We do for others because we don't know how to do for ourselves. We do for others because we feel it is the only way to make up for the damage we feel our craziness is doing to society. We do for others because it makes us feel good when nothing else in the whole world does, not even pills. We stay quiet and sit in the corner because others seem so much more needy. We require so little, you and I. A fact which does not sit well with others who would label us as too much to handle. When in truth, all those such as us really need is a bit of understanding, a bit of reciprocation, maybe a touch on the cheek once in a while and a sly wink. The rest of the world is needy. I'd rather be crazy. ~~Aimee

Monday, 23 May 2011

Super 8

In a pee-filled pool with semen stained sheets is where I spent most of my summers growing up. At least between the ages of 9 and 12. My mum worked as a manager in a motel. Every day I went to work with her. The other managers all brought their kids to work too and we all spent our days swimming in the pool or watching TV in one of the unrented rooms. It wasn't all fun and games. Whenever housekeeping was short handed, we would clean rooms, wash sheets, and sweep the parking lot. 

Then when the restaurant would close at 2 pm, we would all come inside for lunch. We could order whatever we wanted off the menu, but considering the oldest of us was 13, our lunches mostly consisted of chicken nuggets and french fries followed by chocolate cake. The six of us would gather around the big booth and wait anxiously for our gourmet lunch to be served. We all came from the "poor" part of town so eating "out" was a big deal to us. Not a word would  be spoken between us as soon as the food was placed in front of us. We would gobble it down like we hadn't eaten in days. Our parents were firm believers in the 30 minute rule. You know the one. No swimming for 30 minutes after eating. So we would play pool and Ms. Pac Man until we were finally released from our prison of dry land. 

Once 30 minutes had passed, we would race outside and jump right back into our home away from home. From a distance, I am sure we looked like a pack of  untame children running wild, but reality was we were anything but. While we never spoke the words out loud, we all knew a responsibility that most children should never know. Whenever the little ones fell, we didn't run for our mothers. Us older ones picked them up, wiped their noses, kissed their boo-boos, and rocked them until some new shiny thing passed by and made them forget why they were crying in the first place. We took them to the bathroom, fed them when they were hungry, and sat with them til they went to sleep. 

Eight hours a day six days a week, we were left to our own devices, but yet somehow we all managed to be "good" kids. We worked when we had to and played when we didn't. No complaints. No questions asked. When school started in the fall and our teachers asked how we spent our summer, all the hours of work would be forgotten and all we remembered was swimming and playing pool.

That was all that really mattered anyways.

This is for a writing prompt from Studio 30+. The prompt was Hotel Stories. Motel/ hotel. Potayto/potahto. While I have many stories that are much more intense than this one, like the time I almost beat my father to death with a baseball bat in the motel parking lot in front of two police officers who had momentary blindness and saw nothing or how I met Bob Orwig from the movie Platoon, I decided to write about this instead. Mostly  because even though my life was difficult, it was not all bad. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.


The Bipolar Diva said...


Miz PRN said...

Firstly, you write so well Maas. I love how you articulate every ounce of your feelings and emotions from the very core of your being. It takes courage to expose your vulnerability and I admire that quality in you as well as your genuinity and self honesty.

I can relate to having to remind yourself that life wasn't all bad. It is hard though I admit, when you've been traumatised so badly and your perceptions become either black or white. Similarly, when you've experienced much negativity in early childhood you come to expect it.

I started on my recovery and healing from child sexual abuse at the start of 2007 using the book 'Self Matters' by Dr Phil, then of course 'Courage to Heal' which I've told you about in conjunction with psychotherapy.

In one exercise Dr Phil prompts you to look at 10 defining moments in your life. 7 were negative, 3 positive. It's another great book that I highly recommend. Gets into the nitty gritty of resolving issues and general personal development.

Maasiyat said...

Miz Prn, thank you for the compliment, but I find it so strange because I don't do it conciously. This is how I speak. It is how I think. It doesn't take courage or strength. It just is so I always find it strange at how others perceive me.

I am also a black or white; good or bad person as well so sometimes I have to remind myself that I did laugh occasionally as a child.

M. Hicks said...

I really enjoyed this, and it took me back to my childhood as well. I had two younger sisters and I remember the same care giving and avoiding interrupting the adults.
I envy you a bit though--that sounds like the coolest way to spend a summer ever. My mother managed a buffet once, and I remember what a treat it was to go get a comped meal, and I remember the responsibility of being a child of someone at work.
Nice post! You got my good memories working too.

Maasiyat said...

M., thanks for stopping by. It was definitely an interesting way to spend the summer. A truck stop motel is definitely a learning experience. One that can only be truly understood after you have lived it.


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