Oh how the times have changed us
Sure and now uncertain
I live about a mile away from my childhood home.
In truth, I had three homes that I lived in during my childhood, but only one gets the special distinction because memories from the other two are hazy, at best.
The first home was in Connecticut. I was 5 years old when we moved to Texas, so memories of my birth state are not fully formed, but rather like images shown for subliminal advertising. A clip here, a clip there, not visible but registering nonetheless.
A toboggan in the backyard, blackberries, my friend Stacy next door, almost drowning in her pool, the neighbors in the cul-de-sac who (I think) taught me to read and write, burning my mouth on pizza while near a lake with cattails. That last one probably best describes those 5 years in my mind: one very specific incident that lasted only a moment, and I can’t remember anything else about it.
Men not devils have claimed us
The next two or three years were spent in a house “in the country” of what would become known as my hometown. Memories of this place are just like those from Connecticut – countless small snippets of life. But this is where I learned to ride a bike, learned to throw a baseball, developed a love for music, stepped on my first nail, and began my affair with the guitar.
But it is also the only home I tried to run away from. I went to the copse in the backyard (that we all called “the weeds”) for about two hours or so. Then I got hungry.
God’s one miracle
Lost in circles
The summer before third grade, we moved “into town”. This house was within easy walking distance of my (new to me) elementary school and the only middle school (at the time).
These were the formative years, good and bad. First computer, first phone line of my own, first cigarette/alcoholic drink/joint, first crush, first Penthouse centerfold, first guitar, first car, and all other kinds of firsts.
I even lost my virginity there, on the living room floor. (I found it again – kind of – a few days later when vacuuming. This is only partially a joke.)
And, like Connecticut, I also had what I consider a near-death experience while living in this house.
All my all my life
Laughter and crying
All of this crossed my mind a few days ago when I drove past the street of my childhood home. But what struck me was not what I remembered, but what I didn’t. And it made me a little sad. I wish I had more distinct memories of Connecticut or of the Texas house in the country.
Today’s generation shouldn’t have that problem. There are machines in our pockets, readily available to capture the most innocuous of moments, not to mention the more important ones. There are platforms that will remind us, as well. I can easily download every Tweet I’ve ever sent, and Facebook will tell me what was on my mind – on this day – during my tenure on that site. (It was 6 years ago today that I was promoted at my last “real office” job, evidently.)
(With all those capabilities, you’d think I’d be able to get a copy of all my old writing – my best writing – at Upsaid dot com. But nope. Just a few random posts that the Wayback machine somehow captured.)
I should be envious of those younger than me who will have much clearer memories of their early life. There is something to be said for having to reach for past events that might also require a little imagination to put them into focus. But I’m also glad there is no video of me being a brat, no log of emails to girls in high school, and especially no angst ridden Facebook posts from 18 year old me.
As it turns out, there is something to be said for my subliminal youth.
All my all my life
Laughter and crying
As my life turns
Round and round
– Echo & The Bunnymen