Monday, July 4, 2011

Where I'm from.

A friend reminded me of this writing exercise that circulated a couple of years ago. I had meant to do it then, but got busy and kept forgetting to. I found it very enjoyable to read about where everyone else was from. Now it's my turn, so here goes:

I am from vibrating pedicure machines, from Mary Kay, Canfield's Diet Chocolate Soda, No-Salt, Sweet 'N Low, and Penney's. *I am from the very neighbourhood that Malvina Reynolds wrote about in her song: "Little Boxes". Yes. The yellow one.

I am from the place with almost no trees; where the swimming pool in the backyard was the only refuge from the ground that was so hot you could not walk barefoot outside. From sunburns that would peel like Elmer's school glue off of most of my body after too much time spent in said swimming pool. From made-up Crystal-Light ads in which I would stand on the diving board, flexing my little girl biceps, and singing: "I believe in Crystal Light, 'cause I believe in me!"

I am from the cactus pears, stolen meyer lemons, navel oranges, pomegranate bushes, and palm trees. From enormous water beetles, and June bugs that would dive bomb my perfectly shellacked hairdos, buzzing like crazy trying to escape, because they were too stupid to figure out how to on their own.

That girl who would run around screaming with buzzing hair until a kind soul helped us both out of that jam? Yeah, that was me; also known as the girl from the gawd awful wake-up time of 5:30 AM... the sole purpose? Making sure that hair was absolutely perfect!

I am from my perch atop the old Chevy Van at the Drive-in movie.

From swim parties and grilled steaks; from little restaurants I would make for the ants from the bones of whatever we'd had for dinner that night, hidden far off from where people would see them right away, so the "business" had a chance.

I am from Pomerantz, McIver; The Thomas fat ass, and the Davis flat ass. Yes. I got both. Behold: My ass! For it is both fat, and flat.

I am from the family dinners at my maternal Grandmother's modern, urban apartment that came entirely from Price Club, unwrapped and either microwaved, or baked; the scent of her Wind Song perfume, as well as the spearmint gum she always had giant boxes of in her closet.

From watching the end of certain TV programs just to see my uncle's name in the credits; from standing in line at Dodger games for giveaway items, and listening for hours to the same grandmother's stories of her worldly travels.

One day I will travel just as she did.

I am from both: "Go hang your belly on the fence!" and "Oy Vey!"

I am from a few different faiths, leading to no faith, leading to piqued interest and curiosity about many faiths, once more.

I'm from The City Of Angels; drives through Topanga and Malibu canyons that seemed to take an eternity, the roller rink, the club that beat the streets, the bike path at Venice, and never-ending music. Really. Never. The music never ended. Ever. No. Never. It did not.

I am from that ottoman I brought into the kitchen to stand on so that I could watch my Uncle Alan make spaghetti using noodles, olive oil, and allspice.

I am from the chair I would stand on in the kitchen, watching my dad make shit on a shingle, and later sit on to gag the vile stuff down, because it was... what was for dinner. From that empty cafeteria table I shared with my best friend in grade school, eating those head cheese and beef tongue sandwiches I was sent there with. I am from day old spaghetti fried in butter, topped with cheese. I am from my own creation of fat-free cheese sandwiches, microwaved with a dollop of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" on top.

I am from that cushiony stool my dad set up for me to hang out in the studio listening to bands practice and record, and having to stay as quiet and patient as possible. From a place to stand on that stool learning to use a studio mixing board by age 3.

From the summers spent on the Northern California coast with my paternal Grandmother, drinking soda pop from old bottles that had been reused so many times they look like they had been sandblasted along the edges; singing Otis Redding songs to the cats on the balcony. From grandma's rainbow coloured circa 1974 shag carpet I would move between my toes as we watched television programs, all the while listening to her as she would yell at the screen because the Shaklee products she sold were superiour to those advertised.

I am from family reunions in Luxor, near-death experiences in Glacier National Park, and hiding my face from video cameras criminal-style, after not being able to do my hair for 3 days on a cross-country railroad trip.

I am from looking in awe at my great grandmother's 100 year old photograph that hangs on my wall, her lovely bone china teacup collection, and urn containing one pedal from every single rose my great grandfather ever gave her. He died in 1954, and the petals still smell amazing.

I am from the knowledge that comes from pain, and the best advice I have ever received: "If you ever meet a man who reminds you of your father, RUN THE OTHER WAY!"

I am from my own self-worth, and my willingness to heed that advice.

I am from lots of hard work, self-love, and personal growth.

I am a survivor.

I am Hedy.


*OK, not really, but yes, they were totally all made out of ticky-tacky, and yes, the all looked just the same.

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