Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another exerpt from the memoir... this is the first part of "KATIE", the rest is coming!


“Hi, I’m Carrie. Your dad told me to come in and meet you.”

Slightly lifting her eyes from TV to me, I guess that means we’ve officially met.

I thought John was rich, and I was right. Katie has everything in her room, her own TV, own phone, own stereo. It’s just Katie and her dad living in the townhouse. Katie hates her mom and won’t even talk to her. She loves her dad, John. They are a pair that go together. When Mom marries John in a few months, she will be getting Katie, too. We all will, like it or not.

Even though I’ve always wanted an older sister, Katie isn’t really what I had in mind. We look enough alike to pass as sisters, both dirty blondes, blue eyed. As far as I can tell, that’s all we have in common. Only eighteen months older than me, she seems like she’s twenty, at least. Her eyes wear heavy make-up, her ears are pierced with long earrings dangling down way past the lobe. Nothing about her room says, “I am fifteen,” it all says, “I am all grown-up.” There are no posters on the wall, no teenage decorations. It is the room of a grown-up with a serious boyfriend. There are pictures of Bob everywhere.

My mom and John hate Bob, and are hoping that they can break them up, I’ve heard them talking. Bob is eighteen and a high school drop-out. He has some “dead-end” job, no ambition, and John and my mom are sure he is having sex with Katie. John even has thought of suing Bob for statutory rape, since Bob is technically and adult, and Katie is only fifteen. My mom is trying to let John handle the Katie and Bob thing as long as possible, she’s not ready to take-on Katie any sooner than she has to. Me neither.

Besides Katie there is Matt and Lori, John’s two older kids. We know for sure Matt won’t be living with us when Mom and John get married, he’s already living with some loser girlfriend in a trailer park somewhere. Matt’s been in and out of jail, and John’s given up on him, Mom says.

Lori is the one we don’t know about. We are getting a big house, six bedrooms, one will be an office for Mom and John, right next to their bedroom downstairs, and four will be upstairs for Mike, my brother, me, Katie and maybe Lori. Lori is nineteen, so she can really do whatever she wants to do, and right now she thinks she’d rather live with a guy named Rick in a trailer home. Not the same trailer home her brother Matt lives in, a whole different one. Two out of three kids of John’s living with people they are not married to, in trailer homes, is not something Johm is proud of. If you ask me, it’s only a matter of time until Katie and Bob move into a trailer home, too, but nobody’s asking me.

Nobody ever asks me, they just tell.

By the time the wedding is over in March, and we finish school in Prineville in June, it is time for Mom, Mike and me to move back to Eugene, where our dad and old friends still live. We’re happy to see our old friends, not so happy about being closer to Dad. It’ll be way harder to avoid him in the same city. Being three hours away is about the only thing nice I can say about Prineville.

“Prineville is just not your cup of tea,” Mom tells me. The question for me is, how could it be anybody’s cup of anything? There is not one good thing about Prineville. Not one good thing. In Prineville we are poor, Mom works all the time, I have to babysit Mike everyday after school because he is only in elementary school, and I’m in Junior High. I have to ride my bike everywhere I need to go, Mom never gives me a ride, and even if it is raining or freezing cold outside, I am stuck on my stupid, ugly bike.

I am good in school, all A’s, and have a few decent friends, but they aren’t real friends, they don’t really know me, or seem to even try to get to know me. Every kid in Prineville is “going with” some other kid. They start going out in fifth grade, at least, and from what I can tell, not very many of the girls make it out of high school without a baby and a husband. Then their husbands go work in the mill, or at Les Schwab, and that’s it for them. They stay in Prineville for the rest of their lives with a bunch of kids, no money, no college, no nothing. Just Prineville. Everyone thinks I am the freak for not wanting a boyfriend, for getting good grades, and for planning already for college. There is no possible way I’m ending up like these people. No possible way. If John weren’t planning to get us out of here, I’d figure out another way.

Me and Prineville, we don’t mix.


Michelle O'Neil said...

Nice Carrie. I especially loved your "introduction" to the step sister.

I really hear the voice. Good job!

Jenny Rough said...

I'm loving reading more of your writing Carrie. Your humor shows in this piece even though you are writing about difficult times.

Suzy said...

Beautiful Carrie. I see you.
I hear your voice loud and clear.
Love this, love you.

Back At'cha said...

No wonder you hate tea!!!

jennifer said...

Great work shimmer on the page.

Jerri said...

Brilliant, Carrie.

I hear you, see the step-sister, know the little town and the determination to leave it--without a baby in tow.

Love your writing more with each piece of the memoir.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the chamber of commerce will be calling.......i wonder if you will be spending your anniversary there?

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! I am so blessed to have you for a friend! You are a talented and gifted writer.