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I have always suffered for my art. | Fetch My Flying Monkeys
Everyone needs a fleet of flying monkeys to rip the stuffing out of the annoying people in their lives
— Laura

I tried to kill myself once. I was about four or five years old and in a store of some sort with my mother when I spotted a huge Yogi Bear coloring book. Now, you have to understand, I was obsessed with coloring books as a child. From the earliest I can remember I took great pride in coloring inside the lines and I would start from page one then on to the last, never skipping a page no matter how boring the subject matter. Once completed, I would file them in the bookcase in my room, occasionally taking them out to gaze upon my work in awe. So on this particular day I noticed a special edition Yogi Bear coloring book that screamed at me to take it home and when I asked my mom for it she simply said “No, you have enough coloring books.” I tried to reason with her, being careful not to whine, because she hated whining. I told her I didn’t have THAT one and if I had THAT one I’d never ask for another thing ever in my whole life because my life would be complete. She didn’t believe me and the next thing I knew we were leaving the store bookless and getting in the car to go home.

I silently stewed about it on the drive home. I’d close my eyes while the wind from the open windows blew my hair into knots and tangles and all I could envision was lying on the floor with my Yogi Bear coloring book, coloring each page methodically. I could hear songbirds in the background in this vision and I’m pretty sure there was a rainbow that ended right on the coloring book itself. I had to have that coloring book.

After we got home, I waited a few minutes and I went up to my mom again and asked her to go back and get me that coloring book. She looked at me, shook her head and said “No.” I sulked to my room and buried my head into my pillow, crying silently. “Why did my mom hate me so much? How could she do this? Life is so unfair. Wait, maybe she doesn’t really understand how important this is to me. I’ll go ask again.” So I did, and I got the same reply and was told to go to my room. I did and I immediately buried my head back into my pillow this time muffling cries of frustration. “How dare she not get me a coloring book. She is so mean. She’ll be sorry she never got me that coloring book when I’m dead.” This is when I knew I had to teach her a lesson. I stood up, dried my tears, and marched back downstairs to confront my mother. 

She was sitting on the couch watching TV and I walked over and stood beside her and said “Mommy I need that coloring book.” Her eyes never left the television and she said something to the effect “Didn’t I tell you to go to your room? You’re not getting that coloring book and that’s final.” Tears started streaming down my cheeks because I knew when she said “that’s final” that things were indeed final. I had one more card to play. “If I don’t get that coloring book I’m going to kill myself and I’ll be dead and you’ll be sorry.” I saw one of her eyebrows go up and she slowly turned to look at me. “Oh yeah is that so?” “Yes.” I said and we stared at each other. Then I thought about how I would kill myself. Should I throw myself down the steps? No, too painful. Should I stab myself with a pair of scissors I saw sitting at the table? No, again too painful. No, I would hold my breath until I died. So I took a big inhale and held it. “Man oh man” I thought “she’s going to start crying any second, hug me,  and then she’ll go back to the store and probably get me TWO Yogi Bear coloring books.”

But that never happened. And I never could hold my breath until I died. I did, however, hold my breath a few times long enough to get a little lightheaded, and then I pretended to collapse in death’s grasp at her feet. I stared up at her as she continued to watch television. When her show was over, she stepped over my “dead” body, turned off the lights and went to bed, leaving my “corpse” behind to rot on the living room floor. I lay there on the floor, staring up at the cold, dark nothingness and realized, years before I heard the wise words of Mick Jagger, that you can’t always get what you want. I got up, smoothed my hair with my hands and went on to bed.

I never did get that Yogi Bear coloring book.


59 Responses to I have always suffered for my art.

  1. untbunny says:

    Boy, did that bring back memories. I didn’t try to kill myself instead I ran away. At age seven or eight I wanted to watch “Six Million Dollar Man” I told my mom I just had to watch. *Looking back I am not sure why I chose that particular show.* Mom told me I could not watch the show and I stomped off screaming “Well then I will just run away and find someone who will let me.” I marched outside and found a limb, returned inside with the stick, took a bandana and filled it with canned goods- peas, carrots, spam, etc. Then I tied the bandana onto the stick-just like old photos of hobos- and marched off down the road. I walked for hours (actually 30 minutes)and was determined to find someone to take me in.

  2. If your mom had just made a YouTube video of the whole thing, you’d be more famous than a Kardashian. Your sweet Boo would love you and buy you anything because you’d be more famous than he. You’d have your own television show. Your mom would have her own talk show! She really should, you know. It’d be a whole lot more interesting than that weepy shit Oprah does.

