The challenge says your earliest memory. I don’t think that really makes for a good story, so how about this one instead?
About a million years ago, I lived by the ‘be home before dark’ world. Winter time? Don’t even bother to leave the house after school. But in the summer? You just figure out how far you can push your luck because even though it didn’t get dark until 9, I dare the bravest of you to stay out until 9. Not with my parents. Nope. Uh uh.
It was a small neighborhood. Fairly tight-knit. Mostly we gathered in one place and most parents knew that, including mine. (Thinking about this and laughing, I just realized that I think I can look back on the calendar and find the exact date this happened. More on why later.
There was a get-together going on in the gathering place and I was there until I figured I had pushed my luck far enough and that I should get home. Well, you know, this was a really good gathering going on and I was pretty bummed out that I had to go home. Of course, I immediately started formulating a plan on how I could go back. It seemed simple. Just wait until my parents went to bed and go out the window. It wasn’t even hard; my window literally opened onto the ground.
Which, yes, meant I was on ground level for bugs. Ugh! Once, when sleeping, I brushed my hand over my face because I felt a tickle. I’d say about .5 seconds later I jolted out of bed and turned on the light. Yep. Horrified. I woke up because a spider crawled across my face. (Something like a grass spider if you’re so inclined to look that up.) Better believe I didn’t go back to sleep for a while.
Which reminded me of more bugs. Two of the walls of my bedroom were 90% underground. On one of those walls, there was an electrical outlet. The faceplate on it either wasn’t straight or wasn’t flush, for whatever reason, there was a space between the wall and the faceplate. One day I was sitting in my room and I just happened to look over to that outlet to see black ants swarming in. After I stopped freaking out, I taped that motherfucker shut. Probably didn’t sleep in my room that night.
Back to the story at hand, I waited until they went to bed. And then I waited a little longer. When I thought I had waited long enough, as George Thorogood said, out the door I went. *guitar riff* I walked back to the gathering and continued talking and having a good time. After a while, I found my party pal over by the path to the gathering spot. We chatted a bit about nothing in general as I scanned the group. We struck up a conversation about how neither of us were supposed to be there. Not long thereafter, I saw her go pale like she had seen a ghost. She pointed and said the two words I never wanted to hear: Your. Mom.
I knew I was dust. I started walking towards her, dejectedly. The walk home was torturous. Dead silence. Silence of a rural area when even the crickets have gone to sleep and you’re sucked into the vacuum of cold that is your mother’s anger. When we got back to the house, she followed me to my room. She told me that we were not going to tell my father about this because tomorrow was Father’s Day and we were going to the brunch buffet at Seven Springs and you are not going to ruin that for him GAWD DAMMIT!
I got grounded. I’m sure it was at least two weeks. But much worse than the grounding was the fact that my mother had seen my pal there. She knew who wasn’t supposed to be there and she knew that included my pal. So in addition to being grounded, I had to call my pal’s PARENTS and rat her out. I thought surely she’d never talk to me again, but we got through it, grounded, together.
Now see? Isn’t that a better story than remembering a straight pin being pushed through a small piece of cardboard, lighting some hash, putting a glass over the hash and letting it fill up, then sipping the smoke from under the crack you get when you lift the glass up? BWAHAHAHAHA!! OLD SCHOOL!