Once when I was around 5 years, I sat in the back seat of my dad’s van and picked a giant booger and stuck it on the window. That booger stayed there for a solid 8 to 10 years. I’m not sure if my dad noticed it or not. He probably saw it but didn’t care. My booger held on like a barnacle, until my step mother impounded the car when she left him. It was one of her many triumphant fuck you’s since my dad’s car was in her name due to his shitty credit. At the time, the van was 15 years old and had a jillion miles on it because we drove across country every summer and other holidays. I’d like to think that in my booger's final days at the car junk yard, it had one last fight left as the 4000 hp crusher opened up it’s jaws and demolished its rusty victim, booger and all. RIP Booger.
Confession. I did this a lot. I’d pick my nose and discreetly place my boogers somewhere. I wouldn't just flick them away. Oh no. I always had a girlish care with my boogers. Who the fuck knows why? I’ll probably spend another extra year in therapy talking about this... tracing it back to my womb issues.
My dad drove a 1983 stripped blue Chevrolet van. I only know the year because that’s the year I was born. The car had four dark blue velvet seats and a back third row that turned into a bed which came in handy for the long road trips. Too handy because I’d much prefer a motel than sleeping in the van. Plus, I didn’t like peeing outside, but whatever I was only a kid and didn't have the authority on those issues. The van was very big. There was an aisle between the two middle seats. My dad told me that instead of a car seat, he’d throw me in the back with my baby walker, and I would roll up and down the aisle depending on the traffic and quick stops. I don’t remember this, but it could be true. We never did wear seat belts, but who did in the 80s and early 90s?
So with this one booger incident, I tagged along with my older brother, Camy, for his 4th or 5th grade field trip. My brother’s two friends were in the middle seats, Camy had shot gun (always), and I had the way back to myself (always). I don’t remember where we were going. Probably the Riverwalk. Every New Orleans and New Orleans adjacent school ALWAYS had a field trip to the Riverwalk, an outlet mall right on the Mississippi River.
My dad often drove for my brother’s field trips. This is where he shined. Kids loved my dad because he was goofy and entertaining. He made up songs with ridiculous lyrics and sang them as if he was Frank Sinatra. So as my dad was singing …”Chubby little kids in the night,” I was lying on my stomach looking out the window, tracing oak trees and telephone poles with my finger. I picked my nose and looked at the weird snot thing with wonder. I had dolls and barbies to play with, so I’m not sure why I was so fascinated with my boogers. I planted the thing on the window realizing it was a somewhat bad thing to do. I felt a rush. I had a secret now. No one would know that it was me who planted a booger there.
When I got older, I drew on my dad’s bedroom’s walls. (Well, we all slept in my dad’s bedroom. He and my step mother and two little brothers had the bed. My brother and I and even my friends would sleep on the mattress on the floor....even though we lived in a 4 bedroom house. Yeeeeahhh, more about that later). One night, I took a marker when no one was there, and started drawing on the walls. It first started as a tiny dot, but then it became long strokes and then large diamonds. Again, I felt a rush. The high didn’t last that long though. A sudden whoosh of shame and guilt hit. Why did I just do that? I was in 8th grade. I knew better. My step mother was really upset. But instead of yelling at me, she started crying at my dad. “Perkinson! (Yes, she called my dad by his last name because she wanted to be different from all of his other girlfriends who called him by his name, Bill. She succeeded. She was different). Perkinson! She drew on the walls. She drew on the walls!” She was crying frantically. I didn’t think it deserved that reaction. My dad didn’t like emotions. So by ending the hysteria, he started yelling at her. “Alright! Alright! " He then turned to me, "Dixie, just draw on paper next time.”
Now why did I do that? Was I trying to get attention? Was drawing on walls like how some teenagers cut themselves?
P.s. Don't worry. I flick my boogers now. Wifey material here.