the life of richie


Posted in was by Rich on February 16, 2009

When learned to spell, Richie would run through the house writing his name on everything –– boxes, books, on clean white walls. Before naming, he would keep paper and pens in a purse and tote the bag around the home with him. He would write whole novels –– couldn’t spell, see, so he’d just scribble pens across the pages in long twittering lines. They were like beeping heart meters, sustaining his captive inner creature. They were like…


Mommie was so proud of Richie. She called Richie Binky even though his name was Rich and written R-i-c-h-i-e when he was young. She did not even mind that Binky wrote Richie on her forehead and on the cat, who coughed up a hairball. She was so proud.

Some of Richie’s friends went to church, but not all of them. He asked Mommie-Richie why they did not go to church. She might have said that they were heathens and would be kept warm in hell when they one day died and went straight to hot as Hades. They were heathens.

He-then! He-then! cooed Richie. (Mommie was so proud.)

They saw a story on television in which a priest was having an affair with an Australian woman. Richie loved rice, and asked Mommie if if he lived in China, could he eat rice everyday? Mommie said yes. Richie watched the priest stand naked in the rain. Mommie would fastforward through the bad parts, but she was in the kitchen making rice when the naked priest was shaking off in front of an old lady on the porch. Richie loved rice.

When sister was born, Mommie showed Richie the scars where sister had been ripped from Mommie-uterus. Richie was sad that Mommie was stapled. He hated sister for hurting Mommie. He threw her away with the garbage. He told Mommie to take her back. She said she couldn’t. He wrote Richie on sister. Then he smiled and went to go play with the Richie-cat.

When Richie went to write Richie on Daddie, he found that Daddie already had Richie written on his forehead (but he spelled it R-i-c-h-a-r-d). Daddie was Richie too. Richie was sad: thought about naked priests and was sad. Richie loved rice, which made him happy, and wanted to go to China to eat rice and write Richie on Chinese cats. Would his name still be spelled the same in Chinese? Maybe it would be spelled backwards, and Richie wrote his name backwards: e-i-h-c-i-R. Soon the whole household was filled with Richie, and it was Richie’s house, and he was terrible because he was two, and Mommie said that he was just going through the terrible twos. But then he was three and then four. And he was still a terrible little Richie.