Thursday, February 28, 2008

Paper Steak

There's a very good reason I don't often write about my childhood. I had a rough go of it. And so did my father. He watched as his wife, eight of his nine children, and his second wife died of various and sundry tradegies that included but were not limited to scarlet fever, tornado damage, and a pogo-stick mishap. I'm afraid that all of these tragedies got the best of my father, destroying his hope and ambition. Seeing the house foreclosed on, the cars repossessed, and the rest of our possessions sold at auction didn't seem to faze him. He simply shrugged his shoulders and walked away. I followed him, for I had nowhere else to go.

The hard times, they a-came.

My father and I bounced around from shack to shack. He stopped eating. At first I got nourishment from trash cans and road sides. After a time, I resorted to begging, and then to using my imagination. I began cutting pictures of food out of discarded magazines, and I attached these pictures to the wall of whichever shack we were squatting in. It was what we called "cold comfort."

To cheer up my father during these dark times, I wrote a song. And it goes a little something like this: