Before starting school

When my mother’s bellowing finally broke through my alternative universe, I would run like the wind in the hopes of escaping her wrath and the wrath of the switches. Depending on her mood, she either ignored the fact that I had been gone for most of the day or she began her notorious switching on my bare legs. The more I yelled, the harder the hitting. Then when I tried to get away, she would grab me by the arm and almost yank my arm out of its socket. Hanging in the air with my feet off the ground, I would give up the battle and flop over like a dead fish. She had won and was the queen of the universe…or so she thought.

This was a daily occurrence and how I spent my days before I was old enough to go to school. My sister was the fortunate one since she received a reprieve every Monday through Friday at school. Apparently our mother did not like to have her life interrupted by her children and thus did not wish to be bothered with the daily tasks of child rearing. She enjoyed reading, drinking, playing Scrabble with other like-minded adults, drinking, resting (after the drinking) and never lifting a finger in the job that can only be called housecleaning.

Mother had a real aversion to any chore that involved scrubbing, polishing, dusting or sweeping. To say our home was messy would be about the kindest way of stating the obvious.

Even at an early age, I knew the best way to deal with her was to escape. When we moved to the little tiny town of Taylorville, I was once again on the streets since Taylorville did not offer kindergarten classes. I became a kindergarten dropout and began each day with trying to figure out the best way for me to get away from her and survive another day.

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