Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

New York, USA



I was born 5 pounds, 13 ounces. No more than a sack of sugar, as my mom and dad would say repeatedly throughout my life. I could have hanged myself, you know, if I had come out the natural way. On that day, by just chance and circumstance, I had somehow looped the umbilical cord around my tiny neck and had I traveled through my mothers uterus the force of the push and the tightening of the cord would have rendered me into just a cold blue image of what I could' ve been. It' s phenomenally eerie to think if I had just been "born" at an earlier time in history I wouldn' t have actually been born at all. My entire life, as I know it, would have never come into existence.
But that' s neither here nor there because I have lived to the tender age of 18 and still feel there is quite a lot of living left for me to do.
I' ll start off with my home life. I have a completely boring and functional family of a mother and father who are still wildly in love with each other even after 19 years of marriage, and a brother four years my junior. The only mistake that my parent' s ever made in their lives together was me-I was conceived in a condom-less, saki-induced fit of passion between the two love birds when they were in their early thirties. I was, in fact, at their wedding. Just months before my October birth they made things official and legal in the state of New York, and upon my arrival we were a true family in all senses of the word. They took me home to a tiny apartment in New York City where we all lived for two years as my father finished law school and my mother worked the night shift at NBC to help with the tuition. Times were tough, but I have no memory of suffering. We took a summer in Fire Island where I first learned how to walk (apparently, I don' t quite remember that), and upon my father' s graduation from Columbia we moved north of the city in our very first home. It was here that I spent the better part of my day' s learning how to tie my shoes, dancing in the basement to The Talking Heads, and performing a naked circus under my covers with my then best friend and neighbor, James. I had an assortment of babysitters who all taught me some fundamental values. June, the Mormon from Utah taught me how to silkscreen sweatshirts and to speak in sign language. Maria from Portugal should have taught me Portuguese but instead taught me how to clean the floors without making them too slippery.
Eventually, my brother came into the world and officially forced me to share the spotlight with him for the rest of our lives. I' m not complaining though because he quickly became my little pet, and has virtually remained as my plaything ever since. We' re still extremely close, even though we rarely have anything in common to talk about. With the new baby, the house all of a sudden seemed small. And so a realtor, who I remember distinctively smelled like toes, showed us an assortment of over-priced houses in affluent towns. My parent' s decided on the least expensive and most pleasant red house, appropriately located on Barnes Lane.
It was here that I spent the remainder of my childhood and experienced the bulk of my silly expeditions. We went through renovations and paint jobs. We remodeled and furnished and filled in and cut things out to finally make this little abode our dream home.
And in this dream home I uncovered every nook and cranny with my best friend S, who lived down the street. We pretended to be cheerleaders, stuffing our shirts with socks, and had play-dates where we would cook our families intolerable meals (which they obviously forced themselves to eat so not to disappoint us). With S., we spent countless hours singing to the "Now and Then Soundtrack" and made up dances to, oddly enough, Green Day songs.
It was in her house that I had my first sleepover, where I was plagued with homesickness and couldn' t continue the night in a suddenly unfamiliar territory (I left her a note on the pillow saying I ran home at 3 o' clock in the morning. 10 years later and our priorities apart, we still joke about it). She helped me survive elementary school up until the 4th grade when I dumped her from some new friends. She was devastated, but then again, there' s always karma as you and I will find out later three years later.
My new posse consisted of three others girls, two of whom would become estranged in middle school. We were obsessed with each other and did everything S. and I did but only better (or so it seemed). But upon arrival to middle school I picked up a meaner crowd, who would love me intensly and then spit me out when they no longer needed me, like I had done with S. It was then I dove into the most superficial but substantial depression and considered suicide. I cringe to think about that time just because now in retrospect, I realize things can get so much worse than a fight between friends and ending a life over it is a pathetic way to die.
Additionally, through the insecure years of my middle school age, my aunt died from breast cancer and my mother was diagnosed with it, twice. Fortunately and unfortunately, she caught the cancer because of her sister' s death and I still wrestle with the idea of fate in that situation. But thinking about all of the possible permutations of death and survival between those two women will drive me insane, and so I choose to simply feel lucky that my mother is still alive and thriving, perhaps without some of the same body parts she had once developed in puberty, but nonetheless roaring just as loudly as she always has.
Rebounding from that dark patch of time, I dabbled in a couple of meaningless friendships, but ultimately found solace in a boy two years later who, unfortunately, went on to sexually molest me in the staircase of our school. It' s a moment I' ll never forget and even hearing his name now makes my blood curdle.
