Warning to all the relatives:
You might want to skip this post in order to maintain the illusion that I’m just a sweet NORMAL person……….
Over the years I have been told I’m mad as a hatter, a crazy chick, barking mad etc etc – all of course in good humour and with good intent, but how close has that come to the truth?
I’ve never been willing to park my particular blend of crazy in the disabled bay, on the contrary – it has provided me with years of entertainment!
My earliest childhood memories were of the things that went bump in the night. I have forgotten great chunks of my life, but these occasions I remember.
One of my earliest experiences was when we lived outside of Jo’burg in this huge house with this really creepy cellar made up of connected rooms that you got to by crawling through these tiny square openings in the wall.
I loved that house but perhaps it held memories that helped to edge me off to the ‘desert plains’ – mentally speaking of course.
I remember hearing terrible screaming coming from our nanny’s flatlet – her boyfriend was apparently giving her a beating and my father armed with a bread knife up his sleeve, went off to try and sort it out. I’m not sure what happened after that but dad returned with the bread knife intact and the nanny returned to work the next day…… I think.
That was also the time of the Fox Street bombings. Nowadays that would barely make the papers, what with all the other violence in this country, but back then it was horrifying. It was also the time that we returned from church and discovered that our big goldfish had eaten all the others and was floating bloated belly up in an otherwise empty tank – how was that even possible?
It was the house where we’d owned a piano which I found I could play quite comfortably without any lessons. And hail, the size of golf balls which we collected in a big green bowl and stuck in the freezer. It was also the time where my brother The Prof had ripped his poster of the boxer (Charlie Weir?) off the wall in disgust when he lost an important bout. There was also the crazy person down the road who used to scream incoherently and try to grab you when you walked past.
That was also the first time I fainted – at pre-school no less. I dropped like a rock and was swiftly picked up by a very tall girl with bushy hair (perhaps another Lioness?).
It was the house where the bread knife made another appearance, my father in a rage of monumental proportions, used it to shred my moms clothes…..
Years later I found out that it was also the time the big family secret was revealed. I don’t remember things specifically changing, but if I think back that must have been around the time my mom attempted suicide for the first time. I don’t connect that house with that attempt but I do remember being kept in a room with my brother in a convent somewhere for an entire day. I was screaming to be let out. I remember my aunt, The Nun coming in to quiet us down, or rather ME down. I remember feeling afraid. So perhaps what I don’t remember were indeed the things that started the ball rolling.
Funny the things you remember you often want to forget and those you forget you’re desperate to remember.
The day I saw the werewolf I had just woken up and was sitting up in bed. He was walking on his hind legs out of the bathroom and down the passage. I screamed myself stupid and when the family came running, tried to explain it to them. They were convinced it was a nightmare, I knew I’d been awake.
The second time was years later and we were sleeping in my granny’s house. I had the bed closest to the door, my brother was in a twin bed next to the wall. I remember lying on my side with my back to the door and being woken up by something poking my back. It took a while for me to register what was happening.
My brother was playing a joke!
I opened my eyes and saw The Prof sound asleep. The nudge came again! I turned over and there was this boy standing there with a sword, which I presume he had been using to wake me. He looked like Peter Pan, wearing funny clothes and a strange hat. He stood for a good few seconds and then dissappeared!
Now I can say ‘Holy crap, what the hell was that!’ But back then I was too young.
The third time something weird happened I was a few years older and I remember lying down for my afternoon nap. I was again just waking up when I heard what sounded like a crowd of voices shouting in anger. I remember lying there for ages, feeling frightened and waiting for it to stop. When I questioned my mom she had said that no one else was there, that I had imagined it. I knew it wasn’t her and my dad, there were more than two voices.
Voices and visions and years later the nightmares started, at least that’s when I remember them starting. And then the weird knowings began. Oh those were fun!
Funny enough the ‘knowings’ as I call them really only developed once I was an adult. Weird nudgings of intuition that had no basis in fact but still managed to prove true. Knowing when a friend was in need, knowing when someone I hadn’t seen for years would suddenly rock up. They were subtle events, and perhaps they had been there all my life, but I just hadn’t paid them any particular attention. When I did of course, they slowly began to develop.
That creepy old house and that damn bread knife! What a journey they started!