You should really only begin to continue reading this post if you’re in the mood to think. And I don’t mean that so obviously as you might immediately guess. Of course we’re always thinking, that voice of yours is always inside of your head and conveying what your opinion is or what you’re reading, etcetera.
But I mean to think on a deeper level, to think about memories and things that have happened in your life that make you who you are today, even if they seemed small and insignificant at the time.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about life and memories of wonderful and terrible things that have happened during my years of life. And it’s been an amazing thing, except for all of the headaches. Thinking – truly engaging yourself in thinking about things – can be an incredibly mentally excruciating thing, and if you think I’m crazy now I’ll prove it later if you read long enough.
The most intriguing thing about this thinking I’ve been doing is that I haven’t even been made very happy or very sad by it, there’s been no real change in my mood. I suppose solemnity if that’s a mood, really. But I can think about things that should make me bawl my eyes out or rip someone else’s eyes out and I’m just very calm, very composed.
So to begin, let’s get a little bit personal and share some of the memories I’ve been collecting over and over for the past few days.
The first I’m going to share is a very classic memory that most people never forget, whether it was good, bad, fantastic, or terrible. It was a memory that for a long time I would have liked to forget, because its conditions were not very ideal nor was the person with whom it was inevitably shared. It is the memory of my first kiss, ever.
I was in fifth grade. My hair was still a light brunette, and I had my favorite purple frames that outlasted any others I’ve ever worn. My hair was about to my shoulders, the way I wore it for the majority of my life. His name was Seth. He was tanner than I was, but so was most everyone in existence. I’m fairly pale and proud of that. He had golden brown hair and a birthmark on his neck that everyone always called a hickey. He had brown eyes that would look around at everything but you when he was nervous. He was my age but in fourth grade. We were at a store called Central Market that I’ve talked about before on this blog. The lovely Burger and Bock event during which local bands play and delicious food is served outside. The air was pleasant and perfect: not hot, not cold. It smelled of the delicious fries and burgers and of alcohol that people drank while they happily enjoyed the free music. It was later, though, around 7 or 8 and getting darker. Around half an hour to an hour was left before my would’ve-been stepfather was to pick us up and bring us to our respective homes. We were sitting outside, but not near the tables in front of the stage: there was a hill that took you to beautiful stairs and a sewer that many people threw trash into. The hill was a common meeting place for all of my friends that gathered at the Central Market concerts because it was away from the parents, and although skateboarding was not permitted it was a rule seldom followed by any of them. So common of a place, this hill, that we indeed did refer to it as “the hill” when talking about meeting up as we so very often did. We were sitting on the high-side before the railing began so that we could sit without our feet touching the ground when he told me he was going to get a Jones and asked if I wanted one. I said sure, I love the cream soda. And so I sat listening to my iPod while he went off into the store. Minutes passed, they felt long. The environment was lightly tinted blue from the sinking sun that refused to let it grow really dark. I laid back on the pavement and stared up at the sky as I waited for him to return. Tuning out the noises of the concert-goers and otherwise people visiting the store, I didn’t even realize that he was coming back and he surprised me. I sat up and he’d put the sodas in their glass bottles on the concrete already and had his hands held behind his back. Without a word, he brought a rose in front of him to me. I smiled and hugged him. It was a sweet gesture but I didn’t understand it. We drank our sodas and didn’t even talk about it until it got a little darker and stood up and held hands to the staircase. We sat on the third step from the top. He looked into my eyes hopefully. But I told him, “I thought you didn’t want a girlfriend.” And he didn’t. And I didn’t want to get involved with anything like this if he didn’t even want a girlfriend. I was going to tell him that … but there was no chance to do so. Gently, but determinedly, he closed in on me and kissed my lips. It lasted a few moments before he pulled away and smiled.
I can’t remember what was said or what really happened after that because I was in fifth grade and had just received not only a rose but my first kiss from a boy – a boy that didn’t want to go out with me, but a boy nonetheless. I remember Mike coming to pick us up in his golden truck and he did and took Seth home, and then me. He saw the rose and chuckled to himself but said nothing of it. I told Mom, but I was feeling queasy as hell, probably from drinking two Joneses in one night – or maybe it was anxiety, uncontrollable biological anxiety that I still mildly suffer from and I think I’ve talked about that before. I remember us holding hands in the truck before we got to his house and I remember keeping that rose in a vase on my window sill until it wilted.
Now another memory. Another boyfriend. Another captivating side-note about a lot of my memories is that a lot of them seem to be about boys. Upon first realizing this fact it immediately made me sad, and then I realized I wasn’t sure why. There’s nothing wrong with interacting with guys; having boyfriends, etc. A lot of the events that have happened with the boys in my life have made me the person that I am today, right now. And so, there’s nothing wrong with that.
