The Pages

I am told most people skip chapter zero and go straight to the story. That’s like going to the movies without having first seen the trailer. I never do that. I like having some clue about what’s going to unfold and decide in advance if it is going to keep me interested enough to watch until the end.

When I Last Saw Me: The Memoir of Sammi BassSpoiler alert: I ran away from home. Not when I was twelve, but when I was in my fifties. I didn’t put my belongings in a bandana and walk to the corner, I jumped in a Jeep and headed back to the place where I last saw me.

Wherever I go, if it comes up and I mention I ran away someone says, “I’ve always wanted to do that …” and their face betrays the secret that it seems everyone keeps.

But before jumping into the run, I have been advised to first tell you where I am now and what I came from. I am fifty-seven right now while I am writing this part of the story down. I was fifty-one years and nine months old when I ran away from home.

The story which follows may not seem to stay on task … but then neither do I. Ever. I am a visual variety of learner person. When I experience something, the learn goes into my bones and I don’t have a way to forget it. Other learns like auditory or reading about something tend to be temporal for me. I may catch it mentally. I may even be able to recite information, but I can’t call it my own when I read or hear about things. Even interesting and captivating facts have trouble sticking with me. So, while some of my describes and explains may seem to wander, if you stay with the scatter they will tell the story because it is me beginning to experience me.

I was raised in unfailing unpredictability with three brothers and parents who stayed married for sixty-four years. My father was a combination of narcissism, brat, funny, driven, deeply troubled, handsome and violent. Long on violent. It’s what I remember most about him. I have often wished he was an alcoholic so I could blame that for the cause. I never knew the cause. I still don’t.