by Stacey Graham
I was a weird kid.
I was a weird kid.
Not the kind that stared down adults until they cried, but if you’ve read my blog and essays here at An Army of Ermas, it’s a little obvious that I was a few apples short of a fruit basket. Yesterday, my daughter and I drove past one of those creepy concrete figurine outlets that dot the northern Virginia/West Virginia byways and while she commented on the majestic 15ft fake stone eagle about to soar over the heads of the various concrete woodland creatures that lined the highway, I spotted… Taffy.
I was about eight-years-old and apparently had little to no contact with the outside world, as my best friend became a slate-gray concrete raccoon that stood about two feet high. How my mother was talked into letting me take this thing home is a mystery though I suspect it was just to get me to shut up about how delightful life would be if only I could bring Taffy to school – to the library – to the pool – on road trips…
I had big plans to paint Taffy in bright sunny colors that reflected her inner awesomeness while still holding true to her raccoon heritage because I’m sensitive like that and it was the 70s- every friggin thing was in bright sunny colors and I nearly vibrated with sensitivity (aside from the whole serial killer thing). Taffy remained gray, however, the victim of my mother’s screaming fit as I tried to dump a gallon of leftover paint on top of the raccoon… in the living room, on the new orange shag carpeting. Mothers can be so fussy.
Taffy remained my constant companion for a year or so before she vanished. I don’t like to point fingers but I suspect my mother of misdeeds involving play dates with breathing children and midnight roadside drop-and-dashes at concrete outlets but today all is forgiven. Taffy’s coming home.