Bubblegum And Burlesque

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

Childhood Memoir

Bubble Gum and Burlesque

We're living around 16th and Mission in San Francisco. We stay in a flop house hotel in a room that stinks heavily of paint.

The bathroom is down the hall, always dirty and always smells of puke, piss and crap.

The sidewalk has big black spots of chewing gum stuck everywhere.

The building is full of winos. Sometimes they're nice, sometimes they're not. Especially when they get really drunk. Then they don't make sense when they talk and some get mean. We stay in the room and are real quiet because if they hear you in there they bang on the door yelling and swearing.

It’s scary.

Otherwise they sit on the sidewalk in the alley and lean against the building drinking "Port", having a good old time.

Sometimes when Mom and us kids walk by they even hide their bottles and tell each other "Shush! The kids are coming!"

I always wonder why one day these guys are so nice and polite and then you see them later in the day swearing and stumbling acting strange.

Across the street is the Burlesque theatre with all the bright marquee lights. We hear the music at night and see the men and girls hanging around the alley all night long. Can't imagine why they do that.

We haven’t seen Mom for two or three days.

We’re getting pretty hungry.

The sailor guy down the hall comes by and gives us some milk and cereal to eat. The kind in the little boxes that you tear open and pour the milk into. He asks my sister if she can call a family member for help. He gives her some money for the phone.

She calls our pop. He comes by and takes us to his house.

A few days later Mom comes to get us. Mom and Pop yell at each other very loudly. He won’t let her in or us out. She goes away.

We stay there for about a year.

One day Mom comes to our school and takes us away. Dad calls but we don’t see him for a long time after that.

I left my new bike and good clothes there.

I didn't get to ride the bike or wear the clothes ever again.

--J. Edmonde

Submitted: June 15, 2011

© Copyright 2022 J Edmonde. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Sultry Alice

Interesting to note that this sort of thing probably happens more than most people realize. Good that you can write about this and share.


Sun, February 3rd, 2013 12:26am


Yes, I'm positive it does. And yes, it's been a long time coming but writing about it is what living it was for. John

Mon, February 4th, 2013 1:55pm

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