On mothers and teachers


This blog is still so young. There’s a whole world of information that I don’t know that I would like access to, but I’m about as willing to farm marketing types for the information as I am willing to write marketing copy, which, if you can’t tell by the style of this blog, is about as likely as willing stabbing myself in the eye with a rusty claw hammer.

The temptation here is to tell you all the things I want this blog to be and then ask for your help to make it that, but I’m not that silly (am I?). I’m also not going to sell out my writing or my guest-authors’ writing to satisfy your whims.

I know that there’s an intersection between what I want to give you and what you want. I also know that I’m not going to find on my own, except for a lifetime of trial and error, where those fields meet.

Therefore, this is what I ask of you my audience: take a second today before or after you read the post and go to the comment section below. Tell me what brings you here, what desires of yours I fill, and what you’d like to see that would bring you pride to share this site with your friends.

I’m not asking for essays on blog value or for you to do my market research for me. I’m asking for you to take an active role in the development of this blog as a seperate entity from me. You’re already the community, and I need to know what you want in order to best decide how I can give it to you.

Thank you in advance for any comments. For those of you still reading, Wednesdays will most likely be my experimental day. They bring more readers than Mondays, which means more people visit the site than my core readership, and yet are slower than Fridays, which I will try to focus on for my best work.

That said, here’s a guest post by new author Aaron Basinger.

**

If memory serves me right I was wearing red stretchy pants with a navy blue shirt emblazoned with a train on the front. It made me proud to wear primary colors with a symbol of engineering on my shirt. It reminded me of my grandfather.

My grey Velcro shoes hardly went with the outfit. My blonde hair was parted back then.

When I wasn’t playing outside pretending to be my dad, I was playing with blocks. Any sort of blocks would do but mostly Legos. I would make towers, airplanes, and spaceships. I created new vehicles and weapons, and invented things without names.

One day I decided to let a girl play blocks with me. She was wearing heavy bangs in the mid-eighties fashion. She wore a puffy white dress with thick shoulder pads. I don’t remember if we were friends. I don’t remember seeing her before or after the incident.

I ushered her to my corner and told her that we were building a skyscraper. She began help me build, a slab here, a brick there. Her hair was as blonde as the pine blocks.

Silence. Darkness.

Suddenly I am on my stomach on the floor. Red, pulsating heat between my eyes, I can feel my heart beating in my face. My nose feels stuffy.

Someone picks me up by my sides, carries me like a sack of mulch. I hear the click of the light switch. All is illuminated, the grimy yellow bathroom tiles that reach the ceiling, the mirror that inexplicably has rust on it, the ceramic washbasin in front of me.

I feel my body lean forward to the sink. I hear the fellow children squealing in the background as the aide murmurs something about my parents.

The teacher tilts me further to the sink as she begins to pinch my nose, white hot pain. A flash of heat. Something is moving from my right sinus cavity, something twisting and fluid, a murky taste of brine. Arterial warmth, a steady glow. I look down as she releases my nose.

Drip drop pluup.

A blood clot, carmine red mixed with the saltwater from my eyes slithers down the drain. A feeling of slight relief. It’s not unlike passing a crushed grape through your nose.

Hearing the quiet squeak of white Keds I grip the porcelain sink and push myself up to see three reflections in the mirror.

Great. My mom, who works night shifts at the neonatal ICU, will be here soon. She will be mad, I will look down and adjust the Velcro on my sneakers, put my left hand on my head, and drag it through my hair letting it rest on my crown. I’ll know that I can’t walk away.

The teacher sits me down. She is so kind to me. Her trimmed afro wouldn’t fit any other woman wearing a silk purple and pink scarf. It is tied to the right and resting on her shoulder pad. I feel at home as if my mother was not behind me.

Looking into the mirror, I see the pony tail, the thick black hair, the Aggie sweatshirt. She looks tired, concerned, loving. Anything but angry. This is first time I notice that my mother has white skin over her cheekbones.

She kneels and we are on the same level. Her hands delicately press the sinus cavities, gently pressing towards the nose searching for the piece of cartilage dangling. The non symmetry won’t work for buildings and it won’t work for noses.

A flare of white light and heat, an audible pop, and the bleeding almost completely stops. I squint my eyes s salt water runs out, pushing a valley between the dried blood. She tells me that I am a big boy, holds my hand, and walks me out the door. I am a big boy.

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Author: Aaron Basinger

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5 Comments

Filed under Creative nonfiction, Features, Guest author, Writing

5 responses to “On mothers and teachers

  1. Mani

    I’ve come and read because for the most part we’ve always seen eye to eye. Not on politics or other controversial topics, but about the human plight, the pursuit of happiness, and the emotional side of life. It’s enjoyable, and I always look forward to a new post. Your mistakes and hardships in life make me feel more human.

    I like the blog just the way it is, and if it grows and changes because of that, then so be it. I would like to hear some more humor related subject, though. If you haven’t noticed, your life is filled with unintentional, completely coincidental satire.

  2. Jennifer

    I think the blog will evolve as your writing evolves. I read your writing because it is interesting to see someone else’s point of view on the world. There is so much more I know you have to say and write, and I am just interested to see where it takes you.

  3. Greg

    I like to read. Plus, this site even when you have a different viewpoint is at least a good read. Nobody ever devolves into pointless didactic rants or Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly lunacy either.

    By the way Aaron has some great descriptions in here.

  4. Amos

    What would do I like about the blog, why do I read it, and what would I like it to be?

    A part of it is reciprocity. I’m not being paid, but generosity and returning the favor is a fraction. I like to give back, when I can.

    That is surely not to say that it’s not otherwise worth my time. Much of the writing is rich, intelligent, and revealing.

    The direct touchings on big human issues reach me more. I remember most clearly the times when you’ve shown the most of your soul. Losing your temper at your dog peaks that type. Heartbreaking, and flashbacks to seeing all kinds of brain-stealing, ruinous anger.

    I’m less interested in small happenings, well described.

    Real humor would be good.

    I’d also like to see you take on unique tests that challenge your usual styles, topics, and approaches. “Experimental” perhaps, as you say at the beginning.

    Getting opinons that I disagree with, and perspectives that aren’t like mine… that’s vital. There’s a great danger to all forms of the echo chamber, where you come out merely having strengthened what you already thought you knew. A bad habit in a complex world.

    As to the guest post, very nice. Mysterious and vivid. Thanks, Aaron. What became of the girl? Perhaps more on the contents of the character’s mind, beyond external description?

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