My name is Leroy Diva. I live on the south side of town with my mother and two sisters. We rent an apartment above Astronaut Pizza. The place stinks like pepperoni and burnt cheese all the time.
My sister Belle has no idea why I am called Ringo. She thought it was my real name and was shocked to hear Uncle Sam call me LeRoy one afternoon. Uncle Sam comes over on Sunday’s to watch football games, eat pizza and drink beer. He is a man that is what I want to be.
We have a cat named Ringo. He has big black round markings on his white coat. His tail has a ring of black and white with a big stroke of black on the end as if he had dipped it in a jar of paint and was ready to brush it on a canvas. Ringo likes to play tag on the stairs and chases anything that moves.
I do not know who Ringo Starr is and do not care, that is too old. No, I do not play drums either. I hate loud noises.
See it is like this, the first word out of my mouth was dinga. I did not say Mom or Dad, but dinga. I went on saying dinga for a whole year, no other word came out, and everything was dinga. My head got stuck on it and couldn’t nothing else be said. Drove my mother crazy.
I have this plastic pink bunny ring I found under my pillow this morning. I’d been in my first fistfight with the neighbor’s kid yesterday and lost a tooth. We were rolling around fighting about nothing, just boys fighting and he popped me good. I ran home. I felt cool cause I didn’t cry until my sister Belle did after she saw my face and bloody mouth. She hollered and cried and so did I.
I’d seen this ring before. My older sister, Ernestine says she recalls the last time we saw our Dad, he baked us a cake for my 2nd birthday. A nice big lemon cake with white frosting. Everybody at the table cuts a piece and whoever finds the bunny ring in their slice is king for the day. Well, it was my lucky day and was about to take a bite when the ring popped out on the plate. The story goes, I said ringo. I’d been saying dinga so long people were surprised. I wore that ring every day and put it under my pillow every night.
It disappeared soon after Ringo the cat came to stay. She liked to curl up on my pillow every night and managed to push me off it. Queen Ringo she is. Now, it’s back. So where had it been for eight years? Where did it go? Who put it under my pillow?
Ringo the cat just sits there with her cat purr and black tipped tail twitching on the pillow.