Like most children her age, Caroline often asked a lot of questions. These questions stemmed from the curiosity and development of a young child’s mind. Many experts agree that reading fairy tales and playing pretend help to develop a child’s intellect and are important tools to foster creativity. To that end, Caroline was never in any danger of growing up dull or boring. You see, since her early childhood, Caroline had been exposed to so many incredible tales that she lacked not a vivid imagination, but another vital component of a child’s development; connection to reality.
Volume One: My Mother Has Super Human Powers?
Caroline and her younger sister Marjorie were two years apart in age, both with glistening flaxen strawberry blonde hair. Most summers these fair faced girls spent their days avoiding the heat in their mother’s apartment, which their mother had taken to calling a “flat”. Their mother’s optimistic description of their living space did not account for the unavoidable facts that they lived in the suburbs and it was indeed an apartment or maybe even a unit. One of these summers, before Caroline was to begin the sixth grade, she quickly polished off her summer readings list and turned to other activities. Marjorie, who was going into fourth grade, would sneak into her sister’s room and make prank calls to other children from their school. Unfortunately for Caroline this happened to be the summer the phone company added *69, a call back feature that allowed the prank call victims to call back. As she was acutely unaware of these calls being made from her phone, Caroline would innocently answer when the prank victims returned the call without any knowledge of what her sister had said to the caller. Marjorie would call and says things like, “Help a giant cookie is chasing me”, “You have a large butt”, or her favorite “Go suck a popsicle”. Marjorie never told her sister but neither did her mother Francine who prompted the prank calls and made them with Marjorie.
The prank call returns were particularly troubling for Caroline because this summer her friends had starting paying attention to boys. In fact, four out of six of Caroline’s friends had recently kissed boys during a game of Spin the Bottle. Caroline told her mother one evening when her mother was preparing for a date, “Mom four out of six of my friends kissed boys and I feel that I am too young you know, to kiss boys.”
“Well Caroline I kissed a boy in kindergarten his name was Peter and he used to chase me all over the playground. He was madly in love me. But yes you are too young. You are becoming a teenager and many weird things happen at this age.” Caroline watched her mom dress and pick out jewelry. Her mother was so pretty she thought and hoped one day men would be madly in love with her too. Her mom was blonde and small in stature but had fabulous legs, which explained the closet full of short dresses and skirts. “Caroline, when I was fourteen I had an episode. See, your grandmother doesn’t remember, well, conveniently she doesn’t remember most of my childhood but she found out that a boy liked me in my class because she read my yearbook. I was so upset that she read my yearbook and what made it worse was your grandmother yelled at me. She told me I should not behave like that and that I definitely should not be kissing any boys. I was so tired of her treating me poorly and I was utterly devastated by her response. She didn’t spend a lot of time with me and she would get drunk and yell at me and take her problems out on me. It was awful”. Francine sat next to Caroline on the bed and put her hand on her knee. “Caroline what I am about to tell you is very true and it’s not meant to scare you. I was so angry after your grandmother yelled at me that I went into her room and stared at the only nice bottle of perfume she had. I stared at it so hard that my tears stopped and I felt a rumbling inside of my body. My vision started to blur and I felt like a volcano just about to erupt then boom! Without touching it the bottle of perfume exploded. Glass went flying everywhere. I was amazed that I had blown up the bottle without laying a finger on it, I knew I was special.”
“I don’t understand mom. What happened? Was there an earth quake?” Caroline quizzed.
“No, I did it Caroline. I had taken so much from her that my rage manifested itself and it telekinetically exploded. I blew up her perfume.” Francine looked at Caroline and nodded her head affirming this account. Caroline sat on her mom’s bed wondering and questioning the possibility of this really happening. Her mom seemed so upset and hurt while recounting this story. Something deep down in Caroline’s mind was twitching with disbelief but in her heart, she was enchanted by her mother. This was a strange but familiar sensation so she never gave much more thought to the plausibility of her moms account.
Five years later, when Caroline was in high school, she attended a friend’s sleepover party where the girls stayed up late and watched scary movies. The last movie played at 3 am was “Carrie”. Caroline found herself to be the only girl that stayed awake to watch the entire movie. She couldn’t help connecting her mother’s ability to explode perfume bottles and what she was watching on the screen. The main character was a psychopathic teenage who had telekinetic powers. It was a sick and scary movie but it was definitely not based on a true story. Caroline could not ignore the irony that her life too was not based on true stories.
There might come a day when Caroline or Marjorie will ask why to Francine about her stories but until then they will share with you tales about gay overweight tooth fairies, boyfriends in the CIA, the deceased who visited Francine, and many more. For these are tales that spin eccentricity and all the other luxuries afforded to those whose own creativity captures their hearts.