have mercy on me

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012

The carpet was soft, squishy, like jello pudding oozing through my toes.  Not a chocolate pudding, but vanilla.  The carpet was vanilla.  And I danced, danced and sang on my vanilla pudding carpets.  I used to want to be like The Judds – Naomi and Wynonna.  To be together with your Mom forever – that would be the life, I thought.  What would it be like to sit next to your mother, her guitar in one hand, strumming the strings with the other?  Or maybe one hand holding the mic and the other tapping her lap.  Or one hand softly rubbing my back, the other following.  Ah, a mother’s company – what a gift for Wynonna.  For now, my twin sister would have to do.

We would firmly grip the microphones like ice cream comes, holding onto them with two hands, making very sure no one else could rip it out of our hands.  The cord hung to the floor and led to the end of the room, but not into any sort of plug.  No, this was an ‘unplugged’ performance.  We got into position and I hit play.  The music began.

Have mercy on me.  You treat me so bad, I’m in misery.  It’s breaking my heart, can’t you see.  Baby, baby have mercy on me, yeah.

We sang and swayed back and forth in our summer dresses.  Hair in side ponytail and multiple plastic bracelets adorned our slender wrists.  Sometimes, like the times my brother would get our his camcorder, we touched up with some strawberry shortcake sparkle lip gloss – or something like that.  I loved when my brother recorded us.  He sat across on the cream colored loveseat.  I loved the word loveseat.  It reminded me of the lovebirds.  And that reminded me of love.  To me, love was singing.  Love was dancing.  Love was Carebears bouncing together through the clouds.  I wanted to be like Carebears, especially sunshine bear because sunshine bear was yellow and I loved the color yellow.  Sunshine bear had a great big sunshine on his tummy.  My mom bought me my very own sunshine bear, along with my Puffalumps and many other stuffed animals.  Most of the time, my stuffed animals accompanied me in bed.  Like my pound puppy, Rose.  Whenever I was scared of the dark, which was every time it was dark, Rose and sunshine and the others would keep me company.  That was after Mom and Dad left my room.

My brother used to tell me Gremlins lived under my bed.  I would get good speed from the door and run as fast as I could until I got far enough away from the gremlins to grab my ankles and toes, but close enough to land on the bed.  Luckily, I made it safely to the bed each time.

When my stuffed animals weren’t protecting me in the night, I would let them take naps before playing again.  They loved playing tea and store and dress up and Barbies.  I think they liked playing tea the most.

My mother had given me and Melissa our very own tea set.  I don’t remember much about the tea, but I do remember how much I loved the sugar.  Oh the sugar and the milk would make the tastiest tea.  Miss and I would take turns serving and being served.  We would wear gorgeous, vintage dresses that my mother would clip with large hairpins or safety pins to keep them from falling off.  Her good fried, Suzie, was a photographer at an antique clothing store or something like that.  We wore hats lined with netting and white gloves.  Oh the gloves!  I loved wearing the gloves.  Short gloves, long gloves, I didn’t care.  I loved them all.  I wonder if my mother has any pictures of us dressed up in our tea clothes.  And I wonder where the videos are of us dancing and singing.  And the video of the time I pulled my front tooth and tried to say “Silver Fish” but instead made the sound “Thilver Fith.” 

When I am a mother, I want to make movies of my children and play tea and dance and sing.  They may never want to leave my side and while my heart will warm with the thought of that being true, I will squeeze their sweet hands and then know I will have to eventually let them go.


behind the scenes

This was a writing prompt in which I had 15 minutes to come up with an unedited piece of writing.


feature image provided by Zachary Malone



There comes a time when one realizes the cage was unlocked all along. Learn More

Copyright © 2012-2016 Rowdy Prisoners. All Rights Reserved.