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April 14, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Thanks for the Memories

I had a conversation with my brother yesterday.  This is actually a big deal; the last time we had a conversation, it was 1984 and the topic was which one of us had better crayons.  Anyway, my son would follow his “Uncle Mike” anywhere so naturally we have to talk.  AJ was clenching his toy dinosaur during the ride, as he had forgotten Teddy back at home.  Kids love their teddy bears/blankies/whatever.  Psychologists call them “the security object”: as a child enters toddlerhood and new freedoms and knowledge, it’s common for kids to latch on to a “security object” as they venture into their own.  My security object was a ratty stuffed Cougar.  My brother’s was a brown, hole-filled teddy named Picky. 

Anyway, the conversation was about traumatic childhood things.  Not Darfur-traumatic, more like Christmas Story-traumatic.  Perhaps a shade more than that.  Either way, it began like this:

Mike: “Remember when I pushed you down the stairs on roller skates?”

Me: “I remember falling down the stairs on roller skates.  You pushed me?

Mike: (Laughs) “Yeah, I pushed you.”

Me: “I remember when you threw yourself down the stairs and blamed me for it.”

Mike:  “Ha, yeah, I was a little jerk.”

Me:  “Yeah, I know.  Remember when you climbed up on the roof and dropped that rock on my head?”

Mike:  “I thought I threw a rock over a fence and hit <name of neighbor>.”

Me:  “Maybe, but you also dropped a huge piece of quartz onto my head when I was playing in the yard.”

Mike:  “Remember when <relative> was going to burn all our toys?”

Me:  “That actually happened.”

Mike:  “It did?”

Me:  “Yeah, but I don’t think you were even born yet.”

Mike:  “Oh, <expletive>.”

Me:  “At least you had Picky.”

Mike:  “Yeah, but he was my second teddy bear.”

Me:  “He was?  I don’t remember that.”

Mike:  “Yeah, I had a big white teddy bear.   I think we lived in the green house?”

Me:  “The green house?  The one with the dirt floor?”

Mike:  “I don’t remember the floor.  It was the same house where I cut the cat’s tail off with scissors.”

Me:  “That was the house with the chimney fire.  The brown one.”

Mike:  “It was?  Oh.  Anyway, I had a big white teddy bear.  Remember?  He got wet in the snow one day and Mom put him on the stove to dry out.  Remember?  He caught on fire and melted.”

Me:  “Your teddy bear melted?”

Mike:  “Yeah.  He burned and melted right there on the stove.”

Me:  “Holy <expletive>!  That must have really sucked.”

Mike:  “Yeah.”

Me:  “Well this is depressing.  Let’s not talk anymore.”

Mike:  “Yeah.  This <expletive> sucks.”

And there was the end of the first conversation in 24 years.  It’s better this way. 


One Comment

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  1. Cherikooka / Apr 14 2008 11:08 am

    I totally think you two should talk more!

That's what she said!

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