1. 1984. My mom comes home with Prince's Purple Rain album, purchased at the Rifle Dime Store--the only place in town that carried records, lipgloss, prescription medication, and gum until Walmart moved in. The Dime Store is closed now. I had my ears pierced there when I was 10. I rode the 1 cent pony right before the bees sting, earring gun, grown-up-now gold studs were in place.
2. 1978. Standing in shorts on a fire ant hill while my dad talks to a man I don't recognize. The man slaps my leg hard, his red fingers burned there. I'm speechless but for the tears now welling. "Fire ant," says the man but I'm not sure if I wouldn't have rather been bit by 100 ants instead of the sudden sting of a stranger.
3. 1982. First snow. The light is gray through the homemade curtains. I get up slowly so I don't wake my sisters sleeping beside me. Pants. Socks. Boots. Shirt. Coat. Two more pairs of socks on each hand. Walking outside, the endless white fields reach into absolute silence. I breathe in too quickly and the air burns my nose.