He remembers giving his dog a little nudge and the guilt he carries for the dog’s subsequent fall down the stairs.
He remembers his mother being really angry at him. Separate. Cold. Separate.
He remembers hearing a record of Crazy Otto on the piano and grinning, desiring.
He remembers how his math teacher tucked his thick thumbs into his pants. How he hated that man. How bored and frustrated he was.
He remembers looking at a text book in the summer; the best intentions soon melted by the soft smells of the backyard.
He remembers bringing his homework to Rangers games in high school. Making self improvement resolutions between periods. Every game, New Years eve.
He remembers throwing a ball back and forth, over and over; each time a little different, nearly all satisfying.
He remembers climbing up a tree and staying there.
He remembers lying to get kissed.
He remembers the rainy late afternoon in the nursery school; the aching.
He remembers the buzz of the party; the entrance.
He remembers losing his jacket again. The stupid, empty feeling.
He remembers listening to Don’t Be Cruel on a 45 with his friends. Looking at the record spin. The glue he felt to that record and the throat-thumping sounds.
He remembers being told stories about himself when he was very young. How nice to hear them. How central he was to his parents.
He remembers thinking that what they were praising was really no big deal. Did they have no standards? Were they just trying to make him feel good?
He remembers having no one to talk to at the party. And just standing there. And then just sitting there. All by himself; trying to look occupied. Why couldn’t he think of anything to say?
He remembers when she broke up with him publicly. How humiliated and sad he felt. What if they were in the same class?
He remembers how he felt when he heard that Robert Demorales was killed by a car.
He remembers when his dog died. How sad he was, but mostly how angry. He dared anyone to look at him the wrong way.
He remembers how he talked his way out of a fight.
He remembers borrowing the baseball glove of a gruff boy named McDougal. How round and soft and small he felt. How he needed that glove, how he regretted not having his own, how he wanted to impress that boy. To be worthy of that glove.
He remembers taking pictures of
He remembers hearing a piano chord that struck him as
He remembers seeing the sprawled body hit by a car, and a man came by and pulled the woman’s skirt to cover her up. When the ambulances finally arrived, he got out a small American flag and waved it in appreciation.
He remembers stuffing paper in the windows sills because of the hurricane. The sense of urgency, of near desperation. He wonders why his mother made so much of this.
He remembers hearing his mother say, “Hey lady” in a totally uncharacteristic, totally threatening way to another driver. The logic of her anger surprised and frightened him.
He remembers hearing his mother say that she had rooted for Joe Louis to hit Schmelling in the teeth and how raw she sounded. How surprising, her access to the male world.
He remembers the first time he couldn’t roll down a hill without getting dizzy.
He remembers the late sunlight bouncing off the house and the ladies at the cocktail party. Wondrous beauty. Tinkling possibilities. Early evening well being.
He remembers listening to My Fair Lady in his friends play room. All summer.
He remembers the sadness of being called away from his friends to go home to dinner.
He remembers his friend’s mother saying he was smart. How important that was. How wonderful and smart he felt. She knew!
He remembers watching his friend go to the bathroom.
He remembers listening to Hans Christian Anderson in his friends country house living room. Wishing he had someone else to share it with. A smart, beautiful girl to share it with.
He remembers his parents putting out tin foil to prevent a bird from waking him up. He loved that bird. It drove his parents crazy.
He remembers asking the soda delivery man for a soda and getting it right from the back of the truck. He liked thinking he got it for free. He liked hearing his parents talking about his boldness.
He remembers playing with a Chinese doll whose eyes opened and closed as he turned her upside-down and right-side up.
He remembers going into the basement of the apartment building to do the laundry. The basement was damp and welcoming. Cold and different.
He remembers thinking there was no one—absolutely no one—he could talk to.
He remembers the smell of root beer.
He remembers how the veins bulged in the neck of the angry man.
He remembers not acting his age.
He remembers cringing before getting his shot. The proud numbness in his arm and the relief after.
He remembers giving his penis a nickname. Totally, endlessly amusing.
He remembers knowing that the actor who played Peter Pan was a woman. Not everyone
He remembers the beginning of the first game of a double header.
He remembers having the substitute teacher in his sights.
He remembers the smacking of lips as his pals tore into their bubble gum.
He remembers finally putting his arm around her shoulder.
He remembers being told so often what he did when he was very young that he remembers doing it.
He remembers his mother pulling his shirt over his head.
He remembers how painfully difficult it was to sit still.
He remembers telling an older kid that some day he would catch up with him in age and then asking his parents if this was possible and not liking their answer.
He remembers thinking it would never end.