the previous morning getting new ones.

I’ve had to smile and nod my way through a lot in life. I can only ask someone to repeat themselves so many times before they get fed up with me, and end the conversation. 

The Eyes Have It

My first experience with altering my consciousness was rolling my eyes in the back of my head for as long as I could stand; a ̀ la The Undertaker.

I loved the warm, fuzzy sensation it produced in the middle of my head. It left colorful streaks of light floating throughout a growing tunnel of darkness in my line of vision. My first ever exposure to any sort of self induced visual hallucination.

My third grade teacher didn’t seem to appreciate it as much. I had unknowingly been staring her down like some sort of possessed demon child the entire school year. Finally fed up with my lack of participation, she called my mom and arranged a parent/teacher conference to discuss my behavior.

It’d be another year before anyone figured out I needed glasses.

“Luciano, Stop the Turn!”

Last night I saw a family of mice sharing a croissant in the park. I watched them nibble at pieces of the outer crust while listening to the sounds of the soccer game that was taking place behind me. The grass seemed to dance around them while gas generators lit up the field in harmonious combustion. I wish there’d been a Mr. Softee truck around.

Tell ‘em What They’ve Won!

I’m not entirely sure why I started “Weekly Dollar Diaries”. It was partially an experiment to test out the PayPal donate button that I had added to the blog, and a way for me to write about something other than my silly childhood memories.

It’s easy to see the flaws in the idea now. I was constricting myself with a deadline, which I had never done before, and forcing inspirado. In the entire week that the contest was open I received only one donation, which is one more than expected, and that donation came by way of Rachel Hitzfeld.

My favorite dum-dum’s lollypop has always been the question mark emblazoned “mystery” flavor. I know what you’re thinking; “mystery” isn’t really a flavor. Well, fuck you, Buddy!

I used to sort through the free bowl of dum-dum’s at Planet Utopia looking only for the mystery flavor. I hated when it ended up being popcorn, but that’s the price you pay when flirting with the unknown.

Friday the Thirteenth Part 10: The Divorcening

I still remember the day my mom left my dad and moved out for good. It was Friday, August the thirteenth, in the year of our lord, nineteen hundred and ninety-three. I know this because it was the day that “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday” was released in theaters.

It was quite the scene in our little cookie cutter home that day. My mom was crying and packing clothes into her bag, while my dad was following her around the house and yelling about how she couldn’t have this or that, because it was his and he paid for it. I sat crying in my room until my mom came in and said she would be staying at my aunts’ house for a little while, and that I could call her there if I needed anything. Before she left, I wanted to give her something valuable, something she could look at and remember me by. I gave her my most prized possession at the time, my 1992 Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez rookie card.

My dad decided to take me to the movies, I guess to try and get my mind off of what just went down. It was probably the single greatest movie experience a little boy ever had. Because my parents had just split that day, I was not only able to use that as leverage to getting my dad to let me see “Jason Goes to Hell” but I also got candy, popcorn, soda. The works! I realized at that instant being the product of a broken home wasn’t going to be that bad.

After the movie my dad took me to my grandparents’ house. They sat me down and asked me all these questions about my mom, and if I knew the other man she was seeing. It sucked. I sat there crying, admitting to knowing about it, and listening to them say all these horrible things about my mom. I never wanted to go home so bad in my entire life, I just wanted out of there.

When my dad and I finally got back home that night, we noticed right away that more than a few things were missing. The living room was practically empty, void of any furniture or television. My mom had moved all the stuff out while we were at the movies.

When I woke up the next day I wasn’t really mad that I couldn’t watch Saturday morning cartoons, just real disappointed.

Dog Gone It

Like most kids, I had several pets growing up. A cat named “Bell” that was shot through the heart. Seriously, I found him crying underneath my mom’s ’83 Monte Carlo one summer day. Some asshole actually shot and killed my cat with a bow and arrow.