This memory actually begins with someone else, a girl who lived next door to Mike’s. Her name was Ashlyn. She was immediately my best friend. There are lots of memories I could share, like the time I tried doing dishes and put in so much soap that it made a mountain of bubbles outside of the washer and ran to her house for her help; or the first time I spent the night at her house and some men that were harassing her older brothers called and called and approached the apartment complex and after they woke everyone up there was a gun shot while Ashlyn and I hid in the bathroom … but no, I’m going to tell you about our lovely tradition. This is the biggest reason I stopped going to Central Market as much. Ashlyn and I met as I was on my way to Central Market one day, and she was so sad looking and lonely. I told her I had something to do but we’d hang out more often and we did. And quite soon, each Friday night, she and I were headed off together to a roller rink. Rollerland West (which has a terrible website, I wouldn’t recommend clicking on it unless you plan on actually visiting this place) holds a lot of memories all on its own, with and without Ashlyn and various other people and/or lack thereof. Rollerland is where I learned to skate on inline skates, where I drank my first Monster… and many more. I also met more people there then I did at Central Market or at any other place I spent any of my time as a child. Including school. Yes, I spent that much time at Rollerland and interacting with nearly every person there. But the person I met who I was most fond of was a boy who cannot decide what name he wants to go by. I always knew him as Robi. Yes, Robi, not Robbie or Robby or any other variation. Most others call him Nathaniel; some, Robert. But to me he was always Robi, and Robi never skated. Never. He usually hung out with many of his friends who did skate, and some who didn’t. But then he still hung out with mostly people his own age. And then Ashlyn and I. Except, he fell in love with me. We talked … all the time. Literally. This was in a time when Myspace was still used all the time, and we actually talked on Myspace Instant Messenger. The actual downloadable program, not the god-awful web-integrated version they’ve got now. We dated but I can’t remember how long; there was only one day that we ever spent together. It was his birthday, August 2nd. I can’t remember how old he was turning because the age difference between us was high; he was either in 8th grade or 9th already and I was about to enter sixth; I think. It was an amazing day, hindered only by the fact that we weren’t alone. A friend of his, a girl named Kat, accompanied us. But in that day we saw The Simpsons Movie at the Movie Tavern and then visited the Ridgmar Mall (fantastic mall by the way, good reviews all around for it; they literally have everything you could ever want in a mall) and walked around for ages. And then we went to Kat’s before Robi’s mom came to pick the both of us up and take us to our respective homes. Once we got there Kat left for some reason and I got my second kiss. Ever. It was funny because he was tall and I was short and tiny and we were holding hands and I felt like I had hands of a doll in comparison. Immediately after said kiss happened, regardless of how much I wanted to stay right there on the bottom bunk of that bed, I got sick. I ran to the bathroom. And puked my guts out. Note to posterity: Don’t ever drink Monsters if there’s an opportunity for your nerves to misbehave coming up in the near future. I returned, and laid down, and he rubbed my stomach and held my hands and tried to kiss my cheeks to calm me down. But no. My stomach simply wouldn’t have it. I got sick two more times before we left. Each time he would still kiss my forehead or cheeks and attempt with his best effort to calm me down, despite its clear futility. It was quite sweet, really. Unfortunately, that’s the only time that we ever did anything that was datelike at all. We never even saw each other while we were dating besides that night.
So, I was going to write even more but today’s been a particularly stressful day and now that I’ve been distracted for awhile the content is just completely different and not written in the mannerism that I had hoped.
But I promised to prove it. Here are seven questions about memories to make you think, hard. Think about the time, place, age you were, who you were with, what you smelled, how you felt, any thoughts you may remember having… Any details whatsoever you can remember. Feel free to please share in the comments if you feel like expressing. Even if you don’t care to share, if you like the questions, please tell me and I’ll post some more sporadically.
1.) Your first thunderstorm.
2.) Your first insane phobia.
3.) The first time you stepped on autumn leaves.
4.) Your first serious boyfriend or girlfriend.
5.) Your favorite teacher in your years of school.
6.) Your first time using a computer.
7.) Your first day of high school.
And as a final, almost-afterthought of a note, I’d like to leave you with this. I must forewarn you that it is on a site that could be called ‘questionable’ but I leave you with this because it’s an honest-to-goodness piece of literature. If you don’t mind mature content then you should absolutely, completely, 100% take a look and read that. It’s four pages and a paragraph or so extra, but it’s an absolutely wonderful read that I recommend wholeheartedly.