Childhood is a delicate time in every person’s life. Dreams can be made or destroyed, people and places indelibly imprinted on the mind, to serve as either fond memories or warnings of past doom.
As Easter was Sunday, I’d like to regale you of an episode from my childhood.
I grew up in suburban San Jose, in a crappy neighborhood spackled over with a nice name called Almaden Valley. And while it was a suburban area, wildlife was rampant (I mean, we heard Raccoon Sex, for crying out loud. Did you know they do it in trees?! How’d you like to be camping in your backyard only to be woken from horrible snarling monster noises coming from above you and be too terrified to even piss yourself, much less try to go back to sleep…)
Our first Easter out of Orange County was different than usual. We had a backyard full of shrubbery which to hide eggs, as opposed to flat grass and a pathetic lemon tree. Step-Mother was delighted with the endless possibilities of outsmarting her small step-children—a joy that has assuredly been passed on to me.
The dyed eggs were left in the fridge, and my sister and I went to bed with dreams of cool things, not eggs, in our wee heads. Come a foggy morning, we rise to gather in the kitchen, which had a nice view of the backyard. Leah, my sister, and I were already peering out the window, trying to get a head start on one another. Step-Mother gleefully handed us baskets, made sure we had shoes on, and released us.
Oh, what joy I experienced, having spotted a blue egg nestled in the arm of a tree. Success! Leah hadn’t a single egg in her basket. I ran around like a horse on meth, collecting the obviously hidden ones: pink, yellow, purple… I glanced at Leah, who had stopped along the fence, staring at a blotch of colors, but I hadn’t time to figure out what my stupid sister was doing. I had to kick her fucking ass to prove once and for all that I was far superior in my egg-finding skills.
Minutes pass, and Leah is still in the same spot, but she’s squatting now. WTF. I grow curious, and walk over to where she was, and noticed the blotch of colors was really an egg, which had been viciously and mercilessly thrashed about and left in shambles.
Shocked, I began to look around on the ground for the rest of the eggs and saw that every single egg not at eye-level was in a similar state of dilapidation. Leah looked frightened, as if the horrible creature that had devoured the egg was coming for her next. Step-Mother, seeing us stopped dead, walked over, looked at the egg disaster, and laughed.
“Honey, the raccoons got the eggs!” And that, ladies and germs, is the best fucking Easter in the whole fucking world.
A close second is where I mistakenly went to a church function with a neighbor, thinking it would be fun, and when they sat us all down to draw a picture of Jesus, I dived in.
All the pictures were hung for the parents to come and see, and my parents knew in 5 seconds, which picture their pious little daughter drew: the snarling monster with bloody fangs.