Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dead Cows and Grandpa

I had one birthday party when I was a kid. All the neighbor hood kids were there. I got a lot of Star Wars toys.  My birthday cake had Tweedy Bird. I don’t know how I ended up with that cake. I wanted a Star Wars one. I didn’t care really though. I was just happy I was having a party. My mom was pregnant with my sister at the time. It was my last hurrah.
I was excited to be having a little sister. I asked my parents how my sister got in there. Mom went to a library and checked out an extremely graphic book. She explained to me about the penis and vagina. I told all my friends about it.
My dad dropped me off at my grandma’s house. I couldn’t sleep that night. I kept thinking that the next day I will have a baby sister. I got up the next morning. We got in grandpas’ car and drove to the hospital.  I was too young to go inside. Mom’s room was on the first floor. She opened the window and held my sister to the screen. She was dark and screaming.
“That’s not my sister, that’s some Mexican baby.” I said.
My sister came home three weeks later. She was sick a lot and couldn’t eat. All she did was cry and throw up. I would hear my mom yelling at her to stop her fucking crying and just sleep.  I was scared for her. I wanted to take her and run away so she wouldn’t get hurt and yelled at.
She had a few operations. She started to eat and hold the food down. My parents decided we should take my grandma to Ohio for my great grandparent’s 50th anniversary. I don’t remember a lot of the trip. My sister throwing up every half hour or so, an electrical storm in New Mexico. I saw cows getting struck by lightening. My grandma told me not to touch anything metal in the car or I might die. I got my head stuck between the bars on a motel balcony. Dad spread the bars apart and pulled me through.
I remember my great grandparents. Andrew and Anna Kichka, they barely spoke any English. She was a tiny little woman. She just in her chair with a huge smile on her face. I sat at her feet. She put her hand on my head and sang Slavic songs to me.  It was uncomfortable, but I liked the attention. Great grandpa was a huge man. All muscle. He took me to his garden and let me pick raspberries.
I don’t know much about them. I know they left Czechoslovakia, went to Hungry and came to New York in the late 30’s. Eventually they settled in Cleveland.
In 1953 my grandma met some Ukrainian sailor and got pregnant with my mother. The sailor left. No one saw him again.
Some how she and my mom ended up in LA, I don’t know how. No one ever told me about it. I never asked about it. I figured if they wanted me to know, they would have told me.

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