Over the past few days, I realized that I can barely remember any of my childhood other than random snippets or vague memories, almost like faded sepia-toned snapshots that just managed to capture a blurry instant in time. I'm not sure why I can't recall any details, but I'm choosing to believe that it's not because (a) I had such an unhappy childhood that I'm blocking it like a post-traumatic war veteren, or (b) I'm so old that anyone would have a problem remembering my childhood.
Nope. It's just because I've always had a somewhat foggy memory. Yeah. That's it.
Anyway, even though most of my memories are cloudy, I do have some where I remember feeling Completely Awesome. In hindsight, I grudgingly admit that perhaps the fabulousness of these experiences might be hard to discern; however, at the time, I was convinced I was a total rock star. And in a way (despite the fact that I'm about to launch my nerd cred into the stratosphere just by telling you this), I still sort of think that my dogged belief in myself made it so.
In any event, here they are, in chronological order:
1. The occasion of losing my first tooth: I was 5 years old, sitting with my dad and Auntie Lyris (God rest her soul) at the kitchen table, when they suddenly noticed a gap in my smile. Upon further investigation, it appeared that yes, I had officially lost my first tooth; and, also yes, I had somehow managed to swallow my own loose tooth during dinner.
After some brief 5-year-old panicking, my aunt and my dad patiently explained to me how the tooth would likely make a reappearance. I was naturally appalled. And yet, at the same time, I felt somewhat heroic; after all, I knew very few other children who had ever passed their own first loose teeth.
Still don't, come to think of it.
2. My forward-roller-skating prowess. Every Friday night from 1978 through 1981, I, along with several of my middle school friends, would head to the local roller skating rink to race around in concentric circles for three hours; all to the vocal stylings of the Bee Gees, Queen and Donna Summer. Round and round I would race under the huge sparkly disco ball, dressed in my Gloria Vanderbilts and white roller skates with orange wheels, flying at unfettered speeds, crossing one leg over the other into the turns, and wowing the masses with my patented "rubber legs" moves.
It is also true that I couldn't skate backwards for even three feet, and during couples skate I was generally seated on the sidelines. But dude, as soon as ABBA's "Dancing Queen" came back on the soundsystem? I was out there.
3. My adolescent years as an avid mathlete. I think that sentence speaks for itself, don't you?
Image: Photographed last Thursday evening through the glass door at the Heldrich hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Nikon D300 and 50mm lens. aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/250, ISO 400.