Saturday, January 10, 2015

Perhaps Mama Misunderstood the Fortune Teller

Here’s what I figure must’ve happened: It must’ve been like in those blues songs where the blues singer’s mama went to see the gypsy fortune teller back when the blues singer's mama was still pregnant with said blues singer. And the fortune teller gets all excited and tells the blues singer's mama she’s got a boy child coming and he’s gonna be sunuvagun!

That must’ve been what happened because back when my sister and I were criplets my mother frequently told us that she expected big things from us. She expected us to go to college and go on from there to do great things. Why possessed her to put crazy ideas like that in our heads? College? Didn’t she know that colleges didn't admit cripples? This was the 1960s. College?

But I figured what must’ve happened was that the fortune teller told my mother, "Your children will attend a very excluuuusive school!" And that got my mother excited. And the fortune teller was right. We ended up in a state-operated boarding school for cripples I call the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). That acronym describes well the quality of the education there. And yes, it was very exclusive. Only the most excluded cripples went there. At least our mother took us home for weekends, holidays and summer and such. Most of the inmates didn’t even have families.

And I bet the fortune teller told my mother I would graduate from the exclusive school at the top of my class! Right again. I was Salutatorian of my graduating class almost by default. It was a class of eight graduates. I was second best but I was also sixth worst.

Everything the fortune said came true. So I pray like hell that the fortune teller never told my mother I would someday live in a gated community. For the average bipedal pedestrian, that means a pristine subdivision protected by an imposing fence and a dutiful proletarian in a guardhouse. But for the average cripple, that means a nursing home. It don’t get much more exclusive than that.

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