  3. Yabu says:

    I feel your pain. I took me many tries before I got my mini-bike. I had to cut a deal, and was a slave for a year.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I love your childhood stories! You were very dramatic. lol

  5. Heather says:

    I tried to kill myself by holding my breath too as a child. I think I wanted candy at the time and was told no. LOL!

  6. Riley says:

    OMG that was so fricken funny. I love when you write. I actually “visualize” the entire story. It’s like watching TV.

  7. Jess says:

    One of the cold, hard realities of life finally becomes apparent when you realize only a few written words in a law book keep your parents from helping you accomplish what they only dream of doing.

  8. I almost ran away once. I don’t remember what set me off, but I do remember my mom coming into our room and getting a small suitcase for me, and offering to help me pack.

    What a killjoy….

  9. Mr. Bingley says:

    I think you need to write a tell-all biography about the horrible abuse you suffered (working title: “Mommy Meanest”) and we’ll market it for a big Hollywood version.

    I’m thinking Christina Hendricks would be a natural to play you.

  10. Curtal Friar says:

    I once told my mother I would kill myself. I don’t remember the reason why now, but I told her that as I guess the ultimate bargaining chip.

    It was near bedtime, and she got up and started making her way back to her bedroom and told me to please call for an ambulance after I killed myself, as she was tired and didn’t want to have to deal with them. She told me not to forget, cause she didn’t want to get up in the morning and see my dead body in the living room.

  11. Grammy says:

    As a Mom, I too have stepped over my share of pseudo corpses in my time. Also packed my share of bags. Enjoyed many glasses of wine whilst enjoying the show of a good old fashioned hissy fit too….

  12. BoneyButt says:

    Not only did I do my fair share of walking over dead bodies, I frequently offered to call DSS for them right before I spanked them. Once, when they were fighting in Wal-Mart, I yelled at them and then walked off and left them standing there staring at each other. Strange, they never did do that one again. Of course, at that time, I kept wine coolers in my purse

  13. [...] how some never learn from history.Brad brings you HEAT!Matt keeps up to date with Occupods.Laura regales us with her tale of suffering. Again.Burr breaks down Yurrup’s mess.Curtal Friar’s crime [...]

  14. Janie Jones says:

    *Sigh* I was a good kid. As far as I’ve heard that is the only reason why my brother existed is that my parents thought, “Hey, this was easy, we can do this again.” Haha! Joke was on them. Should have quit while they were ahead.

    Generally speaking I knew better than to “beg” for toys, candy or frivolous things. The threat of severe punishment was too scary to risk to frivolities. I saved my begging for not having to miss school to go to the dentist or to be ordered liquid penicillin instead of those monstrous horse pills that would always stick in my throat and make me vomit. Strangely, they thought pinning me to the floor, sitting on me and forcing the pills down my throat dry would make me like to take them.

    Still I never threatened to kill myself or run away, I just dreamed of walking out the door the minute I was 18 and never coming back. That or discovering that I was actually switched at birth with some other kid and being reunited with parents who were kind, loving and delightful.

    If it makes it burn any less, when you’re president you can spend the entire federal budget on Yogi Bear coloring books.

    • Laura says:

      HA! Fuckin’ A I will too! Fill up the White House library with ‘em!

      This was as close to begging as I could get without enduring the wrath of my mother. She must had been in a good mood that day to have let me go that far.

  15. Jena says:

    you should look for that coloring book and get it if you find it!

    I LOVE your childhood stories!

  16. mindy says:

    I am laughing. And crying. Because this was me as well. I used to imagine my funeral in great detail and loved the part where my parents would cry and wail and beat their hands on my casket and wish they hadn’t been so “mean” to me. It was one of my best fantasies.

  17. Fluffy says:

    You are a true artist, as proved by the fact that you were never really understood, in your youth!!! ;)

  18. Liz says:

    When I asked for anything (from candy to coloring books to school clothes), my Dad would always (ALWAYS) say, “Get a job.” I think he didn’t understand child labor laws.

    My Mom would just say (for stuff like candy and games), “We can’t afford that stuff unless you want to skip dinner for a week.” I sort of liked dinner so I’d give up rather quickly. I now realize that while we didn’t have a ton of money I would not have missed any dinners over a candy bar! But I believed her at the time. HA!

  19. Kim says:

    Ah. Sweet memories. Coloring books. Crayolas. Did you have the big box? With turquoise and flesh and gold?
    I think I threw a massive Scarlett O’Hara fit once-I remember plopping face down on the sofa blubbering. But about what?

    I think I ran away once around the block. It’s all hazy. Much like the rest of my mind.

  20. Jess says:

    As I’ve thought about your post today, I realized how poor I was at coloring in the lines. If there was an encyclopedia entry for such, my little face would be in the photo, with a really stupid expression, like I’d won something important.

