As some of you know, I’ve been working on writing my own memoir. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, The Bloggess’s book, has encouraged me to really get on it and stop dilly-dallying, so that’s why I haven’t been ever-so-present in the blogging world. But I promised to share some of my writing with you, my loyal followers, and so that’s what I’m here to do. I figure most apps and webpages and whatnot allow you to read the first few pages of books anyway, so I’ll give you the first two pages of mine. Even though I’m only on the third.
I’d like honest feedback. Would you want to keep reading? Should I start another way, or add more, or take some out? Let me know what you think — unless I get picked up by a publisher (which, let’s admit, is super hard to do) you guys will be my editors.
Also, I always planned on naming my memoir Tempestuous, because of my name and all, but now I’m thinking I Don’t Remember might be more suitable, because a very main theme of the book will be all of the things I don’t remember, instead of the things I do. I’m not sure, and probably won’t know the actual title until I’m finished, which could be years from now.
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I don’t remember much of my childhood, because, well, I was a fucking kid. Sure, there are stories and pictures, but I don’t really remember any of it. I never understood how people could tell all these stories about their childhoods like it happened yesterday. Honestly, I think they’re lying. I think they think they remember, but their memories are really just stories passed down like mine.
Like all the times my mom would take me to the beach as a baby and pass out as I played merrily in the sand, and didn’t try to run off to my death. Could you imagine that today? A mother napping peacefully as her toddler plays beside her with found sharp objects. Ten people would be calling child services while another five would be arguing over who would be the one to save me from the horrible woman. Then again, that’s what I picture because my son would never be as well-behaved as I was as a child.
And I was. Really well-behaved. So well-behaved I barely even complained when I found out that my bedroom was really a closet my parents had converted into a closet-sized bedroom. That’s a lie – I totally freaked out and still hassle them about it to this day. But still, I was pretty well-behaved.
Well-behaved enough to be trusted sitting atop a bar when I was one-year-old while my mother downed a few. The owners still say I was their youngest customer.
Well-behaved enough to be taken to Bike Week when I was approximately 18-months-old, and pose for a picture in a magazine all cute-like just hanging out in my baby Bjorn on my mother’s back. Or front, whichever. (Seriously, that picture in that magazine exists somewhere.)
But, my parents did name me Tempest, after all, so the adorable phase couldn’t last forever. I believe I was about three when things started to go awry. But I was still a pretty good kid so I did what I could to be bad. I threw fits and broke things and starting humping anything I could find.
That’s right. When I was three-years-old I started my sexual journey.
I like to think I had a pretty normal childhood. But I’ve been reading Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and supposedly she had a really strange childhood, and mine wasn’t too different from hers so maybe I didn’t have such a normal childhood after all. Maybe that’s why I humped things. I don’t really know. But I did, a lot.
I would hump my giant bear my mom’s boyfriend won for me at the fair. I would hump the side of the bathtub. I would bunch up my blankets and pillows and hump them. My parents called it horsey and told me it was inappropriate, but I never wondered why. I just knew it felt good so I kept doing it.
I don’t know if that’s a normal thing for three-year-olds to do or not. But I did it. None of my friends admit to doing it so it makes me feel like a weirdo, so if any of you humped things uncontrollably when you were a child please let me know so I feel a bit more normal. Thanks.
Anyway, I was an only child. I mean, I am an only child. There wasn’t a lot to do where I grew up (maybe that’s why I humped things), at least at my dad’s house.
We lived out on the outskirts of a little town with no cable off a highway, with only a junkyard and a bar within walking distance. Our house was on a river, so that was cool, but I didn’t really care about that when I was growing up. No, we watched non-cable TV and ate ourselves into diabetes at my dad’s. It’s when I was with my mom that things got interesting.
My parents split when I was eighteen-months-old. Something about my dad not partying with my mom enough anymore or something. (Really, he had become an alcoholic and just sat and drank in his room all the time and my mom finally had enough of it, but something tells me if he was drinking while partying all the time it wouldn’t have been such a problem.) The only reason they even had me in the first place is because all of my mom’s partying buddies had kids so she figured what the hell and popped one out, too.
That’s not exactly true, either. I mean, the having a kid because of the partying buddies part totally is, but she didn’t just pop me out that easily. My parents tried to have a baby before me, and have a baby they did, but he was born prematurely and only survived a few seconds or minutes or hours. His name was Kenneth. For some reason I’ve always felt very close to this brother of mine I’ve never met, and I used to make spirit cans for him on Halloween.
So then after they lost Kenneth, my parents decided to keep trying and got me. What a disappointment! The story goes that I was something like 8 or 11 days late and was coming out breech but the doctors didn’t want to tell my mom because of the previous lost baby, so after 36 hours of labor they scheduled an emergency c-section. I was a devious little bugger from the beginning.
Then my mom named me. And I mean, come on. Being named Tempest(1) is already a set-up for failure, but to top it off she got the name from a burlesque dancer. Seriously, look her up – Tempest Storm.
- Tempest means a violent storm or disturbance, for those of you who aren’t aware of that piece of information.
So right off the bat I was doomed, obviously. But my mother’s and her family’s crazy antics certainly didn’t help any.
I think the one real memory I have before I was twelve was seeing my first penis. In first grade. All the girls were chasing this kid Ramon around and screaming at him to let us see it, and then when he did I immediately turned around and told a teacher. I don’t remember what happened to Ramon, but he was still in classes with me until Junior High and I think I remember even having a crush on him but it was always so awkward because I was that girl, the one who told on him for showing me his penis when I asked to see it in the first place.
Anyway, after that I don’t remember much until I was twelve and spending all of my free time at my mother’s.
Life at my mother’s was like this: I had developed a strange fascination with foxes (fox? I’m still not sure what the plural of fox is) so for my birthday one year my mom got me a fox pelt but forgot to hide it so she left it draped over the living room chair and when I walked in I was all “hey, what’s with the fox?” and she was all “Oh! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU . . .” and then I named it Poxy and carried it around everywhere with me until it inexplicably went missing, probably around the same time the police tore apart my goat skin boots. But that’s a story for another chapter.
The main childhood memory I have is Halloween. Every year was a big deal. Like, huge.
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