I’ve thought up a new idea for my next adventure in writing. This will be a humorous look at the adventures of a man going through a mid-life crisis. I’ve got an outline already created, and am considering this as my opening (or, something very similar):
The night of July 3rd, 1967 was a long one for the doctors and nurses at Twin Falls Community Hospital. Josephine Anderson was there to bring a new child into the world. Her baby had much different thoughts. The argument between mother and child was intense. It raged for hours. Pour Josephine was not having an easy time of it. Neither was her child. He was a determined baby, and fought a losing battle with childbirth. He was being forced into the world he wanted no part of.
Josephine’s husband had dropped her off at the emergency room on his way to work. Harold was employed as a night watchman at the local lumber mill, and he didn’t want to do anything that might jeopardize his job: being late was one thing Harold Anderson avoided at all costs.
Josephine was a huge Elvis Presley fan. She owned every record The King ever recorded. Just two months before, Josephine had become so distraught when she heard that Elvis and Priscilla had gotten married that Harold had to take her to the emergency room. Josephine had gone into false labor and it frightened the young couple. They thought for sure that their baby was going to arrive much earlier than anticipated. The unborn child had different thoughts on the matter. Harold lost a day’s pay for that little incident. He saw it as a bad mark against his employment record, and he wasn’t about to take the chance it might happen again. So, on the night of July 3rd Harold had walked his wife into the hospital, and turned her over to the admittance nurse. He then kissed her goodbye, settled behind the steering wheel of his rundown Ford Fairlane, and drove to work.
Josephine endured 15 hours of hard labor, most of it alone, in a cold, dingy room at the only hospital in Twin Falls, ID. By the time she delivered the 8 lb, 12 oz. baby, at 10:15 on a sunny July 4th morning, Harold had returned from work, and was curled into the fetal position on the lime green naugahyde couch in the waiting room of the maternity ward, attempting to rest his tired body.
When the nurse shook Harold awake he rushed down the hall to Josephine’s room only to find mother and child sleeping soundly. Harold slouched into the uncomfortable chair in the corner of the semi-private room where Josephine and her newborn baby boy slept, closed his eyes, and, in no time at all, began to softly snore, in rhythm with the breathing of his wife and son. The next day the little family drove home to the tiny house in Ketchum. That was the beginning of time for Dwayne “Pinky” Anderson.
Now, you may ask, where did the name Pinky come from? Children are born all over the world, some with physical deformities, others with mental incapacities, many with neither. The son of Harold and Josephine Anderson came into the world with a small extra appendage on his left hand. The nurse in the delivery room exclaimed, “Oh, isn’t that cute? He’s got an extra little pinky.” The name stuck. Dwayne Anderson wished it hadn’t.
Pinky was a chubby little baby. He did not learn to walk until he was 26 months old, and did not speak his first words until four days before his fourth birthday. Harold silently wondered if there might not be something wrong with his son. Pinky knew otherwise. He just did things at his own speed. Josephine didn’t give it much thought. She just loved and coddled the child.
When Pinky started kindergarten it was determined that his eyesight was extremely poor. He was prescribed glasses, very thick glasses with sturdy black frames. His social skills were lacking, and his vocabulary was far behind that of the rest of his classmates. Two months into the school year Josephine and Harold were summoned to the principal’s office. When they arrived for their meeting they found not only the principal, but also the district nurse and a child psychologist from Boise, in attendance.
After much discussion the young parents agreed to hold their son back one year in school. That would give Josephine and Harold time to work with Pinky, to help him improve his vocabulary, and, now that his vision had been corrected, maybe teach him to read. The one thing that would not be improved by holding him back was Pinky’s social skills. For that Josephine and Harold would have to find an environment rich with other children. They were not church goers, nor could they afford to send Pinky to daycare. With winter quickly approaching the parks in the area held little hope, for when Josephine did take Pinky to play with other children, there were few to be found.
Throughout his school years each of his teachers quickly ascertained that Pinky was not an exceptional student. He lacked motivation, and his grades were always near the bottom of the grading scale. When Pinky was in 8th grade the school nurse wrote in Pinky’s file that he was “recalcitrant towards education due, in part, to a lack of motivation.” In short, Pinky was just a below average student with a below average self-esteem. He was quite content with his lot in life. He saw no reason to change. Change involved more work than Pinky was willing to exert, and exertion was something Pinky avoided at all costs.
Harold Anderson loved his wife and son, but he had difficulty expressing that love. Josephine Anderson directed all of her love towards her son, leaving Harold frustrated and lonely. As the years flew by the couple grew farther and farther apart. When Pinky was 12 years old his parents divorced. His mother went to work as a cashier at the local grocery store, and his father moved to Washington State. Pinky became a latchkey child, spending much of his pre-teen years alone, in a small, quiet house in a small, quiet city in Idaho.
Pinky would visit his father from time to time. Harold Anderson could not afford to send for Pinky often, but there were a few holidays, and a summer now and then, when Harold would pay for Pinky’s bus ticket. Those times grew farther and farther apart, so that when Harold remarried Pinky was not in attendance. It was all for the better. Sixteen year old Pinky Anderson did not care for his step-mother. The feeling was mutual.
Many summers Pinky stayed with his grandparents, Josephine’s mother and father. They lived just across the border, in a small town in Montana. Pinky adored his grandfather. The man was a heavy drinker in his younger days, but when he married Pinky’s grandmother he quit drinking. Grandmother, a Mormon by faith, thought alcohol was the sperm of the devil, and she never let Pinky forget that, either. She was constantly preaching the sins of alcohol to all who would listen. Pinky had little choice in the matter. He could not help but hear what the woman had to say, and some of it actually sunk in.
Although Pinky’s grandfather had a big belly, Pinky did not believe that his grandfather would ever give birth to a baby. He just thought the man ate a lot. Pinky was perceptive like that, and he was, most assuredly, correct in his thinking. In order to keep peace in the family, however, Pinky’s grandfather followed his wife’s thinking. So, if his big belly was not the product of eating, and was, in fact, impregnated with the sperm of the devil, Pinky’s grandfather kept that baby captive for the duration of his life, and carried it to his grave. The man never touched a drop of alcohol. You could say that with such influence in his life Pinky approached drinking age with fear.
When his grandfather died Pinky was overcome with grief. He was 18 at the time, and was contemplating his future. With his grandfather’s help Pinky had narrowed his career choices down to three or four. Now he would have to make the decision alone. As Pinky stood next to his grandfather’s casket he thought, “God, you took the radio from me, but thank you for leaving the music. I will continue to listen to my grandfather as he speaks to me from the beyond. With his help I will make something of my life.”
At the age of nineteen Pinky graduated from high school. He had his life before him, and he knew what he was going to to do with it. He was going to be the richest man in the state. Banking would be his path to those riches. His dreams were lofty, his thinking muddled, and the path he would travel was littered with life. Sometimes dreams are not meant to be achieved. Pinky learned that lesson the hard way.