Saturday, April 2, 2016

Another Prose Memoir

Snap, Crackle and Pop

It was the longest day of the week.  It was the biggest boring day of the week.  It was the most monotonous day of the week.  It was Sunday.

A day of rest is supposed to be important for our health.  Unfortunately, in my family, Sunday was a cause of unhappiness and tension.  This was probably due to the fact that I never understood what was going on and no one bothered to take my concerns into consideration. We began the day by dressing in our most uncomfortable clothes—shiniest shoes, dressiest dress, warmest coat, ugliest hat, and even white gloves!  Of course, I couldn’t play in them—at least play anything that involved running, falling, climbing, skipping, jumping, leaping, hopping, bouncing, dancing, etc.  Eventually, we went off to church. Dad was left behind.  He was always drunk and no one wanted him to come to anything, anyway.  On the way to church, we picked up Grandma and Auntie.  Grandma and Auntie were Lithuanian and didn’t speak good English.  They couldn’t even pronounce my name, which is Faith.  The way they pronounced it sounded like, “Face.” So Mom and Grandma and Auntie talked in Lithuanian.  I never learned the language.  It all sounded like gibberish to me.  Next was church.  It was a Lithuanian parish.  In the 1950’s the Mass was still in Latin.  And when the priest wasn’t speaking Latin, he was speaking Lithuanian.  (Sigh)  After forever and a day, Mass came to an end.  The worse is yet to come.  We always went to Grandma’s house.  Even though I wasn’t an only child, I was an only child.  My siblings are much older than I.  Much.  This means I had no one to play with.  Alone, I wandered around Grandma and Auntie’s big house and touched things I shouldn’t touch and played on the piano that was verboten too, because my banging on the keys knocked it out of tune, (or something), and listened to the drone of gibberish in the background--harsh, bold, guttural clearing of the throat, Lithuanian. They didn’t even have a TV. Breakfast always included rye bread, eggs, and potato pancakes, for which I was supposed to be thankful to have something different than my usual rice krispies.  And when I think back that’s what I missed—my usual snap, crackle and pop.  My Sunday break from my usual snap, crackle and pop was long, lazy, lackluster and lifeless.  I didn’t want a change.  I didn’t need a break.  I wanted another day of snap, crackle and pop.

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