But just because they don't have much to do with the current story doesn't mean I dislike them. I always wonder what to do with these extra little tidbits. And hey, what do you know, I have a blog!
So for all you Maggie fans out there, thought you might like a glimpse of her childhood. I'll be posting some of these snippets over the next few weeks, just so you don't forget about me while I'm busy crafting!
A long time ago in a commonwealth far far away…
I, Maggie Phillips, was engaged to a jackass. For the sake of discretion I will only refer to him as The Jackass, or in more magnanimous moments, that rat bastard. Said jackass was the older brother of my childhood BFF, Justine. She’s the type of friend who was not only privy to my most embarrassing and awkward adolescent moments, but torments me with those memories. I still call her once a month to keep myself humble.
Justine’s father traveled for business and from first grade on, we would have sleepovers at her house while her mother drank herself into oblivion in the privacy of her bedroom closet. My parents never knew Justine and I were left to our own devices, mostly because during daylight hours, Justine’s mom acted the perfect soccer mom, complete with minivan and PTA authority. The Jackass had no one to answer to and usually stumbled in around two a.m. smelling of beer, cigarette smoke and a few other things most eight year olds can’t identify. I admit I had a crush on him, mostly because he had everything I lacked—good looks, popularity and a huge amount of personal freedom.
One evening in the spring of 1983, Justine invited me and a few other girls from school over for an impromptu party. The weather cooperated and we frolicked in a game of T.V. tag, while Justine’s mom sipped a mixed drink on the screened-in porch.
The rules for T.V. tag are simple. The game’s pretty much like regular tag except instead of running for home base, you squat on the ground and shout out the name of a T.V. show. If you repeat a show someone else already said you receive a punch in the arm and you are it.
“Three’s Company!” I called out as I squatted behind a hydrangea.
Our friend Ruthie—who we didn’t especially like because she punched extra hard and called us corroded if we cried— was it, having repeated Different Strokes and received a punch from yours truly.
Ruthie scowled at me, kicked some dirt in my direction, and stalked around the side of the house. Since I happened to be a heavy-set child and not much of an athlete, I needed to be up on all of the television shows and I studied the T.V. Guide the way some girls studied YM’s make-up tips. In retrospect, my time would have been better spent riding my bike or playing basketball, but what’s done is done.
I waited until Ruthie disappeared from sight before I stood and circled the house. Ruthie would be after me and my Mary Janes pinched my growing feet. I hated Mary Janes, none of the other girls wore them and matched with my shapeless corduroy pants—my mother didn’t believe in jeans— I looked like a complete doofus. I won’t even torture you with the story of my pixie haircut. I was a fashion don’t, even in the 1980’s.
Justine’s family lived on a cul-de-sac in the same subdivision as my parents, but had infinitely more property. Large pine trees masked the circular drive from the rest of suburbia and the growing season took off to a hearty start. I waved at Justine’s mom, suspended in a hammock and she responded with a snore. Cherry blossoms scented the air and made me think of Bambi and the feeling of being twitterpated.
I spotted his car— a 1982 Camaro with tinted windows and a sleek black finish—behind a copse of fir trees, where the vehicle was hidden from both the house and the road. I figured he’d be getting ready to go out, since the sun descended in the west and he kept the hours of a vampire.
Don’t ask me why I stood there and stared at the car, I can’t explain my actions, even now. Perhaps I had some bizarre need to understand more about The Jackass, why he always seemed to have someplace to go, even though he wasn’t a nice person. My mother use to shake her head when he would roar by the church potluck, making the stained glass windows shake in time to his base.
“That is not a nice boy, Margaret. A nice boy would be at home helping his poor mama. You find yourself a nice boy, one who goes to church and knows how to treat a lady.”
I didn’t want to tell my mother, but there weren’t too many nice boys in our town. The curiosity I experienced as I stared at the Camaro was an innocent child’s natural inquisitiveness about what went on between older boys and girls. They didn’t seem interested in playing T.V. tag.
The sun set and turned the sky a similar shade of pink to my peony nail polish. I shifted my weight and chewed on a nail as the car started to rock like one of those space shuttle rides outside the Jamesway that my little brother went on all the time. I moved closer and cast a glance back at the house and wondering if anyone else would come out to check on his car.
Why would the car rock? Was someone trying to steal his car? I crept closer and reached the driver’s side door when a loud moan accompanied the squeaking of metal on shocks and the slimy sensation in my belly told me something bad was afoot. Maybe a vagrant had kidnapped him and tied him up in the car. Now the vagrant was going to steal his car, then kill him. Never mind I didn’t have a notion of what a vagrant might be, but I was determined to catch him, but my stomach cramped and my palms sweated profusely. I nibbled the nail on my index finger down to the quick as I debated what to do.
What would Magnum P.I. do?