The only dogs that I ever owned were named “Sugar” and “Booger Bear”. They ran away constantly, and eventually for good. Sugar, being the bigger of the two, would just jump over the fence no problem. Booger Bear on the other hand, dug under the fence, and that would piss my dad off to no end. His solution? An electrical fence! A two foot high metal trellis that sent a shocking pain through the spine of any creature that dare touch it. The thing is he hardly ever turned it on. I guess he figured the dogs got shocked the initial few times and learned their lesson. So any time a ball or any of my other toys would go flying over the fence, I would just hop right on over and fetch it. Useless dogs!

Anyway, months go by with the fence turned off, and the dogs finally get out again. My dad is in full on rage mode when the dogs return, and cranks the fence to the max. For some reason he neglects to inform me of this and I go venturing over the fence. ZAP! Four volts straight to the balls as I whipped my leg up and over the fence. I ran back inside, crying the whole way, and explained to my mom what happened. She and my dad got into it for a little while, and the fence came down.

The dogs took off for good shortly after that, they had learned their lesson. It would still take me a good thirteen years to learn mine.

And the Rocket’s Red Glare

I imagine it must have been pretty disappointing for my parents when I was a kid. My greatest achievement came at the age of 4 when I received the “Bulldog of the Year” award from my elementary school. It would be all downhill from there.

That summer I would start tee ball, where I was the worst player on the team. Ah, the Cardinals. The whole team must’ve hated my guts, and I don’t blame them. I couldn’t throw or hit the ball very well, and I definitely couldn’t catch, so coach stuck me in left field. Just before our first game I managed to stain the front of my jersey with ketchup that I was eating straight from the individual squeeze packet. Now, I’d like to think that the resulting grass stuck to said ketchup was from some game winning diving catch I made in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t. I managed to fall face first onto the ground from the bleachers before the game even started.

One game I was given a warning for hitting the umpire in the ankle with my bat. On the off chance that I did actually get a hit, I would just let go of the bat mid backswing instead of setting it down. I did score a run once, running all the way from first to home. The only reason I made it was because the outfielder threw the ball as I was rounding second base and it hit me in my big fat head.

After every game we’d get a free sno-cone from the concession stand. My favorite was rainbow.

Potted Meat Sandwiches

That’s what my mom used to make me for lunch as a kid. Mrs. Baird’s very own white bread, spread corner to corner with Armor’s finest potted meat. I was no stranger to vienna sausages either. Fried bologna sandwiches? You betcha!

The house I grew up in was infested with cockroaches. Shit sucked, but what could we do? Try as they might, my parents set traps, sprayed all kinds of dangerous chemicals, called professionals in; nothing worked. Our house was at the bottom of the hill in front of the gutter, when it rained our whole yard was flooded. That brought roaches of all kinds. Big, small, hissing, i’m talking everything from babies to blue ribbon award winning championship roaches.

When my parents divorced and my mom moved out, I basically had control of the house. I came and went as I pleased. I’d give my dad some vague story about where I was going, who I’d be with, what we were doing. It didn’t matter, he knew none of it was true. Unbeknownst to me, he had been recording my phone conversations. I found the tape recorder he was using hidden under his bed. It had all kinds of incriminating calls I had made on there. Lots of drugs deals, conversations with friends about the lies we were construing for the weekend. A lot of ins and outs!

I moved out shortly after that. My dad never said anything or confronted me about the phone calls on that tape, and I never really spoke to him too much after that. I’d call every now and then, but he’d never answer. His machine would always pick up, imagine that. I never leave a message.

Dang!

When I was kid I liked my cereal soggy. I mean, pour a bowl and leave it in the fridge for 10 minutes, soggy. Before devouring the mushy mess I would drink the milk straight from the bowl. The last bit of milk would be a grainy sludge due to all the added sugar. Then, and only then could I begin to enjoy the actual cereal. Fast forward 20 or so years, and here I sit; a grown ass man waiting on his cereal to get soggy.