the turbulence of life

Loss of Innocence
by Carmen Tassone

ithout having the opportunity to begin, my childhood was stifled by life's unexpected turbulence. I lived on my own for an entire year after losing my parents—my mother by death and my father by desertion. During this period of my life, God and school were foreign philosophies that held little influence over my actions. I had more pressing issues to concern myself with, like how was I going to get my next meal and where would I lay my head for the night. I had no money, no food, nor a childhood to embrace. I had to take on many unique and innovative ways to survive, ranging from a hard day's work to an occasional theft. I delivered newspapers in the morning and shoveled meat scrapings at a slaughter house in the evening. Though I received a small trifle for my efforts, I discovered the inner workings of life and how to survive amongst its worst offerings. However, the real money was in the schemes that I'd conjure up to acquire a meal or a few bucks. Heck, one time I even got a new pair of tennis-shoes—something most twelve year olds in my day found little use for—from an unsuspecting lady. A pattern of deceit that I performed on many occasions transpired while I delivered my papers in the wee hours of the morning. I'd load several car batteries, which were obtained from a local junk yard, into the front and back pouches of my canvas delivery bag. By time the sun rose, I'd  be downtown near another junk yard where I'd rid the weight upon my shoulders for a reward of ten or fifteen bucks. I'd wisely use my new found wealth to quiet my hunger pains and to soothe my nicotine habit. This became the norm, until my grandfather flew two thousand miles to rescue me from a life I neither choose, nor desired. Within one year, life and its unexpected ripples molded a green adolescent into a ripened adult long before his time. Though I may have been strengthened by this untimely experience, it has left me to only speculate what exactly happened to my youth and innocence.