Category Archives: remember

The Event

I remember S. Well of course I remember S, we were together for nearly a decade. Not remembering him would require quite an extended, and rather selective, bout of amnesia.

Today, going to the bookstore reminded me of him. His guilty pleasure was the horror novel, and this book store had an entire room dedicated to them. I only passed by briefly as I made my way to the cafe. I didn’t like them then, and I don’t like them now. I couldn’t read them because I got too scared and then would be unable to sleep. I would ask that all the lights in the house be kept on at night and then, after I would fall asleep, he would go around and turn them off.

He would constantly have to take care of me. I thought it was because I was helpless, but looking at it now, I realize I was just young. I was fifteen when we met, eighteen when we got married, and he was approaching forty. He got a wife and a child all in one.

I was mature for my age, but still incredibly immature. When he would say no to something I would stomp my feet and have a temper tantrum. I would run into the bedroom, slam the door and spend an hour or two blasting Nirvana or Blondie while he patiently sat on the couch waiting for me to come out, weasel into his arms and say I was sorry.

Then he would kiss me on the forehead, all would be forgiven, and I usually got whatever it was I wanted. That is how we ended up with a pet bunny.

Even though I never became a fan of the horror novel, they stopped scaring me. He came home one day and I was sitting on the couch reading Dean Koontz. S was irritated, maybe agitated, and I didn’t understand why. I thought he was just upset in anticipation of our electricity bill going up again that night and I assured him we don’t have to sleep with all the lights on. But that wasn’t it.

I am not sure at what point, but one day I started growing up. I wasn’t a little girl anymore, and it made him uneasy. I was no longer asking for games and bunnies (although the bunny was still alive and well in our living room). I was no longer in awe of him. I loved him dearly, but I started knowing things. I was no longer helpless and dependent.

The older I got the more suspicious of me he became. He acted as if I would discover some sort of secret about life and then leave him. If it is any consolation, I have yet to discover any life secrets. But I did leave.

Curiosity is dangerous, and unfortunately I have too much of it. The angrier he got, the more I wanted to please him. So I constantly found new and exciting ways of being a good wife. They have handbooks for this, you know. I was curious as to how it was done, and I thought I had found the way.

Those who knew me then will remember the event, and the aftermath, and the years I have spent never repeating it. Men react strangely to this sort of thing.

The giant section of books today at the store brought it all vividly back. And I realized, for better or worse, for whatever it is worth and regardless of the consequences, I had within the last year wanted to repeat the event, although altered, with someone else. I guess I will never learn.


Mix Tapes and Photographs

The GRE is tomorrow. I studied a bit today, but I think it is for the best that I stop. So I found ways to keep my mind off of the exam.

I was boxing stuff up and I found an old cigar box with mix tapes. Sean used to make these for me many years ago. This was before iTunes was around, so if you liked one song you had to buy the whole album, and CDs cost about $20 each, and I was working for minimum wage at around $5 an hour (it may have been less than that, but I don’t remember exactly). I still can’t listen to B-52’s Roam without thinking of Sean and those tapes. I remember one of them had the Cranberries on it. Van Halen on a third. Nirvana was either one of the same tapes, or accompanying something else.

The tapes are old, and their boxes are long lost, hence I have no idea what any of them contain. I also have no way of playing them. My car at the time was the reason for the tapes. I was driving a Daewoo that had a tape player, but no CD player. So instead of making me mix CDs he made me tapes. I used to drive a lot and I liked my music.

In fact I remember driving with Sean late one night. I was blasting Blondie, singing along to One Way or Another, and we were looking for something to eat. We ended up at the In and Out on Ventura (and something). Maybe I am conflating memories, but I think this was right after he had gotten his tattoo of the barcode. The skin was still raised, and I was playing with it. I had never seen a fresh tattoo before.

One time we sat in a parking lot listening to the Roam tape. We didn’t really have the same taste in music so he wanted to get out and walk. As we walked across the lot he found a little kitty charm someone must have dropped. He picked it up and gave it to me. I put it on my purse. Packing up more stuff I found that purse, and the charm is still attached. A gold kitty with a pink ribbon.

I also found the cigar box with old floppy disks. These I knew I had. I vaguely remember what is on them – dozens of pictures Tanya took when we were in high school. A lot of them have pictures of the cats and kittens I had at my parents’ house. Some pictures of me and Tanya doing random things. And there are a few of them from the time Tanya and I went to a shop and she had me try on all sorts of wigs. I haven’t seen these pictures in well over a decade, but I can say with certainty that neon hair does not suit me. If I remember correctly there are several pictures of me wearing a glittery green wig, followed by a pink shimmery one, and about half a dozen others in quick succession.

I wonder what else I will find.