Sincerely, The Unwitting Memoirist

Sesame Street is Burning

big bird hanging head sadly on park bench in Central Park

When I think of Sesame Street, I think of laughing with that Mexican girl I used to hang out with in New York City. “Guess what they call Sesame Street in German”, I said, barely able to keep it in.

“What” she said, barely too.

“Sesame Strasse!” I blurted, and we both fell out.

But, really, every once in a while I touch my hand to a dime-sized bald spot on the right side of my head, and remember when I set my hair on fire when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Something like that.

I don’t think I did it on purpose; but, honestly I don’t know; in retrospect my childhood was bad. Sesame Street was on and I remember picking up a lighter on the table and suddenly my hair was on fire. I’d just gotten a perm. My mother appeared almost cartoonish in her frenzy in the doorway; and in retrospect, I’m falling out because it’s funny, and fucked up that it’s funny. Years later, I found out that Caroll Spinney was Big Bird. A woman was Big Bird, I thought. And she lived right in Boston too. What the fuck.

I’m laughing now because Sesame Street was burning; and my mother was freaking the fuck out; and, I forget until every once in a while, my hand meanders and finds the spot, and I press on it and the TV comes on, still with Big Bird but Caroll Spinney was actually a man, and is dead.

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