An ice skating recital where we dressed up in snowman costumes and skated to Frosty the Snowman. I learned how to ice skate, but I never learned how to stop. I can see this happening from above, like a home video or a dream, even though my parents never videotaped anything.
Electric blue lining in a violin case. I was supposed to be choosing a violin based on how it sounded or felt on my shoulder but I picked it for that blue case.
Summer classes. Calligraphy, art, computers, dance, theater, chess, fencing.
Until High School, I didn’t have friends when we weren’t in school.
I like to think that I remember ever person I’ve kissed.
Joanna. I didn’t really kiss her mouth so I don’t know if it counts. I kissed her neck and bit her earlobes and tried to see if I could get her to break off a sentence while she was on the phone.
Mara (on a dare).
Mara (not on a dare).
Tim. I was 19; he was 16. I didn’t tell anyone.
Kissing Liz while Yuri was there, and maybe I kissed him that night, I know I wanted to, but the next morning we all pretended that nothing happened.
Wanting to kiss Jason and Justin.
Wanting to kiss Lindy.
A girl whose name I didn’t learn during a game show at Pride in San Francisco.
B., Jeremy, Satanist Dan, Renee, Ryan, and Tony.
Seeing Tony at graduate student reception last Friday night. I wanted to run away but instead turned my back towards him and hoped he didn’t notice.
Stealing nail polish and lipstick.
The first time I saw snow fall. I ran outside, barefoot and amazed.
Remembering The Last Unicorn, which I saw as a kid, but only remembered a few moments, and then I found the movie while I was in college and I watched and remembered at the same time.
Funny double vision from waking up on my side, one eye half-closed, squished against the pillow, and one eye open. I remember blankets, pillows, and my arm in front of me layered on top of each other, translucent. I remember trying to figure out how to replicate that in a photograph.
When Andrew (the first one) proposed to me. I was sitting on his lap on a cliff between two houses in La Jolla and he couldn’t get down on one knee. He did the knee-thing later.
When I broke up with him and he was sobbing and holding a knife, a small hand-sized knife, and I didn’t know if he wanted to use it on himself or on me, and I don’t think he knew either. I don’t think he cared about the difference. At the end, all destruction is the same.
A navy blue bathrobe.
Electric blue leopard-spotted Doc Martins, day-glo orange fishnet tights, and a silver-sequined mini-dress.
Being drunk in an elevator while someone talked loudly to a friend about how he didn’t want to see me naked. He didn’t know I was there.
Crowd surfing on my sixteenth birthday. I fell six feet onto concrete and wouldn’t tell my mother for fear she wouldn’t let me go to any more concerts.
Running around the house on my hands and knees, pretending to be a horse.
How my mother sewed animal-shaped patches on the knees of my pants, and how I hated them because other kids made fun of me but I never told her.
Confession as memory or the other way around: Making my brother cry on purpose because I hated him. I told him that I hated him. And then, afraid that I would get in trouble when my parents got home, I told him that I didn’t mean it, don’t cry, shhhh, don’t cry.
We had a dog named Caboose because he was the runt of the litter except that no one really wanted a dog so we didn’t love him very much and he had a backyard to run around in but no hugs and no walks and he stopped eating and one day he ran away. I’ve never told that story before. I’m sorry. I didn’t know better; I was a kid. I’m so sorry.
Eating nothing but apples and Earl Grey tea with milk and honey for weeks until I was afraid to walk down the stairs because I could feel myself falling and there were four flights between my dorm room and the ground.
My mother driving me home from the airport during winter break my junior year. She drove a white Dodge Neon. She told me that my brother had tried to kill himself, and I was the only one who could save him. It was up to me.
Yelling at her about that later.
The office of my first psychiatrist. It was a warm brown.
This getting depressing. Driving my gray Buick Century up I-95 from Baltimore to New York City, with The Cure in my diskman (I remember diskmans), playing Friday I’m In Love over and over again. That song always makes me think of being free.
The road at 1:30 in the morning, 1000 miles from where I was from, and 1000 miles to where I was going and I didn’t stop until I got there.