Is it weird that I don't have very many childhood memories? I know some people who can rattle off years of their young lives like they're reading from a diary. I have just hazy glimpses. I suppose it's good enough to just remember being happy and loved and taken care of (I have that in spades) but it would be nice to have a few more recollections of actual events. So when a memory comes to me I try to pinpoint it and then see if I can remember anything else from that specific era.
A memory from the 5th grade came to me this morning and this is all I can pull from that year:
1. Mr. O'Clock gets off the phone and announces to us that the Challenger exploded. Someone laughs and Mr. O'Clock gets really upset at him. (I've told you about Mr. O'Clock, right? Art Garfunkle look-alike. Drove a Carmen Ghia. Sensitive soul.)
2. We are reading The Outsiders out loud in class. Johnnycakes dies. I lay my head down on the desk and start to cry. I do not feel embarrassed, which is strange because later in life it will take me years and years to not feel embarrassed about crying in public when no one else is. When I look up I notice that not a single person in the room is devastated by this. It is the first time my heart gets broken over a book and also the first time I recognize that not every one's heart gets touched in the same way.
3. We are in line to go into the class and a group of kids are playing with an injured potato bug. Mr. O'Clock walks up and stomps on the bug and says, "Never let a creature suffer like that."
You guys, 5th grade appears to have been very heavy.