Reading does the body good…but only reading in a well lit room. Otherwise there’s the forcing your sight, and then potential blindness, and that can result in you crashing and falling into things that can cause some serious injury or even death!! Dun, dun, dun… I’d say reading is good for the mind but clearly it isn’t so, for it makes the mind a little too creative and it makes one say things that make no sense like what I just did. The reason I mention reading is because I have been doing it a lot. (“It” being reading…I have to remind my pervy mind so as not to lose track of what I am saying.) In about a month I read all three of Chelsea Handler’s hilarious books, Bridget Jones’ Diary (which is way better than the movie), and I am now currently “en train de” (that’s a French expression, not Spanish) reading Sarah Silverman’s book. All this reading has caused my brain to behave strangely by narrating almost everything I do to the point that my midnight pee trips are, if written, almost a paragraph and a half long of narration.
Therefore, in order to exercise my brain a little, I decided to seize this burst of inspiration and share a little story about my childhood that I’ve only told one person (but since I pay her when I tell her things, it doesn’t really count as sharing, I think).
This is the story of my first day in Montessori preschool. (What I can remember anyway)
Disclaimer: This really happened. However, some events may be greatly exaggerated for my amusement.
A long time ago (not too long ago, I am only twenty si—something), in a country far, far away. Way far down south of here, which I will call Blehxico (since I don’t know if it is necessary to pay rights for mentioning names. I don’t quite know how this works) a young, confused and quiet little girl was on her way…uh…somewhere. She wasn’t sure where and why so damn early! Ok, I’m not going to do the third person thing. I gave it a shot. It didn’t work. Points for effort, though.
On my first day of preschool, I cried a river, or a family of rivers. One reason for the waterworks was that it was the first time I’d be away from home and from my mommy. I guess I was terrified that I’d be left there forever, like my parents had changed their minds and were returning me back for store credit or exchanging for something better (I imagine if they could, they would’ve gotten a puppy or a monkey. My sister Marlene likes monkeys). I don’t know, maybe that was the reason. I don’t really know what my state of mind was then, and what I was thinking at the time, but since in between wails I was screaming, in Spanish “Home! Home! Mommy! My Mommy!” (because when crying I can’t make complete sentences and sound a little like E.T.) I am going to say it is a correct inference. My mom must’ve known I was going to cause such scene because she vanished before I could taste my first tear.
I stood by the door of the building for a while. Crying unconsolably (I say that because every teacher and I remember even the janitor would come by and try to comfort me and get me to s.t.f.u.!) hoping that any minute Mom would burst in through the door saying “Aaaah! You got Punk’d!” or “Aaaay! Tu fuiste Punki’da”, nevermind that the show wouldn’t be created until years and years later (but not so many years, I’m only twenty s--ish). Nothing, absolutely nothing that the adults would bribe me with and promise would get me to stop crying. Didn’t they understand that my tears and screams were the only way Mom could hear me from such a distance, come get me, and take me to get some ice cream? So yeah, I didn’t believe them when they’d say Mom would come get me soon as I stopped crying. Pfffft!
After almost half a day, I started running out of water. I started wailing softer and soften, then whimper, and suddenly was able to hear how pathetic I was starting to sound. Besides, I was looking around a bit and the place didn’t look so bad. There was different areas where in the future we would learn math, and reading, and art (yeah I graduated master of ceremony there and was able to read by the time I was out of that place, but I won’t brag). I finally quiet down and accepted that if I had in fact been left there I had to deal. So I was now concentrating on counting down the hours/minutes until I got to eat my lunch. Mom was at least kind enough to abandon me with a full meal and a drink. It consisted of her deliciously famous bean and cheese flour tortilla tacos (which are not at all to be confused with bean and cheese burritos), and a chocolate milk. Since I didn’t move from the spot my mom had left me–er abandoned me at all, I still had my lunch box with me. It wasn’t quite like the typical lunch box. In fact, I don’t think its purpose was to be a lunch box at all. I remember it had Strawberry Shortcake picture on it, with lots of little hearts or something, and was a weird shape. Before I joined the class at whatever it was they were doing at the moment...it looked a lot like dancing and celebrating my shutting the fuck up finally...I walked to the lunch area where I was to leave my “box”. I looked inside as I walked over to reassure myself that I would be having what I saw Mom make in the morning, and in hopes I found a note from maybe Dad instructing me to meet him by the back door where he’d be waiting to rescue me all along. Pfffft! Tacos? Check. Chocolate milk? Check. Then suddenly I remember Mom had told me “Make sure your box is always this side up, otherwise your chocolate milk will spill.” I’m pretty sure the container she had put the choco-milk in wasn’t meant to hold liquids. I put my Strawberry Shortcake box of yumminess in a safe place, and proceeded to join the rest of the kids who had by now labeled me the class cry baby. Bastards!
“This place is kinda cool” I thought to myself while I finger painted in the art area with a couple of the kids. “I guess my ending up here might be for the best, and Mom probably left so quickly because it was so hard for her to leave me and didn’t want me to see her break down. After all, I am her favorite.” Ha. Just as I had finished with my thought, one of the teachers asked loudly, getting everyone’s attention, “Who does the Strawberry Shortcake box belong to?” I immediately walked to where she and all the lunch boxes were thinking she had probably caught a whiff of my lunch and wanted a taste, or even worse, half.
“Is it yours?” she asked when I was standing right in front of her and a pool of chocolate milk.
“But how did this happen?! I was so careful! I placed it the way my mom told me to!” were all things going through my head as I, yes you guessed it, began to cry...with a vengeance.
“No, don’t cry. It’s ok. It was an accident. Let’s just clean it up, ok” the teacher told me in a tone that said both ‘I understand’ and ‘Why won’t you shut up!’ at the same time.
I spent maybe an hour crying and cleaning the spilled milk (yes, I cried over spilled milk). Then after that it must’ve been nap time or something because I don’t remember much of what happened....*SCENES MISSING*...
The next thing I remember was us, kids, standing by the door as one by one was picked up by their parent(s), sibling(s), or other loved ones. Of course I was one of the last kids to be picked up, only making this event even more traumatic and melodramatic. I was about to begin crying again in panic that I would be the only kid left there when I recognize the person by the door who was there to pick me up. So I cried anyway because I was so happy that I was going home. They hadn’t forgotten about me. They didn’t trade me for a puppy, or a monkey. Yes, those tears at the end of the day were of joy. So much joy, that I don’t really remember who picked me up. It could’ve been Mom, one of my sisters, or a neighbor. I think even the teachers cried a little in joy that I was finally leaving and they’d have peace and quite for the rest of the day (and the rest of the semester, year, or whatever. I’m a fast learner. I knew how things worked now).
In conclusion, I’m pretty sure when people use the expression “cried like a little school girl” they are referring to me.