This is the 2,000th post on The Bathroom Monologues. I’ve been daily for a few years now and even I’m surprised I got this far. I asked you what you wanted for our 2,000th get-together, and the majority of people said they wanted either a true story about me or an explanation of what makes me tick. I’ve done my best here to do both.
I didn’t actually remember this story until my sister told it to me a couple years ago. She was in college then, doing a paper for Developmental Psychology, and chose me as a subject. I took this as both amusement and offense. Rather than merely interview her subject, she interviewed our mother to find out what I was like before now.
I was the first child in the family – first to our parents, and first to all four grandparents. I enjoyed being the center of the world for about two years. They sang me songs, they read me stories, and took me everywhere, until my brother was born. Surely you’re familiar with how much older brothers love being ousted.
While Mom claims they didn’t entirely ignore me, the shift in attention clearly registered that way on the two-year-old John. I cried more, picked more arguments, and tried to interject myself on situations where the baby was getting too much attention. My father’s general answer was to send me to the basement to play by myself. This was wretched to the two-year-old John, though realistically that basement was stocked with colorful toys.
I told you all of that so I could tell you this: one weekend my parents heard me get up early and make noises for attention, but they refused to cave in. They were exhausted, and my father would be furious if I woke the baby. They heard come closer to their door and babble at it. They heard me rustle around the kitchen. Then the noises stopped. They didn’t hear anything for an hour.
My mother did what any mother would: concluded I’d killed myself, and ran around the house to find me. I wasn’t in my room, or the halls, or the kitchen. She heard a low hum from the basement and went down to check. There I was sitting in my little onesie, staring up at the television on the shelves. I’d figured out how to climb them to turn it on and was watching a cartoon about The Incredible Hulk with such awe I didn’t notice my mother had arrived.
This is my sister’s favorite part, and she got Mom to repeat it for me. “He was just watching the cartoons all morning,” she said with an adoring smile. “And he never came back.”
According to her, that is where my career in Speculative Fiction came from. When my parents were too tired for a bedtime story, now I'd offer to tell them some version of The Smurfs, or GI Joe, or The Hulk.
|Hey Mom, can I use this as an author photo?|
Twenty years later, this helped my sister pass her Developmental Psychology course. She ran the paper by me to check its grammar and if the narrative made sense. She claimed that for her entire life I'd had the talent.