When I was six, my mother or my father did something horrible–I don’t remember exactly what, but it was probably, like, telling me I couldn’t have a cookie–and I decided to run away. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but I knew that living under the same roof as that monster (whichever parent it was) for another day was more than a sane human could be expected to bear. I realized I would need sustenance, so I brought a box of crackers with me (I had long since figured out how to climb up onto the kitchen counter to reach things in the cabinets above) along with two small bottles of Coca-Cola. Taking one last look around the house, my heart full of regret and conviction, bidding farewell to the books and furnishings and art that had been my constant companions forever, I opened the front door, stepped out into the sunlight of the free world, and spent the next twenty minutes walking around the block over and over again because I wasn’t allowed to cross the street by myself.
Eventually I made a virtue of necessity, forgave the offending parent, and came back home well in time to watch The Greatest American Hero.
You are a psychoanalytic goldmine! Repressing the identity of the “monstrous” parent. The inherent symbolism of the unattainable cookie, the attainable box crackers and 2 bottled sodas, The trauma of rejected needs. The fond recollection of books and art, but not toys. With a childhood memory like this, I hope your psychiatrist boyfriend analyzes you on his couch.
You are totally AWESOME for sharing a memory like this, Faustus!
It seems to me, from what I’ve seen of you, that a box of crackers and two cokes might sustain you for quite a while even now. As a child, you might have gone on for months! 🙂
I ran away once when I was about 7 or 8. I forget why. I was a little more materialistic than you, I guess. I got a big suitcase out of the closet and filled it so full of crap that I’d been gone for about 20 minutes when my mother found my note and I was still only about two blocks away, dragging that thing behind me. Then she grounded me.
Ah, Faustus, you are a far braver soul than I. I never actually made it out of the house. Instead, I left the back door open and hid in the corner of our formal dining room, in between the wall and the china cabinet. For about four hours. My mother was freaking out, calling every neighbor on our street to ask if they had seen me. She finally caught me when she walked to the window right next to me to see if I was out on the street. I think the relief that I was still alive lasted roughly two seconds. Then I was in “big-time trouble.”
There is a strong metaphor for the human condition in this story but I am too busy to work out what it is. Still, the infant Faustus makes a very endearing Everyman
I’m just about in the same boat as Meg. I never actually left the house either, but instead opened my bedroom window and crouched in my closet with the door cracked, so that I could see my parents’ expressions when they entered the room to find my note on the pillow and the curtains billowing in the wind. Yes, I had a penchant for drama; I truly had the vision of seeing the curtains billowing romantically and my parents’ pained expressions when they read the note (no idea now what I wrote). I waited and waited and waited and nobody ever came! Finally, I got cole and sleepy, so I came out of the closet (the first time) closed the window and climbed into bed.