Participating in Mama Kat’s writer’s workshop today, answering the prompt, “Show us something you wore.” And yeah, I’m a day early, but we have crazy shizzle going on Thursday-Sunday, so forgive.
Please excuse the dorky outfit–pinafore and Peter-Pan-collar blouse, anyone? And ignore the wonk hair, too, because wonk hair is a prominent fixture in my life, never to cease.
No, what you need to focus on is that piece of poo I am wearing on my shoulder.
Actually, it isn’t a piece of poo, although I know it looks like it.
Readers, meet Porky. Porky was my only friend my second-grade year…a change of schools will do that to a girl. Not every girl, but if you are highly nervous and shy and flat-out terrified by your new school, you may need a Porky to get you through.
Porky, a little pin in the shape of a porcupine, was a genius move on Mama’s part. Days before starting my new school, I twitched and fretted and spent a tremendous amount of time on the toilet. My sister couldn’t wait to start over in a new school, but me? On the toilet.
I couldn’t sleep and would sneak into Mama’s bed and whisper in her ear, “Please, Mama, please? Please don’t make me go to school.” It wasn’t enough to wrench my own guts out; I had to clutch Mama’s in a death grip too. Ah, motherhood. Such a gift.
But Mama needed my scaredy-butt parked behind a school desk, and she needed it quick. A pickle like this required some big-time creative thinking.
Luckily, Mama is fast on her feet. The day I was to begin school, Mama presented me with a small, ribbon-topped box. Inside was Porky. Impressively, he had soft but very realistic-looking quills and two black, beady eyes. She pinned Porky onto my dress and said, “This pin is your good luck charm, and he will keep you safe today, because he is your friend. So don’t fret about school. You already have a friend there.”
She’s Einstein, that Mama of mine.
Of course, I still fretted and was a nervous bag of bones, but at least with Porky on my shoulder, I could keep my shit *swear jar* together until the last bell rang. That’s a win.
I don’t think Mama expected Porky to be a daily fixture, but I was smitten. I insisted that she pin him on every pinafore I wore that year. Porky had the misfortune of landing in the washing machine many, many times. By the end of his tenure, Mama’d stitched him back together so many times that he looked pretty moth-eaten, but I didn’t care. Porky was my Talisman.
One day, sick of looking at Porky, my sister convinced me to wear a different pin. It was a little, freckled-faced girl pin, and when you opened it, there was a lilac-scented perfume that you could goop onto your neck. I was hesitant, but I agreed. And then, right after lunch, waiting in line for the library lady to stamp my book, I vomited profusely in the projectile fashion. All over the library floor. And everybody saw. The final insult was that the force of the vomit also made me pee my pants. And everybody saw.
That sealed the deal in my mind–Porky really was my good luck charm. Mama picked me up at school and cleaned me up and bundled me in bed and I gave Porky a thorough apology for my infidelity.
A few years ago, when Miss M. was giving me tears and pleas and resistance to school, I called Mama for support. Mama cracked up. “Fate’s come back for you, dear,” she snickered. Then she said, “I’ve got Porky if you need to borrow him…”
“Get out!” I blurted into the phone. “No way do you still have that guy.”
But she does. She saved him, lest his services be needed in the future. I declined at the moment, because I can’t sew a lick and Porky faced horrendous risk in light of my slothful laundry skills, but I was touched at the offer.
But oh, I sleep so much better at night, knowing that Porky’s still there, waiting, ready for active duty.