I think it was Christmas time
A vignette from my autobiography, "Bakersfield Blood"
A true story...
I think it may have been Christmas time, but I'm not for sure. I remember the flashing red and blue lights, but now that I think about it, they may have been from the police cars and the ambulance.
It was the flashlights that woke me up.
Lil' sis was awake as well, and side by side we lay perfectly still as the beams of light crisscrossed our bodies.
There were policemen in our room. I had always liked policemen. I think I even used to make believe that I was a policeman, as probably all little boys do.
Until that night.
Where was the comforting; the calming words? Why did Mr. Policeman never kneel down by our bed and pat our little heads?
I had been a child, but I recognized the expressions. I saw it reflected in red and blue flashes on their faces; disgust.
I had been afraid...and ashamed.
I figured poor children with cockeyed step-daddies just didn't count.
And so we never made a peep, even though I could hear momma crying from the next room; even though the policemen started tearing open our toys; especially the big bag of balloons that cockeyed step-dad had brought home. I never could understand why he bought such a big paper bag full of balloons but only let us have one of them.
And there went cockeyed step-dad. I just caught a glimpse of him as they wheeled him past the door on a stretcher. I guessed he must be pretty sick. I think momma told me later on that it was something called, "overdose."
Mom never did let me and little sis go to the hospital to visit cockeyed step-dad, because she said we wouldn't want to see the tubes in his nose. But it was okay, cause soon as he got better we got to go and visit him at a place momma called, "The Halfway House."
Unlike the policemen, the people there were really nice. and I think it might have been Christmas time, but I'm not sure. It just seems that every time I think of my childhood I recall flashing red and blue lights.