A Pasadena Childhood

There are a few distinct scenes I remember from my early childhood in the only house we ever shared just the three of us. It was on Wagner Street, in Pasadena, California, only seven miles north of the two separate apartment buildings I split my later childhood and adolescence between, but I didn’t realize that for many years; I’d always assumed it must have become just the phantom of a house once we moved out, haunting a street that’d ceased to exist once we moved away.

I remember hearing the Beatles “Hello, Hello,” and feeling sad because of how happy it made me.

But I also remember overhearing the actors in this movie called “Sid and Nancy” yell, “Fuck this and fuck that, fuck it all you fucking, fucking brat!” – or something like that – and how gleefully startled, how strangely soothed I felt by those words.

I recall entering the curtained guest bedroom and not being sure whether it was alright to be there. It was less than half full of short, open cardboard boxes stacked haphazardly in the center of the guest room, rendering it otherwise unusable. It had seemed they’d decided Dad was in charge well before I was born, but this small mess was distinctively Mom’s. Did that make this Mom’s personal room?  Must be, but the only thing of interest to me was an opened bottle of a stomach medicine called Kaopectate. Whose pain was it for? I drank the rest of the contents and got awful constipation that I had no problem hiding.



Story by Robin Crane