Saturday, April 17, 2010

Morning Routine


Excerpt from, "1970 - Ground Zero," a book I am writing.

Each morning my biological father, Alfredo, would walk me to nursery school just a few blocks outside of USC.  In the afternoon he would come to the school and walk me home. Sometimes I would walk beside him, and other times he’d carry me on his shoulders.  I remember holding onto his thin Hawaiian shirt with my hands around his neck and the feel of the sharp bounce with each of his brisk footsteps.  We were only two blocks away from the school, so it wasn’t a long walk.

Most of the mornings were cold, and while walking, I tended to notice the unevenness of the sidewalk slabs, where weeds were growing out of cracks in the cement, and places where work had been done and patched up in the road or on the walkway.  I distinctly remember that at the Northwest corner of where our street hit the nearby main street, the intersection of Scarf Street and Adams Blvd, there was one of many old Victorian style houses.  This house was shades of brown and tan, made of wood and stone, and it always seemed cold to me, as if it had just rained on their plot of land every day.  

Where the sidewalks of the two streets intersected, there was a small, flimsy railing made of iron pipe, the kind of pipe that might supply a park water fountain with it’s water.  The railing was only on the corner of the property and was well aligned with the exception of one end of it, which had seemed to have sunken into the ground.  Every day that I passed this anomaly, some part of me wanted to mend the railing so that it would stand properly.

I think from the very beginning of my life, I was extremely observant and always looking for clues to things that were in some way awry or covered over.  I must have been seeking regularity and predictability in my otherwise chaotic environment.