A very long time ago, taking a one-year leave of absence from college, I found myself living with my slightly younger sister (“Bunky” from here on) in her very first house, which she shared with two other single mothers. (Happily, there was a fourth bedroom for me to inhabit… which I shared with Rosie, my sister’s Great Dane-Rottweiler mix… who was also my sweetie. And, yes, it was quite “serious.”)
You might think I felt entitled to stay under Bunky’s roof, since her dog was in love with me and since I’d lent her the money for the down payment on that house. But in truth, I did not feel thusly entitled. Bunky, my close sibling and pal, had paid me back lickety-split and had not left me in the lurch (for that little nest-egg was my Future College Moolah, the result of three years of scrapin’ and slavin’ in banks, offices, and restaurants in Arizona, California, and Chicago, Illinois).
The real reason I stayed with Bunky and her charming barely-toddler, my fantastic nephew (“Scrappy-Doo,” from this point forward), was because there was no place, in the whole, wide world, I would rather have been (as long as school was on hold, anyway).
Bunky and I had always been close, and I absolutely loved her kiddo — and the truth is, “Scrappy” loved the heck out of his goofy, clearly artistic uncle (“Spazmodius Rex” from here on in, for narrative purposes). What fun we had, the wee lad and I, playing “King Kong” and “Hoo-Ah!” — and going on “Poo-poo Expeditions” in the back yard (the kid was an enthusiastic and superb “spotter” during clean-up ops… Oh, dogs!).
As housemate to three sets of single moms and wee ones, I tried to make myself useful: I bought groceries, cooked meals, and cleaned on a regular basis… like the damn maid, if you must know (Bunky has always left a pile of dirty dishes in her wake). Working opposite shifts from my kid sis (6-8 years older than I, in Maturity Years), I managed to take on much of Scrappy’s daily care, changing his cloth diapers, feeding him nutriments, and often putting him down for the night (it never took more than three tranquilizer darts and a lullaby).
But mostly I spent all that time with Scrappy because I was having the time of my life with the kid. And with my sis. And her best friend, “Banana” (hi, Banana).
By Jiminy, those were good times!
End Part 1
SNEAK PREVIEW: In Fart 2, “Rex” (your not all that humble narrator) learns that not everyone shares his political/philosophical convictions!