Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm still really sorry....

This post's title was the subject line in an email to my little brother.

In my classes we have been reading from the author, Gary Soto, and trying to 
mimic his writing style.
I called the assignment "Soto Style", so naturally I showed this video to get
 them in the mood.
It was a huge success. 

I also tried to help the kids get into it by writing my own story.
 We read  "The Pie"
{ Read it here!} 
and I used this as my main source of  influence. 

The incident I recalled was when I covered our childhood house's bathroom mirror with my mom's red lipstick and I blamed Nathan......yeah. 
As my subject line reads, I am still really sorry about this...

I wanted to preserve my story here so you can read it below if you want. 
I definitely exaggerated the "Soto Style" I intended my students to do, which was really fun for me as a writer.  It's not perfect, but it sure made teaching entertaining this week!

Thankfully, Nathan did forgive me...I think....

The Lipstick
Hell is real and it’s for liars. This truth threatened my baby brother from my capable and sure lips daily. It was a universal Truth, really, so I chose to hold it over his head like it was said by Jesus himself.  He would say that if Hell were real, it would be covered in crimson lipstick from a forest green tube accented in gold.

A crimson Hell didn't seem to faze my 6 year old brain. In fact, the luscious red tube reached out to me like the sand reaches out to the crashing ocean waves. It beckoned me, tempted me, and seduced me into its sticky tangled web and I didn't look back.

 My canvas for my art de liar was the shimmery reflection of the gold flecked mirror. As my fiery blue eyes became covered with the pasty hue, I shoved my guilt farther and farther into the glass. It felt wrong and I knew it; and this, I loved. It was exhilarating to tangibly release the “no” and the “sorry you’re too young for lipstick” aggressively into patterns of chaos and freedom.

I abruptly abandoned my unfinished masterpiece when I heard my mother’s feet padding down the hallway. The sound caused my heart to live in my throat and I was sure the thump-thump-thump could be heard in China. But, like water turning into wine, I escaped without being noticed.

When I heard the screeching sounds of horror and disbelief, I instantly knew what to do.
Of course.
 It had to be Nathan who did this.

 As I quickly crafted my story, I saw the weapon of destruction staring at me from my stained pink fist. I shoved it into Nathan’s tiny surprised hands and told him it was his. The confusion in his innocent 4 year old eyes stung me, but I had to stand firm to my new reality. He was at fault. He was the one who did this.

 I transformed into the Grinch speaking to Cindy Lou Who: “But mommy, why? Why would Nathan do this to your lipstick and mirror, why?”  The words rolled off my tongue like honey. She looked at me, head shaking, determined to punish the wrongs 
done to her reflection.

The sound of his wail penetrated my soul. I tried to cover it with rationalization that he’s young and he’d never really remember this happening to him. I was sure that as time passed, the magnitude of my lie would long be forgotten. A decade seemed long enough. It wasn't. He remembered and so did I.

 If Hell is real, I know there’s a place for me and it’s been ready for years.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness--I LOVE this memory so much! I sent a link to my own little brother, Mark, who is also two years younger than I am and who so many times took the blame for something I had done.
    "The sound of his wail penetrated my soul. " That sentence rings so true and conjures up an ache still so deep.