For some reason, the “blog_ideas.txt” file is blowing up. I’ve got a queue of items I want to write about, but this entry doesn’t contain a single one. Seems I’ve caught onto the “blog craze” or something. Steve said he’s afraid that the blog is starting to take over my life… I hope not. But I do enjoy writing it.
I went through a phase in college where I started writing one-paragraph “memory” things. I would try and write down a memory I had from when I was younger. I wrote these down on September 1st, 1997. It’s really freaky to me how many details that I’ve forgotten between now and when I actually wrote these down. The story about giving the bird to the retarded kid… I had completely forgotten that until I just read it. In the six years since 1997, it was effectively erased from my mind. Maybe I should keep writing things down… lest I lose ’em all one day. Anyway, for your enjoyment (maybe), here are some of ’em.
Some reference for these stories. From about 1st grade on, my family lived in Lompoc, California, at 613 North Y Street. Looking at that map, my house was on that street with the little red pin. The big tree-lined property almost directly underneath that was my school (yeah, I had a long walk). The fields to the north and east of the picture were our playgrounds for dirt clod wars, the big empty looking lot to the right is a church where we would make “tunnels” in the long grass out back. Now on to the stories:
I used to have this fantasy back when I was in fifth grade. There was this kid named Joe who I didn’t like because he was going out with Kristina. I remember thinking that it would be so cool if I could walk upside down on the roof. Like on the walkways around school. I thought about hitting Joe in the head and him not being able to reach me. I thought that everyone would think I was so cool if I could walk on the ceiling. I guess it’s kind of dumb now – but man it sounded so good back then.
We had this huge cardboard box like from a new fridge or something, and we put it in the backyard and climbed inside of it. We drew with markers all on the inside to make it look like a spaceship. It was supposed to be the Millennium Falcon. We put blankets down and drew fake windows with stars and planets in them. We would take those little cheese and cracker things and go inside and eat them on our way to Mars. One day the spaceship got hit by a meteor while my friend Shawn and I were in it. We started cussing and swearing at controls and beating on them. We used lots of bad words like they do in the movies when things break. The box was right under my mom’s bedroom window and she heard us cussing. That night I got in big trouble, and I had to get rid of the spaceship.
We used to have to go to this kid Jason’s house after school because mom and dad were at work. We would walk through the alley behind my house and through the fields to get there. One day I found a book in the alley, it was a very pornographic romance novel. No pictures though, just big words and lots of smut. I wish I could remember the name, something to do with a boat – like “Anchors Away” or something. We hid it way out in the field (we walked that vertical dirt farm road on the left to get from school to Jason’s) under a bunch of dirt clods and we would tear out a new page every day to read on the way to Jason’s house. There were about ten of us that Jason’s mom watched. And one girl told her mom about the pages, I had to go out in the field the next day and bring back the book for my mom to tear up. I got in trouble for that.
We would go over to Jonnie’s house across the street. His sister was in fourth grade and I was in fifth. We were gonna go kiss in the backyard. She said her mom and dad were in the bedroom “humping.” We started rolling around and looking at each other. Like some real movie love scene. Then her dad called all the kids to come in, I had to leave out the gate – no kiss.
There was this Asian family next door to Jonnie’s house and they had a kid who was retarded I think, he didn’t go to school and I think maybe he was in a wheelchair, or couldn’t move or something. All day long they would set him in front of these big sliding glass doors and he would just sit and stare outside. He had really short hair and we always looked at him. He would try to say things to us when the door was open, but he talked funny and you couldn’t understand him. It was all mumbled. I think he must have probably had cerebral palsy or something that I didn’t understand. He was trying to talk to us, and Jonnie’s sister Tina said he was calling me names, she said she could understand what he was saying and that he was calling me mean names. I got mad and gave him the finger, not really even sure what it meant I’m sure. His mother saw me. They told my parents. I cried and said that they made it all up, I cried so hard and so long that my parents believed me. I lied about it so many times that night that I almost believed I didn’t do it either. I said “Why would they make that up about me dad? Why?” I learned then that if you can make yourself believe your own lies, you can make anyone believe them. Probably not the life lessons my parents wanted me to learn. I wonder who that kid was, and what was wrong with him. I hope he didn’t know what I was doing.
