Autobiography, Part 1

posted by Jory on Saturday, May 08, 2010
My mother once told me that my brother came quickly but my birth was long and painful. My brother was healthy and quiet. I was sickly and never stopped crying.

I was born premature, weighing 5 lbs, and my skin was so thin that my eyelids still remain purple. I grew up in a cozy ranch home with an exposed finished basement and a basketball hoop in the driveway. My house was in a suburban culdesac; my best fried lived ten little-girl-steps away.

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I lived in a city of Swedes. Ninety percent of the families were descendants of Swedish immigrants, mine included. My grandmother tried to teach me a little Swedish when I was very young. I retained very little but the pronunciation of certain words sometimes sneaks out of me.

Though I have three older siblings, I lived much of my youth as an only child, finding companionship in my dolls, movies, and books. My older sister was always a mystery to me. I remember looking at a portrait of her in her dance costume and thinking she was the prettiest woman in the world. As a little girl, I was envious of her big eyes and womanly figure. I always wanted to be part of her life but she always seemed distant.

My older brother and I used to play cops and robbers; I was usually the robber (this later became ironic when he became a criminal).

Throughout my childhood, my extended family belonged to a country club where I (along with my siblings and ten cousins) swam and dove for the swim team, took tennis lessons and played golf. Some of my fondest memories of those summers included playing the card game, “Spoons,” and eating stale popcorn from the bar after a long swim practice.
I was a terrifying child. One of my older cousins dubbed me the “Red Tornado” due to my wild red hair and my hyperactive behavior. I taught my six year old cousin how to play “21.”

We moved out of my favorite house when I was 12. My best friend threatened to slash our tires – she didn’t – or to chase our car down the street for as long as she could – she did – even though we moved less than a mile away.



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