I don’t want to come across as self-absorbed by writing a snippet of memoir here, I can’t take myself that seriously. But I’m going to write it anyway. So I guess the question is: how can I justify rolling gleefully in the decadent pig-trough that is the subject of Me? Ahh, screw it. Here goes.
When I was about six years old, living with my mom and my sister in the foothills of the Cascade mountains in Oregon, I received my first lesson in karma. I have a few other memories from that house too – whistling for the first time, eating toothpaste, eating huckleberries, the tire swing in the front yard – but my lesson in karma is what really sticks out.
I’d like to think I was generally a good-natured young fellow, but somehow I got an idea that reminds me of the way Dr. Seuss’s Grinch smiles: I decided that I would place a tack on the stairs, and that my sister would step on it. In my defense, I’m confident she was being super-mean to me that day, and I must have been really angry because I remember thinking how glorious it would be when my devious plan came to fruition.
So I carefully placed a tack on one of the creaking wood steps and ran upstairs to whatever corner seemed like the most strategic hideout. And there, with the attention span of a common housefly on crack-cocaine, I waited. And I waited. And waited…
The next thing I remember is mom calling my name. I ran down the stairs and – KERPOW! – the tack I had placed there sunk full force into my heel. Crying out, I gasped as a deep throbbing pain rattled the nerve endings in my foot. I hopped to my mother, wailing. She removed the object in question and gave me comfort I knew full well I didn’t deserve, a few drops of blood speckling the floor.
It is without pride that I report this fact: I didn’t tell the truth about how it really happened. Not to mention the keen realization, even at the age of six, that I was without a doubt one of the stupidest children to ever breathe this planet’s air. And that was my first big lesson in karma.