Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Whose got the Golden Arm? REVISITED because Skinny reached out and POKED ME with her long, sentimental, and dirty little fingers!
I drug this out of the archives because SKNNY POKED ME! And reminded me, not just of the story, but of the way we all remember. A little bit different. A little bit tainted "our way". Same place. Same times. Same story. And how sometimes spooky little stories, do finally get to you. This Golden Arm was my gift to Kimbies a couple of Christmas's ago. Just another sibling POKE! Because she hated it so. Hated the story. Hated the punch line. Hated having to scooch in closer for the punch line, and 40 years later I can still remember her face, her eyes the size of mudpuddles WIDE OPEN yelping "Not me, Not me" She kept this tacky, but sentimental gift in the corner of her den CLOSED and hated it. And the fact that every time she walked by it, the damn latch was undone and it was open just so drove her mad. So finally Skinny toted it home in March. Ask her how she feels about it!
ORIGINAL POST FROM WAY BACK WHEN
It wasn’t the story so much, as the hot salty air and the night sounds from the ocean, lapping at the open windows. And the candles, of course. Their luminescence creating yellow eyed spirits that crawled our skin and danced amongst us with the breeze. The setting was just too perfect. It always was. And it was tradition. The telling of the spooky summer story….over and over again…
We did it for years. A circle of barefoot youngin’s. Madden always the oldest. Me next. For years, and years, Kimilee the youngest. We’d pile into the terrazzo floored bedroom, dust off a spot to sit on ( Ahhhh, the gritty dry sand from days of tracking in could give your swim suited bottom a rash and a half if you just plopped down on it and then did all the carrying on a spook story required : crouching on your knees in anticipation, flailing arms to fight off the fright, spinning on your rump to hide your eyes completely from the storyteller’s gaze!) We’d light the coveted (taken without permission) hurricane candles and the circle would scooch in closer. But not before Kimilee would do her little Indian princess dance, tiptoeing high, arms fanning at the nighttime ceiling….. “Not me! Not me! Not me! Don’t make it me!” She’d plead, and beg, brown saucer eyes wide open and imploring us to just this once, leave her out of it. “SShhhhhhh” “It won’t be you, sit down and be quiet. Sit right here. It won’t be you.”
So little. So trusting. So scared.
And then Madden would start. And we would just fall into it. The so very familiar story that grew with each passing summer. He would braid a thousand scary stories together in a fragmented slide show, but this would always be “our” story….we’d lean in for certain parts, sweaty little sunburnt faces tightly knotted together. We’d wriggle back through other parts. With each passing summer, Madden grew taller, his voice deepened, and so did the story. While we had heard it a hundred times, each time was the first time. He never ever failed us on that.
“Whoooooooose got the golden aaaarrrrrrmmmmmm? Whoooooose got the golden arrrrrrrmmmmmm? Whose GOT the golden ARRRRRRMMMMM?” The words vibrated through the room, had an ethereal quality to them, that convinced you, all of us, it wasn’t Madden speaking at all. But her. The words were coming from some place deep, and damp, and were being whisked in by the night tides, a dirty little mist settling on top of us, a blanket, wet from the beach. Kimilee would sit with her knees up, holding her toes, burying her tiny little face, whispering “not me. Not me”. In perfect Catholic choir harmony, we would echo “Sssshhhhhhhhhhhh” .
And then, WALLOP! Madden would spring into the air and come booming down with a thunderous crash; his arm probing madly at the circle, obscenely pointing…… at the bearer of his punch line: “YOU DO!”
And poor little Kimilee would cry.
Over and over again.
Why are kids so cruel?
I don’t know. But today… this day… I can tell you that Kimilee, “not me, not me”, is one tough cookie. And she knows the punch line. And scary story, you don’t spook her. She’s hitting back. And we’re all scooching in closer. May the circle be unbroken.
For info on KIMBIES FIGHT BACK please visit our links to Kimbies hand me down levis, otherwise known as love letters to Kimbies and join the fight!