Tag Archives: Lost

The time I fell out a window and my parents couldn’t find me

The weather’s nice out today, which reminds me of my growin’ up times in Muskogee. My stepdad and mom built a house west of BFE, with all new stuff and rust-colored shaggy carpet. It was 1979 or so when we moved in, and I guess they didn’t think about me much when they built in the most remote area of Oklahoma they could find.

Kids weren’t plentiful in that area, which I credit for my special brand of … individuality, I guess you’d call it. I spent a lot of time by myself, entertaining myself, because my mom always seemed to be cranky about something and I could only help my stepdad on so many projects before he wanted to saw me in half.

I loved talking (and still do, which I know thrills my deskmates to no end) and my dad (who lived in Dallas, far, far away from my yakking) bought me a tape recorder with a microphone. I used to record my own news and variety shows, something I did well into my teen years. (I also used to type fake newspapers. I was doomed.) I got some good stuff on tape, and they’ve long since disintegrated, which is sad. I’d love to hear them again. I remember singing “Waiting Child,” the song about kids who need to be adopted, which was part of a segment the ABC affiliate here played to tug on those heartstrings. It worked. I was a liberal crying mess even at that age.

So  my parents build this house, and a year into living there, the air conditioning goes out. Or we never really had one and they lied to me all those years. I’m not sure. I just know that the parents in that house didn’t fix it until right before I moved out for college. My mom said she didn’t like AC; I swear they were torturing me. To this day, I break out in hives at the idea of my AC going out.

So one sunny, beautiful day, I’m sitting in my windowsill, windows open to get some sort of draft in that stale steamy house, and I’m, of course, yammering on into my tape recorder, talking some sort of irreverent bullshit, rocking back and forth and having a big ol’ time. I remember singing at one point.

I leaned back too far, and the screen popped out, and all 42 pounds or so of me tumbled onto the rock flowerbed below. My legs dangled over the sides of the sill and my head landed square on a rock. I was writhing in pain and eventually crumpled completely out of the window, coming to rest in a patch of geraniums.

I was screaming my head off, and the ‘Rents ran in my bedroom, looking for me, and I was nowhere to be seen. I was really hurt, but got up on my knees to look into my bedroom, expecting arms reaching out to grab me. They were running around like they were late to work and they’d lost their keys. They were also looking in the ridiculous places you look when you’ve lost your keys. I remember my mom looking between the bunkbeds, like I’d somehow folded myself  like a wallet and tucked myself between the beds. My stepdad was looking in my toybox, and yes, I could’ve fit there, but why would I be screaming? Finally, tearfully, I said in a little quiet voice, “I’m out here.”

They rushed to pull me in, and my mom scooped me up and I cried for a minute, then laughed about it, my usual way of dealing with my clumsiness. They laughed too, and it was one of those stories that still gets retold.

The hilarity didn’t stop there: The whole thing was caught on tape. Oh boy did my family have fun with that. They played back the tape in front of everybody (I don’t know who “everybody” entailed, I just remember being mortified) and even played the clip of me singing “Waiting Child” in my mournful 6-year-old voice.

I didn’t do anymore windowsill recording, and I was really quiet about all my recording, lest I be heard doing amateur traffic reports from my bedroom. My voice got all low and whispery, which is probably why I now have this deep Wolfman Jack voice now. Someday, I’ll upload a video of me doing my Barry White impression. It’s spot-on.

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Lost: The Parking Garage Edition

I had my own little “HOLY SHIT THEY MOVED THE ISLAND!” moment yesterday after leaving work.

Now, I’ll tell you from the beginning that my mental state is indeed challenged at this moment. I used to think I was impervious to mental strain and anguish, but the older I get, the more ridiculous I am. Throw 27 feet of snow on top of that, and you’ve got me basically baring my teeth to strangers, hissing and drooling alone in the corner.

(Note: I promise, the Garish Chicken won’t always be about the Blizzard of 2011 and its consequences… please don’t lose faith in me yet. I’ve also been hormonally challegend lately.)

Yesterday evening, as the sun-ish was setting over a brown-snow covered Tulsa, I finally packed up my crap and walked to the garage, a bit downtrodden at the news that I’d be staying in a hotel the next evening because of an impending snow and that fact that a newspaper must go out. It sounds silly, maybe, but I was worried about my dog. He’s a homebody. He hates cars. He hates my neighbors. He’s kind of high-maintenance in stressful situations.

So I’m trying to remember where my car is parked at this garage in downtown T-Town that I had to park in because the lot I actually pay for was still covered in the aforementioned Heap Big Snow. Except for a narrow swath that some half-assed plow cut through it — the spots themselves were still covered in mounds of snow. Tres ridicule.

So I tried to find a spot along the street yesterday. Nothing. I finally relented and parked in this mammoth garage, taking a ticket from the Spit-Out-A-Ticket-O-Matic and then amazingly finding a covered spot. I was happy, though still jangly from driving in ice in circles trying to find a spot, and I didn’t pay close enough attention to where I parked.

That all came to a delightful fruition late Monday evening, while I traipsed up and down the seemingly senseless floors of the parking garage. It’s like a horror movie in there — flourescent lights that kind of work, going out every now and again, a drip around every corner, strange men walking around. And the floors aren’t named correctly. The bottom floor is “GC,” which I now know is “Gold Card,” for the Upper-Crust Parker. The next floor is “T,” wich still makes no sense. The next is “M,” for Main Mall, which is where you’re actually exiting on Main Street. The next is A, then B, C & D. Those kind of make sense. But the others? Gobbledygook.

Every time I rounded a corner, I expected a axe-murderer, but looked for my car, the one with the dented fender and no side-view mirrors (another story for another time.) I also had to dodge SUVs that drove like bats straight out of Hades while coming around the dimly lit levels. They might as well have flipped me off when they passed me, flaunting their giant vehicles and the fact that they found their cars. Douchebags.

Turns out, my car was parked on the T (for Terror) level. I was near tears by the time I found my Corolla, convinced it had been Raptured On Up to Heaven, or worse, towed. I tried to call the parking garage phone number to see if they’d towed it. No answer. I was ready to lay myself down in a puddle and start flailing and wailing.

I seriously lost what I thought was pretty intact sanity. I got in the car and talked myself down, realizing that my once-fearless self was seriously on vacation and overdue to come back home.  I’m ready to return to being level-headed, and being able to figure out the geometry of a parking garage.

Today, I’m parking near a major structure, and maybe even taking a picture of where it’s parked. I can’t handle another one of these episodes.

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