Sunday, October 28, 2012


Chapter 16 Beautiful

As a small child I was very inquisitive and quiet.  This was during the days before the bar. Before I would become self-conscious about my weight, looks or what people thought of me.  It was before the days of Keeping up with the Kardashians, and The Jersey Shore.  I was just a boy. 

My mother would always tell me stories about how I, much like MacGyver, would always try to figure out things very quickly.  The only difference between he and I was that I would get frustrated easily, quit when I got fed up and end eating something sweet.  In reality I was never really like him, I mean I never had the attention-span to build anything and it would be years before I had a mullet.  My mother said that I always would create new ways to climb out of my crib as an infant.  This was a difficult thing to accomplished be since I, also had to sleep with a brace, intended to cure my severe pigeon-toe.  This brace was a metal bar holding both of my feet outwards.  The brace was heavy and gave me something to complain about from a young age, every Jewish person’s dream.  This brace really just worked as leverage to help me climb out of my crib or play-pen and to create a comedian.

I would keep calm while supervised, then during naps I would study the crib for new ways to escape and nearly give my mother a heart-attack every morning as a result.  Often these missions would lead to success in terms of surprising her, not the heart-attack part.  I would find a way to move my soccer-sized head with legs over the edge of the crib or playpen and somehow end up making my way safely to the ground.  As a child I looked much like Stewie from Family Guy, all head and a little body, a real caricature type of kid.  The climbing out of the pen, during the age of innocence, was before I learned what fear was, before courage had to be earned.  I just did what I felt like.  This, partially, is the mentality that has remained with me through my adult life.  Just as an adult I learned to drink and curse like a sailor.  As a child I worked with this mantra: do what you feel like, find out how things work, maybe taste them and that’s it.  When I was younger though, that concept was followed by, how can I get things to work and get people’s attention on me? 

Once, when I was around 2-years old, my mother awoke to me looking like I had just came out of an alien movie.  This child-like creature who resembled her baby boy was standing near her bed. My mother’s reaction when she first saw me was one where I think she thought she was hallucinating.  After a few blinks and getting the sleep out of her eye, she just stared for a few seconds like she wasn’t sure what was going on.  After about 3 seconds of being awake she yelled my name at this volume that probably broke a window.  “YURRRRRAAAAAA?!?” It was around here that she realized that I was covered in what looked like blood.  I was like a baby swamp-thing, but red, which was appropriate since that comic would be big a few years later.  Her heart sank and she was ready to take charge, call an ambulance, lift a car from off of me, if she had to, all within a heart’s beat.  It would be any mother’s nightmare to see their child drenched in blood.

After a second or two I whispered in Russian, the only language I knew at the time, “I am pretty.”  This was before I knew how to sound jaded, or roll my eyes after every sentence.  By this point I had already learned that the world had a concept of beautiful and that I wanted to be just that.  It was at this moment that she began to smell fumes like formaldehyde.  She then realized that the blood-goo was actually globs of a dark red nail polish bottle in my hand.  Was she upset about the mess or disappointed in my color choice?  That I will never know.  I had splatter-painted all over the small infant-size body I once possessed. 

She immediately didn’t miss a beat and went into fix-it mode.  She started a bath while she went for the nail polish remover before the nail polish stopped my skin from breathing.  I got a fever as a result of this whole ordeal.  My skin couldn’t breathe and there were fumes, on top of fumes, a freshly filled diaper top of that.  I never heard this story until I was in my 20s.  Why my mom hadn’t mentioned it, I don’t know.  She recanted the story to me over a glass of wine cause well she’s a light-weight.  One glass an she is gone.  When she told the story she had a confusing mixture of laughter with a calm, serious tone.  Not sure if it was the booze that made it seem that way or just a part of the story.  The interesting thing was that this was all done to be “pretty.” This would be just one of many missions during my childhood where I would aspire to be that one which one viewed as pretty or handsome.  It’s funny how then the concept was so simple.  


  1. Nice story Yuri. The line about the brace giving you something to complain about "Every Jew's dream" gave me a real good chuckle.

  2. I'm glad u liked it :). hope others will too.



No Deposit Casino