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I've spent seventeen years, nine months and a few days living in Stillwater. I've grown up next to the narrowest part of the Hudson River. And I've lived with a last name so famous in this small town that everyone knows who I am. Every year, as teachers called names off the class roster on the first day of school, eyes would light up at the sight of my last name. They would ask whose daughter I was, going through the list of five boys, assuming I was Gibby's because of my freckled, mole-spotted skin, Adam's because of my gentle bone structure, Mark's because of the good reputation that preceded me, but never Carl's. Even though my name is his plus two letters, even though I look like him when I scowl, even though my voice is louder than an air horn when I get worked up, they never assumed that I was his. And every time I had to admit my lineage, when I so wished that I belonged to my Uncle Mark or my Uncle Scott, my heart sank with disappointment. It was especially painful to sit in the first seat of the first row in my tenth grade history class, as Bill Cassidy beamed at the podium, beautiful memories leaking from his pores of my father and the time they'd spent together in class so many years earlier. It was just a few months before my parents' divorce, when it got really bad and no one knew but the three of us how heartless he truly was, and there was Mr. Cassidy, every day telling the class what a guy old Carl Travis was. I remembered, longed for the days when I was proud of being his daughter, when someone recognizing me as his child warmed my heart and put a smile on my face. I missed the ignorance of my childhood. I didn't realize when I was four that fathers weren't supposed to be so mean, so critical all the time. I had no idea that other kids didn't have to listen to their fathers scream at their mothers across the dining room table because the mashed potatoes were too salty. I wanted to be five again, to go back to the time when I saw my family as Stillwater saw us, not as we truly were.



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The following comments are for "Dirty Old Town"
by summerskiss2

I want more...
Interesting. Nice thoughts. I'd like to hear more. To see where you would take it. Especially as an essay.

( Posted by: BigD [Member] On: December 8, 2005 )





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