It was California in the 1970s, and we had what seemed like a revolving door of young, aimless people who would "flop" at our house for more or less unlimited amounts of time, from the time I was 4 until I was about 16. Mainly I remember three young people in their early 20s in particular who were "regulars" throughout those years--a brother/sister pair named Patrick and Kitty, and their friend Diana (who was seriously odd, which is another story).
|The only picture of all four of us--I was about 5. Nice decor, huh?|
He also taught me the word "Zargamo", and that you must never, ever say it three times in a row. Never. So, of course, I loved to scream "Zargamo, ZARGAMO, ZARGAMO!" whenever he brought it up.
Yeah. Nothing ever happened. But when you're five, it's hilarious...
To the 5-year-old me, it was like magic. They would just appear one evening, and stay indefinitely. You'd hear a knock at the door, and voila--there they'd be. Then one day I'd wake up, and they would have moved on. Like Mary Poppins, but with no housekeeping skills. I have no idea where they went, when they weren't with us, but they were like part of our extended family for years.
The last time we had a surprise visit from one of them was when I was probably a junior in high school. I got a phone call from a man saying that we'd won a contest of some kind, and that he needed our address to deliver our prize. It was the 80s, so of course I gave this total stranger on the phone our home address. And driving directions. It turned out to be Patrick, who we hadn't seen in probably 4-5 years, and he showed up bearing pizza, completely out of the blue. I think he stayed a couple of days, (he was in town working as a JC Penney photographer)...and then we never saw him again.
After that the three of them faded from our lives. Only one of their individual stories ended well, so I will leave those out for now.
What popped into my head, though, while flipping through old photo albums, though, was a memory of me and Diane, sitting in a tiny room somewhere in about 1976. She always had long fingernails, and I remember she must have been clipping them or something, but I guess she must have been saving them, because what I remember was her explaining to me how she was going to use them as some kind of art. Like sequins. Remember sequined...everything...from the 70s?
|Yeah. Like this, only with fingernails. I don't even--|
Funny how what was probably a five-minute conversation on a random day almost 40 years ago is still in my memory bank, but I can't remember what I got for Christmas that year. Five-year-old me must have been really impressed.