And then I met G., who erupted into my life like a seemingly vacant volcano. He had abandoned our second grade class when his family picked up and left for Japan. Miraculously, he returned to the U.S. in the eighth grade atleast two and half feet taller with stunning golden hair and an irresistible charm. Needless to say, I was and have been obsessed with him (in some way or another) ever since. He consoled me after the incident with the blood-curdler and in return I offered him my thirteen-year-old advice about how he could steal his first kiss with my then current best friend, B. Our growing friendship consisted of long-winded conversations over the internet, which was a source to offer us enough contact to spark my interest in him but disconnected us to the extent that he never suspected me of harboring any romantic feelings. But somehow, in some way (and on May 27th to be exact) we confessed our affection for each other, which spiraled into an on-again-off-again relationship to last us until our first semester in college.
I hate to admit this, but for better or worse he has largely shaped who I am today. It' s pretty safe to say I' ve done the same for him though. While he sparked my passion for music and movies, I motivated him to become more organized about his own interests. Our pushing and taking of each other' s intellectual resources is probably the biggest reason why we stayed together for so long and still remain friends.
He was also the only person who kept me sane in the sea of high school stragglers who would consistently baffle me with their insensitivity and self-absorbed obsessions. Of course, I made friends with a fair number of these people to keep myself from growing bored or lonely, but I always felt like an imposter by secretly mocking them to myself. I had a group of girls who were dubbed as my friends by the end of senior year. I won' t lie, they did offer on rare occasions an ear to my troubles in order to balance out all the time they spent talking about themselves, but for the most part I was completely divided from them on every possible level other than our shared ability to fake a laugh. Regardless, we pretended to like each other for social acceptance. We drank alcohol, smoked drugs and black cigarettes, got into mischief, bitched together and about each other, drove around to midnight diners and always had something planned for the weekend. Because I knew they were temporary friends before I' d meet the substantial and long-lasting ones in college, I tolerated their idiotic and shallow cooings about boys and sex and grades. That was literally all that we talked about, and so G. was my savior to the almost mind-numbing experiences I had with them.
But what had divided us the most was their almost instinctual ability to detect even the slightest fragrance of homosexuality on a person. More specifically, my "best friend" J. always made relentless remarks about her suspicions about me. When I went to hug her, she would crawl in her skin and call me a dyke. When I noted a girls attractiveness she would accuse me of lesbianism. I wasn' t upset by the fact that she overtly said some of the most homophobic things to me with the excuse of passing it as a joke. No, I didn' t stress over that because I could recognize in her a depressing naivete that she might never overcome due to genetics or upbringing. I was upset, however, because I was so uncontrollably transparent to the only group of people I wanted to hide these feelings from. I am so feminine in every way, or so I thought at the time, from my clothes to my hair to the way I carried myself. I even thought having a long-time boyfriend would disprove the rumors, but apparently his presence could be ignored for the sake of new gossip.
And it was because of their very pokings and proddings at my unsubstantiated interest in girls that I never "came out" to them as a bisexual.
At the time it seemed brutal, but now that I have moved on to a much more accepting atmosphere of "diversity" I' m more comfortable with that somewhat muddied aspect of my personality. I started college in the fall of 2005 and it was like a breath of fucking fresh air. The girls there are so intelligent, bright and witty without being inhibited or pretentious. I love it and I love the person that I' m growing into. It is here that I also made my first girl best friend who I felt I could really connect with. She and I love each other with an unwavering devotion that I still am sometimes in awe of. I honestly can' t even begin to describe how amazing our friendship-it' s too good for words.
As for G., my better half in high school, he too has grown into his own over the course of time. He became a selfish and sex-driven maniac who lost sight of any goal he might of once had for our future. We broke up in December of our first year at college which drove me into the gravel with jealousy and bottled rage towards his sudden aloofness. He no longer cared for me like he used to, which became painfully apparent when he stopped calling.
Four and a half years of my life, I felt, down the drain.
After one the most downtrodden January' s of my life, I returned to school with a build up of excessive optimism, just run-off from my self-therapy sessions that I held in my brain as I drove around the destination-less snowy streets of my town. To my surprise, the tension between us eased slightly over the course of the second semester when I developed a crush on a lesbian at school and G. and I started to have conversations with a comfortable void of sexual undertone. I thought everything finally be alright.
Then the summer happened, and we were forced to be in the same place at the same time, except with a new edition in our lives-the other girl. He too had developed a new crush, but on someone from our town who, annoyingly enough, reciprocated the feelings.
But instead of harping over other people' s actions that I couldn' t control then and certainly can' t take back now, I' ll choose to end my life story on a positive note. That is, I don' t really feel like this is the "end" but rather the real beginning. My childhood was just a prelude to the better stuff, the real memories I would love to tell and re-tell in countless autobiographies. I have so much yet to explore, and college has only so far been the wading pool for this exploration, a way to dip my toe in to see how the water' s feeling without taking the full leap. Who knows, maybe I' ll revisit this assignment in thirty years, bundled with experience and just itching to revise this life story into something more interesting.