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Tuesday, February 23, 1999
By Paul Ford
So now, I decided to become autobiographical. I thought I'd write my whole life's story in about 3 hours, but I didn't get far. Here's the first piece.
To begin this work in a linear fashion: August 11, 1974, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, 10 in the morning. I was there. Born out of a C-scar. The chronicler--my mother, because my father was outside waiting--says I cried lustily and shed tears. I was born with wavy hair, stamped onto my forehead in a swirl.
This small body was washed and returned to my mother, who studiously read over me, investigating the toes, eying the tiny fingers, poking the baby's-ass and pee-pee, exploring this new territory of 7 lbs 6 oz. Prognosticating doctors said, "he'll have a large, strong chest."
My father's father had just died a few months ago, the big C. I was bundled into a new Dodge Dart and driven to 741 South Franklin St, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and rested in my crib.
What were the indicators? What could be seen then? Not looks, hair color, eye color, height, personality. Not nerves, intellect, abilities, hopes. But I functioned; I screamed, excreted, shed tears, cried for milk and fed at my mother's breast.
I came second, 12 years behind my brother, who watched over my crib and finally said to my mother, "doesn't he do anything?"