When I was a wee lass of, oh about 4, I would occasionally hang out (uninvited of course) at the neighbor’s house down the street, hoping they would offer me sugar cubes (as a non-coffee drinker I had no idea sugar came in cube form!). They had a little girl about two years older than me and two teenaged sons. The little girl tolerated me, sometimes, but what really fascinated me about her, and particularly her house, was the posters on the walls of her brothers’ room.
Now, we were living in Sweden at this time and had been for almost 3 years. I came into awareness in Sweden, and didn’t know much about America other than that’s supposedly where we were from and where we were going back to someday. I had no concept of American culture.
The neighbor’s brothers were older than anyone I knew well (15-ish and 17-ish) and were far beyond the trends and fads that came into my home. They listened to American rock and roll, and saw American movies.
Sweden is a very conservative when it comes to movies. Sex is a different issue, but Star Wars, for example, was rated “barn verbuden” which means “children forbidden” because it was considered too violent. They just had zero tolerance for it. So by the time I was 4, I had never really seen any violence in movies or on TV. Which explains my absolute fascination with the following:
A huge shark…coming up beneath an unsuspecting swimmer…at night…terrifying…plus I think the girl was nekkid.
There was nothing more frightening than that.
Well, except for this:
Who were these guys? Why did they wear such funny clothes? Why are their shoes so high? What’s with all the fire? Is that man hurt? Where is that blood coming from? What is sticking out of that man’s mouth? Is that blood on his tongue? Their holding guitars, do they play music? Why do they look so wild and angry?
I asked my neighbor-girl friend endless questions about these posters and her brothers. Who would want such things on their walls…in their bedrooms…where they had to turn the lights off and sleep? Where they would be watched…night and day…by a man with blood on his tongue?
I did not return after awhile. As fascinated as I was, my innocent mind could not handle it. Besides, one day I entered the house uninvited and was caught by one on the brothers in his room, this tiny little American girl, staring at the posters.
It wasn’t long after that when I was walking down the street and these two brothers started shooting their cap cannon at me. I thought it was a real cannon and hid behind a rock for a couple of hours until they ran out of caps and got bored. I guess that was appropriate payback considering they were KISS fans. Pyrotechnics are how I handle all my personal disputes.