It Was A Very Good Year in anticlimatic

  • July 26, 2022, 11:24 p.m.
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  • Public

I’ve been reminiscing on my 17th year lately. I almost can’t believe it happened. Hard to imagine that world existing at all, though it seems a much saner world. I cannot express what a queer feeling it is, to live in world that makes less sense than a separate world drawn from memory- like reality is the dream to be woken from. Indeed, the most sensical thing to me right now is that I should wake from this into something more ordered and rational. When I know at the same time that there is only a bigger, darker, and more eternal sleep ahead instead.

When I was 17 I had partially moved into my late great grandmother’s kitchen. She moved in with us when I was a baby, to an apartment that my dad converted the second floor into, and passed away not long before I turned 17. She never used her bedroom, and only slept on her sofa, so I took her old room and made it my own for her last few years. After she passed away, I acquired my first computer. Second generation iMac, I believe, and I set it up on her kitchen table- my new (temporary) office, until I would ultimately move out a year or so later-

-only to return once, for a few months, when I was getting back on my feet after returning from living in North Carolina for a long while. Those were very special months to me, as I knew well at the time that it would be the last time I’d share a roof with my parents. The same roof I’d shared with them when I was a kid. I’d stay up late in my old room watching reruns of Rosanne, and bumping into my old man in the kitchen when I’d sneak down for cereal. Yo Dad!

-and from my new kitchen table office, with my first ever computer of my very own, I remember sticking my neck into the wide world of adulthood for the first time. It was very cutting edge back then. This was well before 9/11, well before cell phones, well before Facebook, well before even Myspace at the time. We had ICQ, which was basically texting but required computer-to-computer action. We had email, for more engaging correspondence. And we had chat rooms, which was the only gateway there to strangers in other parts of the world across the interwebs. The chatrooms were pretty special too. I ran a program called “The Palace” which had this giant animated mansion that you could wander from room to room in. People had little photos and a name tag, and could be found tucked away in all kinds of little rooms and corners. I met a girl in a study with a fireplace there from across the country when I was 14 who I would go on to lose my virginity with in person a year later.

I remember sitting there in the dark, on the cutting edge of technology, on the cutting edge of my adolescence and budding adulthood, full of dreams and expectations and curiosities. Mostly curiosities.

I remember going out in the wee hours of the morning and driving my piece of shit 1986 mercury sable several towns over to pick up a girl and ride an elevator up a dark unoccupied construction site to the top floor, which wasn’t finished- didn’t even have a roof- but wow what a view that eventual penthouse and cornerstone of an entire town, that had not yet been built then, had.

We tore each other apart making out in that penthouse. It was a very good year.

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