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My Page One - A Lifetime of Yesterdays - 5/28/24

The water was freezing against my feet, and the slimy soap caused me to rub my big toe on my right foot against the index toe beside it. They moved smoothly together, lubricated by the soapy water from the dishwasher and the laundry machine that had flooded our small basement. Over fifty gallons of dirty water had inundated the space. I had caused the flood during a severe obsessive-compulsive episode the night before. I needed to ensure the pump switch was in the correct position before bed, typically taking twenty to thirty minutes. The pump, attached to a wash basin, drained our kitchen and laundry machines. In my repeated pressing of the switch--lacking an indicator light--I had inadvertently turned it off. The basin overflowed with a stream of soapy fluid and remnants of last night's dinner, which we discarded in the garbage disposal. It continued all night, filling the usable living space with several inches of cold, dirty water. I had woken up to my mother screaming at me. I was in deep trouble with no way out.



The water had cooled after sitting on the cement basement floor all night. The mortar and dirt ten feet below ground remain fifty degrees year-round in the Mid-Atlantic states. Even when dry, the thin padding and carpet did little to warm the floor. Now, submerged in dirty household waste, it was as cold as the Atlantic Ocean in early May. I stood there, shivering, as my mother screamed, "Christian, what the fuck is wrong with you?" My toes cringed, and I shuddered at her words. I had never heard her swear before, let alone use "fuck." I felt utterly isolated, in trouble with the one person I could usually rely on. My sister had left for college, leaving my mom, dad, and me.


I was frightened by my behavior, which was not normal. The flood would be the first consequence of my constant checking. Something was developing a hold on me. The next obsession became the stove. Spending ten to thirty minutes in front of the burners to ensure they were off was exhausting and drained what little energy I had at the end of the day. I needed to figure this out on my own. The library was the best place to go, and there was one just down the street.


My investigation would begin at the Oceanic Free Library on the corner of Avenue of Two Rivers and Ridge Road. The gregarious Al Lamont owned the Mobil gas station on the west side of the corner. Aptly named Lamont's Garage, he wore the mechanics uniform with "Al" stitched on the pocket containing a box of cigarettes. My father usually had him working on one of his trucks. Across the street from Lamont's is the library. The local library, which has a rich history, was visited more by my sister than me because she did her homework while I listened to music. It was the summer of 1974, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were on tour. I was planning to see them at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. My girlfriend and I had tickets for the show. I was thirteen years old.


Peace, Chris






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1 page done! way to go! Incredibly descriptive and shows a lot of insight abut your childhood in such a short passage.

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About Chris

Christian J. Farber

After a thriving corporate career, Chris now enjoys retirement at the Jersey Shore. As a prostate cancer survivor, he's committed to educating men about the disease and covers various topics like Alcoholism, Multiple Sclerosis, and Career Success in his featured writing on platforms such as The Good Men Project, Huffington Post, and Thrive Global.

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