Today I am to think of childhood experiences, for good or for bad, that left a lasting impression upon me. I've talked about them other places. I'm supposed to list five or ten and pick from them one that wants to be written about. I don't know about that. It doesn't appeal to me. I guess it doesn't matter. You can't always do what appeals to you.
I remember distinctly so few childhood experiences that almost all of them I do remember must have left a lasting impression on me.
1. Sitting underneath a tree for shade in the hot summer time with friends, then dozing off, and then waking up knowing that I had missed some important conversation and possibly some activity.
2. Taking a bath.
3. Breaking the glass in the coffee table.
4. Going with my dad to salvage lumber at Hill Air Force Base.
5. Having my nose busted by Brent.
6. The announcement of the winners in the decathlon contest at my elementary school.
7. Digging out the dirt underneath the house in Clearfield.
8. Cleaning out the attic in sunset.
9. My grandma cussing out Helen Dunn.
10. Going to the movies with my sister.
Now, the idea is to select one of the above and then to freewrite about it for ten minutes.
Okay. I've written about it before, but I will write about it again here. Number five.
My best guess is that it happened in the springtime. For some reason it seems like the leaves on the fruit trees behind Tom's house were fresh and perhaps in blossom. In any event, we had gathered there behind his house early and had enough time to spare to play before leaving for school. I'm thinking we were all sixth-graders, eleven or twelve years old. I think it was that sixth year because that is the only year I think I had classes with both of them, Tom and Brent. It may have occurred in fourth grade, however, and I'm just not remembering clearly.
It surprises me to think that we had gathered there early enough to mess around with a bat and ball before heading out to school. My recollection of behavior from back then is that I generally left home and went straight to school without any deviation. However, on this particular occasion, my father was home asleep and my mother was at work. I wouldn't have remembered that except for what happened.
Tom was pitching the ball, and Brent and I were taking turns batting. For some reason, I'm pretty certain that it was Brent's bat, however, I could be totally wrong about that. The edge of the bat around the bottom that permits a batter to keep his grip when swinging all out had been partially knocked or chipped away --- maybe the bat was old and had been mistreated or whatever. Anyway, Brent was up. While Tom was retrieving the ball, Brent was swinging the bat with all of his might. I was waiting for my turn at bat. The next thing I knew, however, the bat was headed straight for me, and there was nothing I could do about it. I didn't even have time to raise my hands up to protect myself. It came around from its twirl and caught me directly in the nose, moving my nose beneath my eye.
Blood gushed out my nose. I guess I started howling and moving toward home, and home was about a half a block away, so I was leaving a gruesome trail of red blood along the sidewalk all of the way. I wasn't paying attention to who was following me or anything. I was just headed for home. I don't remember much, other than my father told me to stick my head in the sink --- although my father always said zink instead of sink --- so I wasn't dripping blood all over.
Eventually, he packed me up and took me down to the clinic to Dr. Peterson, a tall man who was slender and older than my father. Dr. Peterson put crowbar-like instrument in my nose and moved my snoze back where it should be.
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