    So, your artistic abilities are appreciated.

    • Laura says:

      Ha! I was obssessed with staying in the lines. And I shadowed AND I signed each completed drawing.

      • Jess says:

        I’ve always suffered from an inability to concentrate. When I was coloring, I’d do real well until something caught my attention, then it was over. You can’t erase crayola (No, scratching away paper doesn’t work), so you either try to find a color that will hide the mistake or admit your ability to color sucks. I chose to admit I sucked at coloring so I’d could move on to becoming distracted by something else.

  21. ManhattanMaven says:

    OH. MY. GOD. The brilliance of your childhood remembrances would probably impress EVEN the superbly dismissive THELMA. (BTW…I think of her now as Thelma the Great!!) Your description of something as supposedly simple as coloring within the lines takes my breath away!

    PS…we have GOT to get you your own sitcom or a book deal or something!! Someone as brilliantly dramatical as you really NEEDS to be rich & famous…or at least published…LOL!

    • Laura says:

      HA! I do need to be rich and famous so that I can be with my Boo. Not that that matters…he’s dating a freakin’ wrestler. I’m going to go hold my breath now.

  22. Bitterroot says:

    DISCLAIMER: While a few weak attempts are made at injecting humor, the following is not at all funny. It is, in fact, a true story of how utterly awful I was as a child:

    I had all the usual childish perceptions of parental persecution, but I was a little more “hardcore” about them – and by hardcore, I mean seriously fucked up by the media and permissive parenting. To wit: My first theater-movie was “Dirty Harry” – I was five, and was sent to chaperon my older sister and her boyfriend “to keep her from getting knocked up” (per our father.) So there you go – THAT was one of the more prominent notches in the dial of my Early Childhood Moral Compass…

    Flash-forward to my about 9 years old self; I had been saving up for and finally bought a starter pistol at the neighborhood novelty shop. By now I had already seen “Magnum Force,” and I was hooked – guns kick ass! And yes – in the 1970′s, they allowed small children to buy non-projectile-firing handguns and relative .22 cal. “blank” ammo without a parent’s knowledge or consent. I was only nine and probably would have been better off raised by a pack of wolves anyway. If I were to somehow know any better, it would only be borne of my own 9-year-old reasoning and conclusions.

    SO… all that sets the stage for a few days or weeks later when I didn’t get my way in some parent-child conflict, the details of which blunt-force trauma has long since erased… In my narcissistic childish huff, I walked into the kitchen and addressed my adoptive mother, saying something to the effect of, “you’re not my REAL mother – I wish you were DEAD!” I leveled the starter pistol at her and **BOOM**. I laughed maniacally for about two full seconds at how high she jumped and the almost comical expression of abject terror and surprise on her face. Then it happened…

    To the best of my recollection, it took me a few weeks before I could eat solid food, bend, reach, run OR sit properly. My sweet, soft-spoken adoptive mother who had never but threatened to spank me up until that point, BEAT the everlovin’ SHIT out of me, crying the whole time she did it. I ended up black-and-blue, but unfortunately for HER, Child Protective Services was more or less non-existent at that time, and Mom was so ‘Honey Badger’ about the incident anyway… She outright dared me, “You SHOW those bruises to [the parochial school priest] and you TELL HIM WHAT YOU DID!” I figure she was about ready for anyone to take me away at that point…

    Of course I don’t know what happened to that starter pistol, and I certainly never did anything so willfully stupid or mean again. That whipping stuck with me – but her tears… Those hurt me far, far worse.

    • Laura says:

      WHOA! I’d still be off solid food if I had done that. DAYUMMMM. You certainly were on lil bad fucker.

      And I know what you mean, you remember the tears or the disappointment in their eyes way more than a spanking.

  23. Gabs says:

    The things you had to endure and overcome in your childhood are simply breathtaking in their tragedy.

  24. glen says:

    Be thankful. Since Yogi is all brown and stuff. All that would have happened is you would have used up your brown crayon and had to live forever with a brownless box of crayons. Oh,,,the shame !! Besides, you would have grown up thinking all the cowcrap in the world was purple or something !!

  25. Rita says:

    My brother tried that once with my mother. Unfortunately for him, she had a large glass of ice water in her hand. After about 30 seconds of holding his breath, she tossed all the ice cold water at his face. It was the gasp heard round the world. Never tried that again.

  26. SB Smith says:

    My mom told me once that my brother was not much trouble raising, but said to me, “You came along and had 3 minds of your own.” She didn’t mean multiple personalities, she meant as stubborn as 3 kids. I blame it on being Taurus, besides being stubborn works For you as well as against you !

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