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2114 Northland Road, Baltimore, Maryland

My mother was walking out this door with a little suitcase in her hand....House where my parents staged a one act Sophoclean tragedy for an audience of one: me (BMcC) threatening that my mother would abandon me if I didn't tell her I loved her and mean it.House where my parents staged a one act Sophoclean tragedy for an audience of one: me (BMcC) threatening that my mother would abandon me if I didn't tell her I loved her and mean it.

This is where I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) less-than-lived in first grade. The house has changed: the roof in the back had been raised, probably to provide two more bedrooms up there. When I lived in the house there was already a staircase in the living room to the then attic, so the expansion should have been easy. Americans are always lusting for more square feet. The porch at left, however, is an addition my parents made for reasons I do not know. So that wood deck is now 70 years old.

What do I remember about this time in my less-than-life? We moved to this house, which was an entirely decent little house in a perhaps largely working class but very clean and decent neighborhood, from a house which has apparently since been demolished in an industrial part of the city and which, for all I know, could have been built on an old garbage dump. That was where my one memory was having been prohibited from playing with my toys until i produced feces to my mother's specifications, or as she put it, I had to: "concentrate". Such was the life of the mind in my early childhood home: To concentrate meant not to THINK deeply, but to output a certain quantity of shit while sitting on "my" potty. Does that help clarify why, today, I call my childhood social surround of origin a: Scheißestückwelt?

In this house I remember my father painting one of the bedrooms. I could not have cared less about getting that bedroom's walls' color changed – surely they were painted some color when my parents bought the place – to realize one of my parents' highest aspirations in their pathetic less-than-lives: To have the walls of a bedroom a certain color. So what?

I remember once being left to soak in a little inflatable wading pool where my mother had washed the little bit of hair on my head which always remained after I had been subjected to a haircutting. I was not happy being in that little wading pool; I did not want to be out in the sun.

I remember, and this I am ashamed of: smashing a little top balsa wood glider into the ground on a little flagstone area in the back yard because I wanted a gasoline powered model plane. I am ashamed of this because my parents did not have a lot of money and I should not have smashed the inexpensive little toy they gave me. The little balsa wood glider should have disappointed me, but for a different reason of which I may have very vaguely been aware: It didn't do much of any value, but then neither would the gasoline powered model plane. I am ashamed of myself for this. (What should my parents have given me? Maybe my mother who was an idiot savant artist could have gently helped me learn how to draw something I would like. The dollar cost of that would have been zero. Or we could have had a pet cat and me have been nurtured to gently love the cat, but that would have presumed lovable parents, so that probably was not possible even if they had a lot more money. I just needed to be given in adoption to people who could have more appropriately raised me up not just rear [ended] me.)

This house was decent. The next one we moved to was a decent inexpensive 3-bedroom ranch house in Richmond, Virginia, and the house after that was the lovely brick colonial at 4109 Park Avenue (again, Richmond, Virginia), which was perhaps too good for my parents (But wherever we moved to, my childhood years with those people were wasted less-than-life. The only two really good memories I have of my childhood are (1) having somehow stabbed the palm of my left hand with a pencil in 2nd grade, and (2) in 3rd grade the school librarian showing us kids how properly to open a new book. Not much, is it?)

+2024.01.15 v029
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