Learning To Love You More




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

Texas, USA



I was born in St. David's hopsital in Austin, Texas in the midst of a family crisis. My mother's interior design business had just capitulated and the warehouse of my father's moving business had burned down in the worst fire in Austin's history. While they acknowledged how difficult it would be to raise a baby in such tough times, they were nevertheless grateful for my arrival, and they loved me accordingly.
Two years later, just as things started to look up, my brother was born. My father had gotten his business back on track and had moved our family into a quaint one-story house on a plot of land just outside the Austin city limits. It was there that he and my mother decided to make a go of raising exotic birds. Emus, ostriches, and cassowaries thus began to pour into our little plot of land. My father eventualy left the moving business. Selling the birds at auction became my family's source of income.
I attended a preschool nearby called The Village School. It was there that my best friend Anna-Rose convinced me to pee in my pants and a curly-haired kid named Troy showed me boys' privates for the first time. I had a babysitter whose name started with a C. She once washed my mouth out with soap for attempting to say the word 'fox' and instead saying the word 'fuck'. She had a son and a daughter named Dane and Dana respectively, and they liked to collect snakes. My father would give him the ones he found harassing the birds.
When I was five the bird business began to run dry and my parents searched for a new career. They settled on the importation and breeding of an unintroduced species of goat that hailed from South Africa. We moved to Vanderpool, Texas, a town with a population of less than twenty people and tens and thousands of goats, cows, and sheep.
I began formal schooling at the public school in Utopia, Texas, population 300 or so. My two best friends were named Nola and Kristy. Nola lived in a trailerhouse with her mother. Her mother was the temporary school librarian, a replacement for the recently fired male librarian who was caught screwing around with two twin girls from the high school-- quite the porno plot. Kristy came from a family of religious fanatics who only allowed her to watch movies with names like "Daniel and the Lion's Den". My first crush was named Sterlin with no G. He was a lanky boy with a wry smile, tan skin, and a heavy accent. He and his multitude of cousins were my closest neighbors, and they made quite a game of excluding me from everything they did.
My parents' politics did not blend well with that of the neighbors. They had gone to the University of Texas in the seventies and had been schooled heavily against 'the man', an ideology they no longer posessed in full but of which they retained certain elements. I was the only kid I knew with parents who didn't go to church all the time. I was once made fun of for having parents who voted for Bill Clinton.
When I was in first grade, I boarded the school bus and attempted to sit in the back, which was intended for the older kids. I was promptly beaten up. I reported it to the principal of the school and made the case that I, just like Rosa Parks, had the right to seat myself wherever I wanted. The kids got suspended.
I took a test that allowed me to skip the second grade, but my parents declined to let me.
My brother and I were babysat by a woman named Gina whose children were named Janna and Jenna. It was a common theme amongst our babysitters to give their children matching names. Gina had terrible teeth, used racial slurs, and once hit my brother with a belt because he plucked her petunias. In hindsight, I'm sure I owe a slew of psychological shortcomings to having been under her care.
My parents' business plan took two years to carry out-- make deals with South African farmers, transport embryos to New Zealand in order to pass health standards, transport the embryos to texas, implant the embryos into native breeds of goats, raise thousands of purebred South African goats, and sell them at market.
When it was all said and done, and I was eight years old, the plan was a huge success. My parents had enough money to move into a large house in the city and send my brother and I to parochial school. They were more than excited to exit the hill-country.
My parents changed careers once more upon arrival in San Antonio. They became the owners of Day's Premium Rentals, a franchise of the Aaron's Rent-to-Own national chain. My brother and I started to attend St. Luke's Episcopal School, where we lost our accents entirely and attended chapel each day. I wore a little blue and white jumper with a sailor-collar and white keds.
A year and a half later I transferred to an academically rigorous private school only a few blocks from my house. By that time I'd come into my awkward adolesccence. I was acneous, tall for my age, hardly effeminate, and generally disliked. I was always a good student.
When I was twelve, my parents accidentally sent me to a summer camp for troubled teenagers. I met an obese fifteen-year-old drug-addict named Josie who commanded me to start listening to real music. I went home and, trying to heed her advice, bought a few cds by slightly corporate, under-talented rock bands. I spent sixth grade holed up in my room with that muic, reading beauty magazines and developing terrible self-esteem. I took two Ibuprofen a day because I heard it stunted your growth, and I desperately wanted to be more petite.
Seventh grade was pretty much the exact same way. So was eighth. I was unpopular, and my self-esteem was battered daily, but my music taste was evolving into something more defined and interesting. I was excited by the prospect of a community somewhere out there of people who liked the music I did and felt the way I felt.
I stopped growing that summer, and everyone else caught up. I was no longer clumsy and oafish. My skin had cleared up. My hair had grown long. Ninth grade was really the first time I was noticed.
I drank for the first time. I rode in cars with high school boys. I started dating. I went out for the school play. I had tons of friends. I was, however, pretty overwhelmed and unhappy, and my parents noticed. I saw a psychologist for a short while, but I never told her anything of worth.
The summer after ninth grade I met a girl named Erin. She had long curly hair, gauged ears, and numerous tattoos. She was thirty-one. She became my friend and I trusted her. She was the first one I told that I thought I might be gay. With her help I told my parents that there was a possibility that I felt attracted to girls. They were very calm about it. Their main concern was the way I would be treated by others. They became increasingly supportive as they grew more accustomed to the idea. They never stopped me from dating anyone.
That summer I also met a seventeen year old girl named Laurie. She went to boarding school in Vermont. I smoked pot for the first time with her, and I kissed a girl for the first time with her. I only knew her for three weeks.
When I returned to school I became a vegetarian and I dyed my hair. I wore obscure indie-rock band t-shirts to school all the time and I got thick-framed black glasses. In January I met a girl named Amanda and I fell in love. She was a senior at another high school and was planning to leave for college in September. We dated for the entire eight months before she left. I'd never been happier in my life.
It's been five months since she left. We are still friends. I am a junior in high school and I plan to go to college one day. I'd like to live in the Pacific Northwest. I listen to a lot of indie-pop and twee music. I plan on spending the second half of my junior year in Maine as sort of a study-abroad thing.
This is the story of my life thus far.