I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which, being cunningly presented to me under various disguises induced me to set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into the delusion it was choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.
Loomings, Chapter 1
So, my dearest Patrice . .you ask me to answer a list of Meme Firsts—may I say, I did not know you moved out when you were 16. The things you learn. . .
First boyfriend: Apparently it was a high school sophomore debater whose dad was the intimidating señor in charge of discipline at the boys’ school. Said sophomore debator had a unibrow, a vintage 1968 puke green Mustang and a crush on my friend Maggie. We only had two dates, I think, and I never even remotely loved him. He did give me a hickey and I thought that was disgusting not to mention sophomoric, which, in hindsight, was to be expected. I recall it ended when another boy informed him in the locker room “I went out with your girlfriend.” He confronted me and I confessed I didn’t realize I was his girlfriend.
First kiss: From my first boyfriend, duh (which I guess I should have taken as a clue that said sophomore was my first boyfriend). Unless you count Marty who was a very very large boy two years older than I was. I was four. He was six. He chased me across the playground and pushed me up against the chain link fence and kissed me hard on the mouth and I cried. My mom still made me go to his birthday party. It was all girls. We were all crying. I wonder if Marty is in prison now.
First Job: Other than babysitting which I assume does not count because it lacked a regular employer, I believe it was at Jack in the Box. Unlike Patrice, I found no joy, no escape. I hated all ten hours I spent there. My mother tried to drag me off the top bunk on the third day and I told her I was never ever ever ever going back to that evil horrible place where those awful kids were spitting in the drinks and then laughing as they passed them out the drive through windows. She claimed I was making that up. She dismissed most of my teenage angst as making things up. At any rate, it was a titanic clash of the wills which I somehow won (most likely by employing the die-in method of going limp on the shag carpeting). If she had forced it I think I would be a complete drug addict today. I hated that Jack-in-the Box. They finally tore it down last month and when I saw that I let loose a scream of victory. My son wanted to know what that was about.
“Oh, nothing. Memories.”
First Pay/What did I Buy: Probably, and I’m guessing here, a pair of Candies pumps. I do not know that girl I was then. I pestered my parents for a rabbit fur baseball jacket and Candies pumps. That is not me. It’s prettty much the definition of the opposite of me–so distant from my current identity that it is painful to even attempt to access what I was thinking. Who was that girl who fleetingly occupied me? That is one hole ripped in my space time fabric.
First CD I recall buying: That I do not recall. I recall the first album being The Smith’s Meat is Murder, on vinyl, from a record shop in Greenwich Village, off Father Demo Square.
I love music and can not imagine life without it. I’m not particular about genre, as long as the lyrics are good (classical excused on this count–it can have horrendous lyrics and still move me. O Mio Babino Caro translates into a most banal plea and comes from a comic opera about opportuists, but still sounds like a great piece to have playing at your deathbed, if you’re listening to it in Italian and can’t translate the words.) I argued a defence for the Dead Kennedy’s “Kill Kill Kil Kill Kill the Poor” in a class on “What is Art.” I debated extensively the woman who brought in her silver dog dish. Judged her mercilessly. That was probably an unproductive debate.
What age was I when I moved from my parents’ home: The first time? 17. I moved out of my suburban Ranch family home into the NYU dorms in the old Ruben Hotel on 5th avenue. For the first week I refused to leave the building after dark for fear of being mugged. I got over that. By the following summer, I was homeless and sleeping in Washington Square Park. Then I dropped out of college. Then I moved home, and left again at 20 to move in with a bond lawyer who was going to help me start the revolution, but told me not to move to Nicaragua and join the Sandinistas so I sensed he wasn’t serious. From there I moved in with friends a few miles up the road. Then I moved and moved and moved, and after moving coast to coast, I moved home, again. I finally left home at 29. I say finally. I assume it’s final.
First holiday abroad: It’s a common joke when someone mentions they have been to, say, Italy, or Paris, for a Texan to respond “Where in Texas is that?” It takes a full day’s drive, and not a pretty one at that, I may add, to get out of this state, and of all the things that tell you something about me, the one place I have gone “abroad” probably tells you the least. Cancun? I think it was Cancun. It was supposed to be a romantic anniversary trip which my husband and I were going to take, but then I turned up pregnant, and there were complications, so we postponed for a year and wound up taking not only all three kids, but were also joined by my little sister who was living in Miami at the time. There’s romance, and then there’s my life. I don’t travel well. I don’t transition well. Much like my Grandpa Fritz whom I rarely saw wearing shoes (or a shirt, for that matter—I differ in that way) I prefer staying home with the chickens.
By the way. . .less than a week until hatch and still no word. . .I should send a follow up e-mail. I really should not have more chickens.