Beyond The Pale

I don’t know why I remember.

I don’t know why I remember my parents arguing over Mark Hamill’s role in Star Wars. We were sitting in the living room at the Crottinger house, and it must have been just after we moved there because I remember this as the first time I was allowed to watch Episode IV: A New Hope. Colors brighten in my memory, and in this, the tan carpet is closer to radioactive than to the muted, unstainable brown that it actually was. It was probably that first winter we lived there. I remember the fire going in the Buck Stove. This wasn’t a fireplace. It was a freestanding stove, and where fireplaces dump a lot of the heat of the fire out this chimney, this stove, even with a moderate fire in it, would force us to dump most of its heat out of the windows to the living room. We were the only house on the block with the windows open and a foot of snow on the ground. I would run over and stand as close as I could, feeling the heat seep into my clothes and muscle until I’d be dancing around like a toddler doing the pee pee dance. Eventually, Dad would tell me to knock it off and go sit back down. Then I would run over to the blue-gray, corduroy couch and flop down on it superman style, yelling in pain and writhing from side to side as the super-heated fabric of my jeans pressed against the backs of my thighs. I still have this image of me flopping around like a fish, but I remember it from the outside, so maybe my brother was there beside me, flopping right along.

“I think they got a new actor to play in the later movies,” my dad said as Luke’s X-wing flew out of the base on Yavin IV to attack the Death Star.

“Who, Luke?” My mom asked.

“Yeah, doesn’t he look different in this movie from the others?”

They paused and watched the fight, as one after another of the X-Wing fighters either got blown up or peeled off of the approach to the exhaust vent cum self destruct bulls-eye. After a few minutes, just after the fat guy decided that he’d rather crash into the death star than eject, even though his guns were already not working, mom said, “He looks different, but I don’t think that it’s a different actor.”

Dad grunted, and that was the end of it.

I had no opinion on the matter, as I was busy at that moment trying to rap myself with an afghan so that I could sit on top of the stove without getting burned. It didn’t work.

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September 2, 2011 - Posted by | Childhood, Science Fiction, The Making of a Story -- Exercises, Writing

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