Friday, December 31, 2010

It's my birthday and I'll blog about myself if I want to

It’s nearing midnight and I am about to unceremoniously take my first step into my early thirties. Thirty-one to be exact.

People across the world have been cheering the new year for most of the day, putting another year behind them, resolving to change, to begin anew, to start afresh, to be young again. But I will have aged. Because I was born then, 31 years before, a full day of labor for my young mother, a full day of agony for my sense of shelter.

It is easy to keep track of my age though. How old was I in 1985? Five. The whole year. How old will I be in 2099, the year my favorite Spiderman, Miguel O’Hara, paradoxically “lived”? One hundred and nineteen. The whole year. I attribute my smokin’ decent memory to my birthday as well. Who did I vote for in the mock presidential election of 1988? Michael Dukakis. I liked his eyebrows. I was eight, seven for half the school year. What year did I notice my first armpit hair? 1990. I was 10. Ask my mother. She’ll tell you all about it, wrong, of course, and with embellished humiliation. When did the space shuttle Challenger blow up? Don’t know exactly but I remember the day. I was riding a yellow bus to Pillow Elementary School. Kindergarten. So I know it was between 1985 and 1986. The flag was half staffed enough for me to recognize it as strange so I’m going to say 1986. Haley’s Comet strolled by that year too. I remember it was ’86 because an Australian classmate named Zena had returned to the Outback and sent the class a picture of her awesome vantage. Out of jealousy, I teased her and Tyler Vandercolt for winning the privilege of sleeping in the classroom teepee together during naptime. She told me I wasn’t very nice. It still stings. In preschool, I remember getting into a fight with another boy over a police hat during play time. Totally kicked his ass. Some snotty blonde girl tried to kiss me all year during story time and a girl named Bridgette broke my heart by admitting that she wanted to marry some other asshole four year old over me. The year was 1984.* In ’83, I was sitting on my father’s shoulders, picking plantains to “surprise” my mother. That same year I repeatedly played doctor with my older sister’s friend from next door. Hot. I was three. 1982 imprinted still images in my head: a skateboard that I wasn’t allowed to stand on; a tennis racket in its wooden frame; Tom & Jerry wallpaper; a crying baby sister whom I was mean to until she was old enough to start hitting me back. In’79, the war half of me was tightly bundled in a single sperm within my father’s scrotum. The love side of me was waiting comfortably in parts of my mother that I will not mention here. I don’t remember any of that though. New Year’s wasn’t my birthday yet.

Fast forward 31 years later, and I’m thinking of people who have absolutely no memory of me and moments that are remembered by no one but me. It was nice reflecting though. Happy New Year.

Already retaining information

*
Bobby: “What are you doing?”
Carlos: “Writing a blog about myself.”
Bobby: “Am I in it?”
Carlos: “I thought I’d mention you in 1984 but I didn’t have the space.”
Bobby: “Whatever. You should put a little asterisk by 1984 and mention me.”

In 1984 I smashed my arm through the window of my home while mimicking TV’s hit program The Incredible Hulk. As I stood in my living room screaming at the sight of blood spraying from my right arm, my current roommate, Bobbles Almond, centered his face in the frame of the shattered window. He stood in the bushes outside and between his disproportionately large ears and cheeks, his eyes were scared. They were scared because a boy, 9 months Bobby’s elder, a boy that Bobby held and still holds as the pinnacle of manliness could bleed like any other mortal. It was an important year for young Bobby, 1984. I was four. The whole year.

8 comments:

JennAventures said...

Ah, the miniscule memories. I liked that you discussed yourself without actually revealing anything. I need to learn that art form.

JennAventures said...

and yes. I'm reader blogs at 10 oclock new years ever. I'm that cool.

Dreamfarm Girl said...

amazing memory. but my favorite part was the war side and the love side. i guess b/c i get to be the love side. happy bday!

Julie Buz. said...

Carlos, you lady pleaser - what a sweetcakes photo of yourself you did put up!

I am stretching out my scrawny hands and pinching that little boy delightedly on both cheeks, causing him to feel a mixture of shock and acute pain, which promptly give way to a feeling of warm fuzzy pleasure at the realisation that he is master of the cute factor.

Happy birthday!

Silly Swedish Skier Says So said...

I bet I'da been the blonde girl chasing you around trying to kiss you. I was that kinda 4 year old. 5 year old, I mean 6 year old, I mean 15 year old, or 20 year old. I've stopped now, though I promise! Happy Birthday! I stayed up until 9:30 in your honor. Or something. (In case you couldn't tell by my self-centered comment, I liked this post a lot.)

Bash said...

Happy belated birthday Carlos... Hope you're adapting to San Fran life well thus far.

carma said...

awwwww man, I hate that I missed your birthday.

Not to make it all about me but when I came to the part about your underarm hair, it reminded me of what I wanted to jot down on my calendar this morning: "make underarm laser hair apt with Simone." thank you for jogging my memory.

Oh, and I hope you have many more full years to celebrate.

Chindiana said...

Heya Carlos, Happy Belated Birthday dude! Its not everyone who in a way can count an automatic sense of reflection that comes with a birthday on the first day of every year. Nice piece!

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