Monday, January 23, 2012

waking up with the house on fire

picture it...winter...the year

i had cashed in my recycable cans that i had collected around my town
(and no...not because i wanted to help save the planet...gimme a break...i was only 14...the only thing i was hell bent on save'n at this particular point in time was my ass and sanity at the catholic school i was forced to go to)

add'n to that...some of my paper route money from the shopper i delivered
after pay'n off my brother's that helped me and gett'n my weekly sugar fix

i had earned enough green backs to purchase the much anticipated primitive musical apparatus...known as a cassette...from my fav-o-rit singer
of all time...and FYI...YES he still is to this very get over it already!

Culture Club's "WAKING UP WITH THE HOUSE ON FIRE" was all mine
at the time...i would'a sold my only sister to have those flame red locks

i ended up have'n to buy the cassette 2 more times though...cuz my tape player decided to have the 1st 2 copies fer an afternoon lunch snack
but at 14...this was a very devistating event...for ME!

that same year...Drew Barrymore appeared in Stephen King's "Firestarter"
and at only 10 years old...she was burn'n up the movie screen's everywhere

one turned into a devistating event...the other was a disasterous event

picture it...december 8th...the year

music legend John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono had returnd home that nite from the record'n studio...mix'n their song "walking on thin ice"
Lennon wanted to be home in time to say goodnight to his son Sean before goin' out fer dinner with Ono...unfortunately Lennon decided to not have his driver go thru the security gates at the Dakota build'n and he was shot by a paranoid schizophrenic who Lennon had signed an autograph for...only a few hours early that same he tried to enter his home

that same nite...though i was not cutt'n any musical album...i had dinner and i remember talk'n to my 4 year old brother Sean before bed

sometime in the middle of that cold snowy nite...i was awoken from my sleep...and i was literally...wake'n up with the house on fire
i remember very little from that nite 31 years ago

it's like try'n to put together a gigantic puzzle of yer life...
but some of the pieces are miss'n and others don't seem to match up!

i recall stand'n outside in the the snow my pajamas...
with all of my siblings in to our green station wagon

except for my 4 year old brother Sean...who...for whatever reason...
was not shuffled outside with the rest of us...into the cold winter nite

my oldest brother Jim was live'n with my aunt at the time...and my dad had passed away 12 months earlier from instictively...i felt like i was the "man of the house" and needed to go back inside the house to search for for my brother Sean

i remember being told to get the fire extinguisher by the wood pile in the basement..and as i ran down the long staircase to our basement...
i seen our german shepard Mickey pace'n back and forth in a circle by the basement door want'n to get without hesitation...i opened the door and let him run off into the cold snowy nite to safety

as i turned back...i spotted the fire extinguisher next to the pile of wood...
frantically...i tried to pry it free...but my 10 year old strength was no match for the ice that had now held the extinguisher in a choke hold against the pile of wood

so back up the basement staircase i ran...thru the unfinished room on the second floor my dad had started build'n a couple of years before so all 8 of us would have our own bedroom...and raced up another flight of stairs to the 3rd floor to search for my brother Sean

by this point...the snap...crackle...pop of the flames had intensified
to the point that i could feel it bake'n my skin like the hot desert sun

once i had reached the top of the stairs to our bedrooms...the smoke was as thick as molassess in january...make'n it impossible to see anything
all i could see in front of me were flames dance'n around like stay'n alive

the next flashback was my mom's fist bang'n on our neighbors door...
a half mile down the let us in and call the fire department

as we all gathered in their basement...i remember sitt'n on the couch and watch'n the special news report that nite...that John Lennon had been shot

the rest of the events from that nite have become just small pieces of memory from a puzzled moment in time...and though it comes to me in small pockets of time during my dreams still after all these years...or when some close relationship comes to an end whether it be intimate...with family or with friends

i always end up feel'n like i'm wake'n up with the house on fire

2 people taken by tragedy in one nite

one by a disasterous turn of events

the other by a devistating turn of events

2 events...4 years apart...both devistating and disasterous moments of time...each in their own respect

it's funny how people compare and contrast certain events or situations
a polaroid of time that stays with you forever...while other snapshots taken have been discarded and deleted from your memory a contact from yer cell pone

after years of being charged to sit on someone's couch to fumble thru my scrapbook of memories....wish'n i could take a much better many of us do with our own lives from time to time...maybe it's time for me to just get off my dress?