Monday, November 28, 2011

I was so surprised

I was so surprised.  I still am.

I was very surprised when my father said to come outside and meet my new little sister.  I had no idea!

I was very surprised too when my mother came up to the car after a long drive with my father and she told me that my cousin, aged 6 and one year older than me, had died of a brain clot.

I was surprised when my mother said she got a phone call that I had returned to school after lunch in 1st grade wearing a pre-tied long-style necktie around my neck above a t-shirt.  The teacher suspected it was a fashion move I had made on my own.  

I was surprised in 3rd grade when my pants split open during a quick duck in dodge ball, and when I arrived at the shoemaker with only one shoe, having dropped one on the way without noticing.  Also, when a girl handed out music books in class and accidentally brushed my lip and I fell instantly but temporarily in love.

It was amazing but nasty when I swallowed the cud of chewing tobacco in 6th grade.  My father had told me to chew all of it if I tried it at all.  I figured it might be fun but found it was terrible-tasting.  I didn't realize that the stuff was only for chewing and thought I would end the problem by swallowing it.  I tried to tell myself the nausea was a figment of my imagination but it wasn't.

After my junior year of college, I was surprised at how immediately clear the next step was for me when I received a long, tortured letter at the summer camp in Maine from Lynn in Florida.  We had been trying to bridge the distance with phone calls that we couldn't really afford.  The letter did it.  I quit the job on the spot and got a ride to Portland and a bus to Florida.  

I was surprised when the boy who had seemed quite upset confessed that he had vomited on our pile of class writing paper, only to see him pick up his rubber gag mess and burst out laughing.  

I was unpleasantly surprised to find I had gone to great effort to obtain plenty of Czech currency only find that I didn't need it but I did need a lot of German marks to pay our group bill.  It was a weekend and nothing was open to convert.  We were shocked to find the restaurant with the Visa sign in the window didn't take credit cards because the store was under new owners who had neglected to remove the sign.

Life is really full of surprises and I am surprised I don't' seem to be able to remember that.

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