I Am Bee Mice Elf

“It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.” ~W.C. Fields

Deja Vu of a drunk… RIP Hermie

Written By: IAmBeeMiceElf - Aug• 15•15

I love Facebook.  I would venture to say it touches on a mild “addiction” — it is usually the first thing I check in the morning, and the last thing I do before bed.  I can use it for productive reasons.  I can be prepared for road closings and inclement weather, and I can find these things out without checking multiple sources.  There is local and world news, and other informative news stories I might not otherwise know about through mainstream or traditional medias. I can use it for fun – to play games and take silly quizzes.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wondered what kind of dog I would be or how well do I realllly know 70’s music lyrics.  I can use it to research (what day does school start again?? Where can I get THE BEST root beer floats? What is the name of that thing with the thing that I use for the thing, no, not that thing, the other thing??)

Not only do I love posting things myself – but I love reading the stuffs other people post.  I love the diversity of my friends list.  I (literally) have crackheads and cops – priests and sinners – a political range from anarchist to pastafarian – vegetarians and carnivores (i don’t think I have any vegan friends? I might, but my page is open for any friend of a friend to comment though) – award winning athletes and completely content couch potatoes – people who proudly “don’t vote” and people who hold offices – …

I have something in common with all of them (even the vegans :D) and they with me.  I am motivated to post things that pertain directly to me personally and things that I know my friends would appreciate — some overlap.  There are also things people don’t talk about; like growing up with a drunk for a step parent – that I know pertain to me and probablydefinitely  some of my friends.

Right now I should say – I KNOW “the correct term” is “alcoholic” –someday, when I write a different story, from a different perspective, I will be sensitive to “the other side”.  Believe it or not – I DO empathize with the addict.  I really do.  I get that there’s a physical need (an actual physical NEED) — but that is for another blog – this is the one from the perspective of former 10 year old with no concept of that  – who shouldn’t have had to have a concept of any of this.)

Today, a friend posted a story about hermit crabs.  Seems harmless enough – right? Then, I remembered “Hermie”.  My sister’s hermit crab.  I had forgotten all about him. ((This is not a pity story – it’s a deja vu story.)) In my thoughts of the dear departed Hermie, I wondered if his demise was a typical drunk thing, or if it was specific to “our drunk.”  Hermie was flushed down the toilet while he was still alive.   Days earlier my sister had been ordered to “get rid of it” – she was 8, what was she supposed to do with it? So she kept him hidden under her bed.  During the day while drunk step parent was at work – she would have Hermie out playing with him (as much as you can a hermit crab). She would sneak fruit and other treats to feed him.  Once she found a bunch of dimes in a pay phone coin return.
((::waits for the kids to go google “pay phone and coin return”::))
She used the money to buy him some dried worms from Sue’s Zoo pet store.  That doesn’t seem like much – but back in those days you could get 3 or 4 candy bars for that same dollar and change,  you could get a HUGE ice cream cone, or at least 2 sodas.  For an 8 years old girl, spending your money on worms instead of ice cream — well,  you have to love a hermit crab to give up an ice cream like that.

Some memories play out like a movie – where – you remember every detail, as if it were happening all over again.  You remember the smells, the sounds, the words of the conversations, the feelings and all the events in the order they happened.  Other memories are like a slide show — you don’t remember every specific aspect or technicality.   You remember bits and pieces of the story with maybe a general feeling of remembering fondly or not so fondly – The memories that are snippets – for me – those are the “forgotten memories”, the ones that come back when I hear a story about hermit crabs or see a drunk yelling at his wife and kids at a fast food restaurant.  These fragments, short little slideshows – these are the memories that “didn’t really matter” – I mean, of course they mattered.  They  just don’t matter enough to consume my life with remembering every detail about them.  Other memories, like seeing your mother set a bed on fire so you could run from the house during a particularly violent argument – those memories, while they don’t “consume” me — They are easier to remember details.

My sister had Hermie for almost a whole year – she had won him at the fair.  It was THE BIG prize for throwing ping pong balls into the fish bowls.  Everyone tried to win that crab. But it was my sister who got the grand prize.  She was so excited.  He lived that whole summer and through the fall, winter and spring.  I dont’ remember what caused drunk step father to order her to get rid of Hermie.  I do remember asking all our friends in the apartment complex if they could take him.  She was giving everything- His house, his extra shells, the food she bought.

She cried.  A lot.  No one could take him.  The day Hermie died was like any other day.  It was early summer and it stayed light out until late.  Our bed time was 7:00 pm.  It did not matter that we could still hear all the other kids outside playing.  It did not matter it was still broad daylight out.  The drunk step parent said BED TIME, so, it was bed time.  To this day, I’m not sure why he came in our room.  But he did.  Hermie was under my sister’s bed, in the index card box that was his home at night.  Drunk step parent heard the scratching.  Of course, we both said we didn’t know what the noise was – and of course – he looked.  With the details being fuzzy – I remember a lot of anger on his part, a lot of sadness on my sister’s part.  Her, begging and pleading to let her keep him, begging and pleading to give her another chance – Him blustering about whatever tangent he was on at that moment — which honestly could have been anything – MAYBE that day he was going to be “a good guy” and let us back out to play with our friends, maybe he was going to yell at us because our friends were playing too loud, who knows.  (yes, I know, it had nothing to do with us, and you know it had nothing to do with us, but in his drunkin mind, most things, everything, whatever things – were our fault.)

I remember him saying this was her fault, as he flushed Hermie,  because he had told her to get rid of him.  I remember —  of course thinking what a gigantic dick head he was — but I remember being so hurt for my sister.  Actually, I was a horrific bitch to my sister, which I still feel immensely guilty about, still, now, even today.  I remember being so hurt for her, and with her.  She loved that stupid crab.  Even though i didn’t show it as much as could have – as much as I should have, I was heartbroken for her — I remember most about that day, besides the re solidification that drunk step parent WAS actually, in fact, a gigantic dick head – my sisters heart being broken, like I had never seen up til that moment. This memory is a deja vu for me — a snippet – a slide show.  I think, for my sister,  It’s a movie memory.  A memory burned in, complete with smells, and sounds – A recollection that shaped her – one that just doesn’t come to the surface when she reads a friend’s post about hermit crabs.  And just like “Facebook friends” don’t talk about growing up with a drunk – even though it “overlaps” – families don’t really talk about it either.

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