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My Story Part 6

April 18, 2008

Part 6 ~ Mantua

We moved to Mantua, Ohio nearing the end of kindergarten. I completely remember my first day because it was kind of warm out and when I got home my mom wasn’t there. I was alone in a new place and I was six years old. The logical thing to me at the time was for me to wander around the neighborhood to find my mom. I didn’t just walk sidewalks though, I just meandered through peoples’ yards. I remember walking into one yard and a little girl started to walk out her front door. She had dark blonde hair and was wearing a sundress with a huge strawberry on it. It’s funny how you remember those things. The little girl, Jackie was her name, has been my best friend for 24 years now. She yelled for her mom and her mom appeared at the door. She asked my name and luckily she knew my dad. She had Jackie walk me home.
My mom stayed with us until I was 12. The months before she left were filled with mysterious shopping trips alone and once she took me to a picnic at some guys house who I had never met. Right before Easter that year she announced she was moving out. She left my dad alone with my two younger brothers and me. She has remained in and out of my life, but mostly just out.
My friends became my family and their moms became my mom.
My dad took my brothers, me and my friend Jackie to Florida once when I was about 13. We all piled into an old giant station wagon and headed south. Shortly after we left we broke down in KY. We found a shop and left the wagon and checked into a hotel. The next day while waiting around the shop for the car to be finished Frank, my little brother who was about 6, had to go to the bathroom. The bathroom was around the back of the shop, but so was a giant black dog. Rather than go any further, Frank opted to poop his pants. He then came back and told my dad that he was really sick. My dad then proceeded to put his poop underwear in a ziplock bag and held it up for everyone to see and kept saying, “that boy’s sick!”
Another time my dad was taking us to Florida again, this time it was my two brothers, two of my girlfriend and me. My dad rented a van and we were on our way. We got about 20 minutes from home before we slammed into the car in front of us. My dad was showing my brother Frank who was in the passenger seat, the lights on the mirror on the visor. Frank hit his head on the windshield, my brother Mikes head was wedged in between the seat and window, my friend Krista rolled to the front of the van and I don’t even remember what happened to me. I know that we were all sitting on the side of a busy road in our baggy traveling clothes like a band of homeless. We had to go to the police station and file a report and they kept asking Frank if he hit his head but he wouldn’t admit it. Turns out Frank was just taking one for the team, if he didn’t hit his head then he didn’t have to go to the hospital and we could all get on the road to Florida. We had one of those luggage holder tops on the van and my dad was constantly asking what that sound was and if we thought it was the turtle top coming loose. Pretty soon my friend Kristie and I would bang on the windows and say that we thought the top was coming loose. I don’t know how many times he stopped the van. Every single road trip we would go on, when we would get close to Florida he would try to spot alligators. Now I don’t think they hang out on 95 south but he was convinced. Every single popped tire on the side of the road he would see, he would scream ALLIGATOR! Every one.
Things continued on this way for 6 more years, until I finally graduated and got the holy hell out of dodge.
Things pretty much continued this way until I finally moved out.

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