Wednesday, April 08, 2009

ice cream

I haven't eaten ice cream in ages. It's like, something the kids do now.

No Ice Cream for Daddies.

There's a photo of me in my ma's house somewhere, taken by the man who used to take pictures at the GPO in the 70's. He'd take the pic and try and flog it onto ya. My ma bought this one. A black and white photo of me balancing on the front bar of my little brothers buggy.

My Ma has ice-cream and I have none.

She bought the ice cream. I can still remember. She bought it and it had a flake in it. And it was fucking huge to my five year old eyes. And she broke the bit off the bottom and I thought ah lovely stuff Mammy, take a bit for yourself and then render unto Ceaser.

And she handed me the little bit.

The injustice.

It's mad the memories that stay with you.

I'm convinced I can remember being a wailing baby in a buggy before I could even sit up or talk or anything.

And the world, the vastness of open space as opposed to the cosy womb, and the air in the room feeling like something scraping on my hands.

And sounds.

My own cries. I can remember my Da, and not really understanding who or what he was. ANd his magnificence - like that bit in Clash of the Titans when the kraken comes out of the water - like FUCK! (but i couldn't think in words)

My first moment of awareness.

I think I've a mad clear long term memory because I broke my leg when I was three.

The pain of it is long forgotten but the other stuff that happened before and after are crystal clear. Like metaphysical bookends, the preserved edges of an impact crater.

There's also a notion that all good writers move home when they are five. Hands up who moved when they were five? I did anyway so Ha!

Does anyone else have a very early first memory?

And by the way - fuck the budget. Enda Kenny is on the radio in the background trying to sound like the vexed voice of the working man. I'm picturing him all enraged like a mannequin dummy on a vibrating plate or something. RRRrrrrrrrr.

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8 comments:

P Nolan said...

Ha. that's a good one - we moved house when I was five. From a small terraced house in town to 'the country' - 2 miles outside town. My parents landed a gig caretaking a biggish house for a biggish farmer who had bought it for surrounding land. He rented out the main house as apartments and we lived in the 'servants quarters'. My dad cut grass, kept gardens, fixed things - I watered and weeded. Several blissful summers wandering mostly on my tod around sheds, shrubberies, fields and haggards, until reality bit with unfortunate vengeance around age 12. Ice cream was rare enough, but summer was all about tomatoes, autumn was apples, winter was chilblains and spring was flowers.

Totalfeckineejit said...

I know it's an old joke now but my dad really did tell us that the ice cream van only played the tunes when it was sold out of ice cream.Oh the psychological scars.

Uiscebot said...

Mr Nolan I'm green fingered with envy. I did read it somewhere about the moving thing. I had the same, from Concrete Ballymun to the foot of the Tallaght Mountains.

Feckin - my heart bleeds, or is that melts..

Niamh B said...

We never moved house, not even once, they're still there, where i grew up, obviously no one told them how to grow a proper writer... I made up for it since, have had more addresses than dresses.
Earliest memory - probably tearing up and puking on the ladybird books... always had great respect for literature.

Domestic Oub said...

Yeah, I moved house when we were five... I moved from sedate Kilmacud to posh Foxrock, different worlds Colm, eh?

(btw I'm cross, I was just about to do a whole blog entry on this very topic!!)

Also, I remember taking an overdose when I was two and a half. That trumps your broken leg.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

We moved when I was 5! Four doors down to a bigger house cos my Ma was preg with her 6th. The old house was where my Da lived as a kid - a 2 bed cottage. My brother lives there now with his partner.
We moved to a 4 bed 2 storey - it felt like a mansion.
I remember being given a new teddy at 2 yrs old. It's still around somewhere.
Eat an ice-cream, Colm. It maight just change your life...

Niamh B said...

I did move my bedroom furniture around when I was young - ALOT. Does that count? It seems important now with Mavis Gallant getting in on it and all...

beedlemama said...

We moved when I was four and a half, does that count?! I remember being given a tiny tears aged two, when my brother was born so I had my own little baby! Not sure that worked too well as I distinctly remember pinching James a lot. I also broke my arm aged three. There is a theme here.