1. When I was a lad, flush with the vigor and impenetrability of the young, I gave the heyyyyy gurrrrlll head nod to a pair of attractive CSU co-eds outside a liquor store in Fort Collins. I encountered a difficulty. It arose from a conflict between my ambulatory state and the built environment, by which I mean to say that I walked face-first into a stop sign and fell on my back in the gutter. I lay there while the two walked by laughing and pointing. I waited to get up until they were gone. I had game, y’all.
2. In high school I dropped two hits of powerful LSD before first period. What fun! thought I, blissfully ignorant of the concept of “fun.” I white-knuckled that desk in 6th period so fucking hard it still bears my fingerprints. I fell down a flight of stairs. My auditory hallucinations were such that, at one point, I whipped around and asked a girl I knew what she was saying about me three times in the span of about 30 seconds, except, yeah, she hadn’t been talking. Scroobly boobly.
3. I “took a semester off” in college. When people say that they are going to do that, they might be correct in the literal sense, but what they really mean is that they are going to effectively drop out, move away from the comforting mountain hamlet in which they abide, go to Denver to work at their brother-in-law’s landscaping company, fail, become a waiter/line cook/freelance writer and turn a 4-year Liberal Arts education into a gruesome, decade-long slog through the System. They say they are going to do that, but man, you can’t trust the System.
4. I woke up in the morning once and took a leak and nothing but blood came out. I thought, huh, that’s weird, and went to work. You can take this as a small but hard-earned life lesson: if you wake up pissing blood, don’t go to fucking work unless you have a job in a Urologist’s office.
5. Deep in the throes of teenage lust, making out on the futon in my basement room with a girl who shall remain nameless*, I tried my hand at come-hither pillow talk. “I like you because you aren’t too skinny,” I breathed, “you have a little meat on your bones.”
6. I voted for fucking Ralph Nader. Jesus.
7. As a pre-teen I’d come home and help Dad, who was a prisoner in his own body but still wrote editorials for the Chicago Sun-TImes. I’d turn the pages of the papers and magazines, take him to the bathroom, mix him cocktails, light his cigarettes. He’d smoke even though he couldn’t lift his arms, so one of the daytime home-care people rigged up a bent coathanger, tucked under the handle of his wheelchair, that could prop a smoke. I’d tuck a cig in it, hold the lighter. He’d lean forward and inhale. Periodically I’d tap the ashes for him. When it was done, remove butt, repeat in a few minutes.
One time I lit his smoke and went to my downstairs room. I was hanging out with friends and didn’t hear him yelling. When I finally did, I found him upstairs in tears**, his cigarette a long tube of ash ready to drop the cherry on his poly-blend shorts. As guilty as I felt, and feel still, it’s probably good I heard him so he didn’t catch fire and burn to death.
8. That Ralph Nader thing was really pretty stupid.
9. I bought that one–you know, the only one–Spin Doctors album with my own money. WHYYYYYYYYY
*…I know this is where the “but her real name is ___” joke goes, but I can’t bear to do that to ol’ Jessica.
**I never one time saw Dad cry, ever, until he got sick. It always seemed to me a particular, noticeable cruelty amid so many larger ones.