The bird’s beak rat tat tatting against my house woke me up this morning, but I’m getting so used to it I fell back to sleep. When I woke up, I looked out the window, saw the gray skies and decided to lie in bed a while and finish reading the James Patterson novel 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club). Patterson must grind out a book every month which is probably why his novels are getting shorter and shorter like Mary Higgins Clark’s did with all the blank pages between chapters. I stopped reading Clark. I fear Patterson is next.
When we were young, most kids used their nicknames. Ours were never cruel or mean. Mostly they were just shortened versions of our own names. James was always Jimmy and Robert was always Bobby. I was Kathy except to my family who always called me Kat, the name I preferred. Once in a while, in an argument, you’d hear four eyes for a kid with glasses or cry baby if someone was brought to tears but that was about as mean as kids got. We never swore. Even someone saying hell would make for huge gasps from the crowd at the horror of it all. I never saw a physical fight when I was kid except between two adults; however, I admit I did punch someone in the school yard when I was in the fifth grade, and when I was 17, I punched someone at Fenway Park, but those are my only transgressions. Both of them were deserved.
Our innocence lasted a long time. We walked or biked all over town and not once did we wonder about our safety. We didn’t know about all the bad guys out there. We were afraid of the bomb but knew we were safe under our desks. Even though I knew it was only a story, I was a little afraid of the man with the hook so a branch against the window sometimes gave me pause. My mother taught us never to talk to strangers or take anything from someone we didn’t know. That was her only worldly advice. I guess she figured it covered just about everything.