I Remember…

Little writing exercise from the last session of the WR 222 class.

I remember buying comic books for a quarter.

I remember watching the Challenger explode, recorded on VHS, the day it happened in my second grade class.

I remember my father’s fists, hitting my ribs, the shortness of my breath, my pain and confusion over why this was happening.

I remember seeing my first concert, KMDFM on tour with Nivek Ogre.

I remember seeing my first grade teacher cry, forced into retirement because she was “too old to keep up with the students”, after the presentation she gave about having spent the summer backpacking across Antarctica as part of a research trip.

I remember the motorcycle helmet, red like blood, lights strobing red and blue, and the light rain that began to fall as I watched them fish the body out of Aldercrest creek.

I remember my father’s mother, both senile and suffering from diabetic hallucinations, chasing me around her house with a knife because she couldn’t recognize me before collapsing into a chair and talking to her dead husband about how nice the ocean waves sounded today, while listening to the AC unit drone on in the window of her house in Camas, WA.

I remember my first kiss, sudden, awkward, and sloppy in the dark, kin the back of the bus, on the way home from a debate tournament and being uncertain about what was going on and way, but liking it and not really minding at all.

I remember Teresa, in a sheer white gown, both clinging to and shrouding her body, translucent enough to hint at her curves, crossing the room in candlelight, into my arms.

I remember Andy throwing lawn darts at baby chickens, how he laughed to see them run about confused, and the sick look on his face when he finally impaled one.

I remember the Portland PD turned out in riot gear to disperse the crowd coming out of the Electric Hellfire Club / Lords of Acid / GWAR! concert, concerned we would riot around downtown when all any of us wanted was to go home and take a shower and feel clean again.

I remember Alison, her giant stuffed panther, the look on her face and the sound of her cello as she sat on her chair and played it in the nude, telling me later that she chose the instrument because she liked holding the large vibrating wooden box between her legs.

I remember Jake, his dead eyes, his head down, walking past me on the bus, not making eye contact, two hours before he would leap from the overpass into traffic.

I remember Wendy, insisting the lights be turned off, not realizing how hard that made using, much less finding, the bedroom toys she had bought and wanted me to use on her.

I remember reading comic books at Fred Meyers until the lights began being turned off, the store closing, because my father has forgotten about me and left me behind at the store when he finished the grocery shopping.

I remember the first time I did an Australian rappel down a cliff face, seeing the ground rush up at me as I ran and leapt down to meet it.

I remember Susan, and her Kentucky accent, and her piercings, and her hunger for a sort of kinkiness that she couldn’t find in her hometown, especially given her job teaching young kids and needing to protect her reputation.

I remember hiking the Clackamas river trail, the 7 mile two-day hike turning into a 19 mile hike because the hike-master had figured it as the crow flew, not counting the elevation change of all the riverside switchbacks into the distance, and how on that second day when we hike 17 miles with full packs on I wanted to throttle him every time he said the trailhead was “Just around the next bend” but my legs hurt too much, and I was too tired.

I remember how hot and sweaty the “Woodsy the Owl” costume was, so much vinyl and foam padding, and how grateful I was for the padding when the out-of-work loggers told their kids I was why they were out of a job and they came after me with sticks and bats.

I remember First Thursday cocktail parties at work, feting photographers that we worked with, musician friends we knew performing live, large pitchers of gin and vodka martinis, and sitting around the office after the party was over, laughing with coworkers who were friends, as we didn’t leave until all the martinis had been drunk.

I remember walking home after those parties, or rather I don’t remember walking home, black out drunk and coming to and finding myself at my front door trying to unlock the deadbolt with a fork or my cellphone or the wrong set of keys.

I remember coming home early, hearing Krista on the phone, and finding her naked in bed having phone sex with her ex-bf, the one who had hospitalized her once, and realizing that while I knew that I hadn’t liked her for a while I didn’t love her anymore either.

I remember far too many funerals.

I remember far too few weddings (at least ones that lasted longer afterwards than the planning beforehand took).

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