It was about a week and a half before Christmas I’d say. My whole family packed into the station wagon and went to get our tree from the lot downtown. We picked out a really big one, we weren’t sure it would fit in our living room. When we got home my dad and I started pulling the tree out of the back of the station wagon, it was already hanging out a little because we couldn’t fit it all in. I remember having jackets on because it was kinda cold. Mom and John had gone inside and John was in the bathroom. My mom came back out the door to help us, we hadn’t quite got the tree out of the back yet. Then I heard a woman screaming for help. There was a new couple that moved in across the street only a few months ago. I looked over and there was this lady running out of the house with only bra and underwear on, she was kinda fat. She was screaming for help, and “he’ll kill me, he’s trying to kill me.” She ran straight for our driveway. My dad and I stared as she ran past us to my mom. We didn’t know her very well, but I remember when she ran past that she had all these big ugly bruises on her legs and back. Then we all went in the house and my mom had given her her bathrobe to wear. My mom called the police for her. After a while she went back across the street. After that my mom’s bathrobe smelled just like that lady. I told her a hated that smell, that it made me sad – it reminded me of that lady. She washed it but I swore I could still smell that lady. Finally she threw the bathrobe out and got a new one. I had never seen anything like that before.
I think James Kokobaker smoked pot in the fifth grade. He thought he was so cool. He went out with Kristina. I hated him, he lived across the railroad tracks from me. One day he asked me to come to his house after school. He was much bigger than me and I thought he wanted to fight me. But for some reason I went anyway. We went inside and played Olympic Skiing on his dad’s computer. I had a great time, and from then on he and I were friends.
Ryan Lopez was sort of weird, but I liked hanging out at his house ’cause it was right next to the park and had a great alley to ride bikes in. His parents were never home. They were always somewhere. He had a big brother that he idolized, he had been in the army and he played guitar and rode a motorcycle. He was really cool. He would tell us ghost stories and give us advice. When he wasn’t home we would go in his room and sit and talk, we thought he was the coolest. Ryan and I used to spray WD-40 on the fence in his backyard and light it on fire. We would draw pictures with the fire, like peace signs, smiley faces, and bad words. I used to have a pretty good time there. But we stopped hanging out that much when I met Shaine. Shaine and I got pretty popular and I guess I kind of ditched Ryan. I used to see him running around the playground while Shaine and I swung on our swings. They played Voltron, and we even sometimes made fun of them. It had been about two years since I’d even talked to Ryan. I was in fifth grade and I was looking outside my living room window. I saw Ryan riding his bike down my street, which was a long way from his house. I remember wondering what he was doing so far away from home, and almost at dinner time too. I went outside and called his name. He saw me and started to pedal faster and went right by me like he didn’t know me. He was wearing his brother’s black wind-breaker jacket with his brother’s name on the back.. He totally ignored me. I remember being mad. I went back inside. The next day I looked for him at school to ask him why he ignored me. When I asked Kristina where Ryan was, she told me. She said that his brother got in an accident on his motorcycle last night, he was dead. I felt sad for Ryan, and bad that I hadn’t talked to him in so long. Maybe he would’ve stopped and talked to me about it. He really loved that guy.
They asked me if I wanted to take the “gifted test.” I was in third grade. I had to put a puzzle together and look at some pictures and tell them things. I don’t remember it being too hard. They told my parents that I was gifted. They said a I could go to this all new gifted school next year. The school was far away and I had to take a bus to get there. All my friends were at my old school. The only person I knew at the new school was Ryan Lopez. He introduced me to his friends Sky and Blue. The swings sucked there, and the classes were weird too. I started to miss all my friends. I told my mom I didn’t like it. I got to go back to my old school in about a week, I was very happy that I wasn’t gifted anymore.
I got my new digital camera yesterday, man it is so awesome. I think I’m gonna sell the old one on Ebay, maybe make some cash. Oh, and even tho I typically don’t like Guided By Voices, I am really digging this song lately… just thought you’d wanna know that.