Friday, June 13, 2008
I can remember the warm Kentucky summer, riding my bike down Sycamore Hill, the hot air in my face, the smell of honey suckle and the sound of cars zipping by on the nearby highway. I fought my way up that unending hill, walking beside the bike that my little legs could not power to the top. Once I'd overcome that climb, I let gravity do it's job. I bet I was going 30 mph by the time I reached the bottom, and went tumbling over my handle bars, face-first into the gravel. Then I remember not riding the huffy for a while. That July I spent what seemed like an eternity in our little cave-like trailer.
At the age of six, keeping yourself busy IN the house can become quite harmful to your health. I had a teenage sister that I was sure wanted me dead. I came dragging through the front door after "the accident," carrying my bike, sniffling and spitting gravel. Seeing I wasn't going to get much compassion from the dirty blond on the phone, I began to cry. She attempted to clean me up and fix the problem by giving me some iced tea and crackers. All of which only reminded me of how painful my bloody gums were. Mom was at work and my sister would have to sustain life until she returned. My situation was seeming very grim.
Nintendo would be the way to go. Stay still, out of my sister's hair and keep my mind off my scabby knees and aching lips, nose and gums. I played Mario Brothers and Lo lo until I regained the gumption to get back on that bicycle, which would be quite a few days. So, Princess here I came.
I played so much over the next couple of days that at night I would dream of Mario Brothers. I kept this to myself, until it turned ugly. Giant flashing numbers had begun to chase me, and try to kill me! It was like a game and I was losing. I remember the infamous running to no avail to escape being accosted by the number five. My nightmares finally got the best of me and I went screaming into my mothers room, explaining the flashing and how huge the numbers were. I described it the best way my little vocabulary would allow, "I was little like Mario on the TV."
This ended up at the doctor's office. My mother explaining the flashing nightmares, and how she had heard on the news about Japanese children developing epilepsy from games. I, obviously too small to comprehend their discussion, flipped through the bible books in the corner. Thus, I was back on my bike that afternoon and Nintendo playing was kept to a minimum. The nightmares didn't stop for a while though.
I later learned that I had something called numeriphobia-a fear of numbers. Seriously, it's a phobia and that's the technical term. The dreams just so happened to coincide with learning addition and subtraction with flashcards at Parkhill Elementary School.
I never have been good at math, and I've ALWAYS hated the Count on Sesame Street.