How I Remember It

My parents left me at EPCOT Center on my birthday.

I know, it seems like a wish come true, but for a newly minted 9-year old who was afraid of his own shadow, it wasn’t quite as cool as all that. The day before we had visited the Magic Kingdom and all the fascination that came along with it. In fact, they had given me the choice of if I wanted to spend my birthday at Disney or EPCOT, and I chose EPCOT because the 26th was closer to Christmas, and I felt that Disney would be lit up better because of the proximity of the holiday (My birthday is the 27th). I was wrong. It was just as lit up on the 27th.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, my dad told me once that I didn’t remember it correctly, that I was sitting on the bench, refusing to go on whatever ride it was with them, so they let me think they were leaving me. But I recall wandering alone, crying, hoping I would see my parents again someday (my sister too, if I’m to be honest). I was also mad at them, though, because it was my birthday, and they were supposed to treat me like the king of everything (“Who died and made you king of anything?”). It seemed inherently wrong to exclude me from any of the fun, to leave me sitting there thinking I was deserted.

My sister told me that I was in a pissy mood from the start, that I wanted everything to revolve around me, and when it all didn’t I pouted and threw a tantrum. I remember no tantrums. Continue reading “How I Remember It”

Afrodisiac

At the absolute apex of my adolescence, I sported an afro for two years. It wasn’t some kind of fashion statement, or some kind of returning to my roots, or even an homage to Michael Jackson, circa 1979. It was instead a product of laziness and the procurement of two cheap picks at the dollar … Continue reading Afrodisiac

That R.E.M. Song

“…and that R.E.M. song was playing in my mind. Three and a half minutes. Felt like a lifetime.” ~Better Than Ezra I always wondered what “that R.E.M. song” was, which one from their vast catalog made such an impression on a young Kevin Griffin (lead singer of Better Than Ezra) that he immortalized it in … Continue reading That R.E.M. Song

1998

“There’s nothing where we used to lie. Conversation has run dry. That’s what’s going on. Nothing’s right. I’m torn.” ~Natalie Imbruglia It was my last year in Philadelphia, but I didn’t know it when the year started. Funny how that happens, how the monumental moments in our lives, the seismic shifts, often happen with no … Continue reading 1998

40 Candles

If you had approached 10-year old me and told him where he would be at 40, he probably would have laughed in your face. Because 10-year old me wasn’t remotely interested in the future, for what would pass for life after… well, 10. It was all about the present then, all about the moment, and … Continue reading 40 Candles