Waffling in THREE dimensions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coming of Age

I'm currently using this book as a coaster for my Mountain Dew

I am doing quite well currently, excluding this awful business and that I had to break into an emergency cache of jerky. You see, you can't have too much jerky. Well, you can, but I'm not terribly concerned that I'll build up a fatal amount of ammonia; I have to urinate far too often for that, courtesy of Mountain Dew.

One reason for my current bliss is this and also this, though to a lesser extent than the former. I find that I can only play in a sandbox for so long before it starts exfoliating my ear canals, among other regions.

In any case, it is summer and I'm feeling great. Over the course of my many, many anecdotes (I'd dictate them here, but the flamboyant gestures I make are essential to the telling) I've noticed a common thread: there are years of my life where I did absolutely nothing. I realize that can't actually be true, but subjectively, it is. I've established before that my memory is, at best, fractional. I wouldn't mind having an eidetic memory, but I think life would be so much less mysterious with one. That's not to say I wouldn't mind knowing where I had put my jerky (I suspect theft, but can't be certain). However, it seems in all my anecdotes I am either 4, 6, 8, 10, or 15 years old, depending on the content and connotation of the story I've caught myself on a few occasions embellishing a story with one of these false ages when I can clearly recall that I must have been a particular age based off whatever inkling. But why these ages and what do they illustrate?

We'll start with the age I didn't include, thirteen. I'm never thirteen in my accounts because I was a wholly uninteresting teenager at this age. I did nothing interesting, had very few friends, and was generally timid and greasy. You can see how little has changed. Example of a story from when I was thirteen:
I was sitting at a computer in the library, where I spent the second half of every period, looking up Lego Mindstorms in all their pre-Y2k majesty when I girl I fancied began to walk over. It was one whom I had briefly attended elementary school with and I remembered her being intelligent and had filled out quite nicely. I realize now that as an angsty middle schooler with no social life my minimum requires for shagging (intelligence and grace) were unreasonably high, but it was safe to say that I fancied this girl. Although I understood little of the fairer sex at the time, when she saw my moniter---I was looking at goddamn Legos!---the almost reflexive "Oh," saturated in a disapointed inflection I could imitate even now, made it clear that any feelings I might have had would forever remain unrequited.
That is my middle school experience distilled. You can see why I tell everyone about it.

The other ages are fairly easy to figure out. As I can't reliably remember what I did yesterday, a disconcerting thought at times, it seems absurd to believe that I might remember anything that happened to me before age four. Hell, I had an issue with object permanence the other day while playing Team Fortress 2, which is also a hilarious anecdote for another time perhaps. Age six perhaps connotes a predominance of childhood whimsy that I have yet to abandon. Ten connotes some, perhaps a burgeoning, degree of intelligence, although I'm pretty certain I was a huge dick then as well. And age fifteen seems removed enough from those incredibly awkward middle school years to represent the slightly less awkward high school years.

But most of my childhood stories take place when I am eight. The quanitity of stories would suggest that this was the most exciting year of my life, and it's possible, but it is just as likely that I am conflating events. In fact, I am certain I am. I like to think of myself as an anomaly in my family, but my brother's erratic behavior implies that I could not have been so vibrant so young. I would contend that he may be the anomalous one, but I hold no desire to be compared to any of my relations, immediate or otherwise. Anyways, I think I picked age eight, as opposed to seven or nine, because in mormon culture it is a rite of passage to reach the age of accountability and be baptised. For the record, I see no evidence of ethics in my brother at all; however, in my anecdotes I think I wish to connote a semblance of morality or I would have picked another age. Although it could be that it simply sounds a lot better to say "when I was eight" than the adjacent alternatives, and that does sound like all the reason I'd need to do something. I'm incredibly capricious.

Also, jerky is delicious.

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