Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Memory Like An Elephant

In my sixth grade I was transferred to my third primary school. This third primary school was a little different from the others I had attended, firstly - it was a strict private school (the others I attended previously were all public schools), second - it was miles away from where we lived (the others were only a hop, skip and a jump away).

Throughout the years my parents learned of other children who lived in neighbouring suburbs, as travelling to and from this distant school was taxing on the family finances. Eventually my mum was able to find two boy's in my class who lived in neighbouring suburbs: one lived in Bateman, and another in Bibra Lake.

Thankfully my mum was able to arrange transport with the family in Bateman even going as far as paying her money for the trouble. It wasn't long until the boy from Bateman, Nicholas, and I became good friends.

As time passed we graduated from primary school to high school (which was still miles away) and his family moved to a closer location to the high school. This then presented poor mother dearest with the original niggling problem of getting me to high school. As the boy from Bibra Lake, Ross, was still attending school she decided to contact his family to see if we could come to some arrangement about getting me and Ross home.

Unfortunately the family from Bibra Lake weren't too keen on any ideas.

My mother offered money - they refused.

My mother offered to do half the load - they refused.

We were stuck.

A plan eventually fell into place that saw me get 1/3rd of the way home, but poor mother still had to drive the remaining 2/3rds to come pick me up.

(I was beginning to wonder whether private schooling was really worth it?)

On the days when I missed the transport for my 1/3rd I knew the family from Bibra Lake was no help. Thankfully though another family who lived in Leeming (another close suburb) had a boy, who was a year older than me, along with his mum, who was the high school librarian, offering to drive me home.

Okay, so where's all this going?

Well, Nicholas and I were always good friends throughout high school. I think our friendship could have been much better if I had studied more, as he ended up being the dux of our class when we graduated high school. As I flunked my final year (and had to repeat) many saw me as a dead weight dragging his academic performance down, thereby keeping us apart while he persued a law degree.

The boy from Leeming, Chris, ended up becoming my best friend when high school was over (yes it's the same Chris you hear me whinge and complain about in here). I believe this was mainly due to the fact that we began to know about each other on the trips from school, and we lived close to each other.

The boy from Bibra Lake, Ross, I knew and called a friend, but we were never close.

And the weird thing about all this is that tonight I actually visited Ross' house... and I was amazed at how close they really were to our old house in Kardinya, in fact, I think out of all the families their house would have been the closest!

Which pained me.

I knew the struggle it took for my parents to drop me off and pick me up every day from school, I even remember the day when one of the teachers kept me behind for some lame ass reason and as I missed my 1/3rd trip, and Chris' mum, my parents had to travel all the way to high school to pick me up... I didn't get picked up until 8:30pm!

I thought of even staying the night as I was going to be back in 12 hours!

But yes, tonight I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it on two fronts: 1. I could even remember this stuff, and 2. how close they were.

I even asked Ross' father how long they had been living in this very house and he said they had been there for 20-odd years.

Now Ross has a single younger sister who several people have mentioned to me (including my parents) that we should get together.

But you know what friends?

Although Kerry has a great smile, and could possibly be someone I *could* marry... I don't think I ever could.

Call me superficial, call me vain, or whatever, but I feel like a rejected child with that family. They had space in their car, my mum was willing to give them money or to share the load, yet they went all funny on us.

And it wasn't like we didn't know how it felt to transport someone else's kid. I know our family had the same treatment from a boy who lived up the road who attended the same primary school I did (Kardinya Primary). His mother worked early morning hours and needed someone to babysit him before then taking him to school. My mother more than welcomed him and refused payment from the boy's mum when she offered.

So we knew what it was like.

And when I talked to that family tonight all I could think to myself was "Why?" - things may have been so different.

To be honest, I never knew how those memories surfaced, heck, I have a hard trouble remembering what I had for breakfast this morning and yet I have pretty much the same breakfast meal every day! But the memories came back, and maybe for a reason, the night ended no sooner than it begun and I was glad to leave.

When I arrived at my folks house only minutes later my mother enquired about how the night went.

I started with, "Do you remember the time when you asked the [Bibra Lake family] to help with travelling to and from school?"

My mum stopped.

And she too soon remembered.

"Oh yes, they were a funny family," she said replaying the memory of those times back in her mind.

"And you wanted me to date her," I laughed.

1 comment:

FJ said...

It's a bit strange how your subconscious can kick in like it does, at some very inopportune times. LOL

I've had a few things like that happen to me too, things I've forgotten about only to have them pop up out of nowhere for no reason other than to torment me. LOL

Very sneaky itis, very sneaky!