All posts filed under: Personal History

Fall On Me

Nostalgia / Personal History

About six days ago, the nighttime temperature dropped, the humidity resolved itself, and the leaves on the maple over my deck trended scarlet. Fall, it would seem, timed its arrival to actually hit on the autumnal equinox—a rare state of affairs here in the North Carolina Piedmont, where it’s not regular sweater weather until sometime after Halloween. People rejoiced. Scarves were unearthed. Jackets unpacked. Some clamored for pumpkin spice. Others made fun of people clamoring […]

Chompers

Personal History

I don’t remember how old I was when someone first told me I had a weird mouth. Maybe three or four. My dentist, at the time had habit of filling the awkward, sometimes painful silences with aggressive UNC sports boosterism. I was neither Tarheel born, nor particularly Tarheel bred, and when I died I hoped I would be less Tarheel dead and  more “suite at Cannes, at twilight, surrounded by doting admirers.”  So the dentist […]

Admissions

Music / Personal History

In the beginning, I was not Generation X.  I thought perhaps I wanted to be, because they all seemed to have seen The Replacements play live, but my birthdate but me outside the range agreed upon by the authorities on the topic—journalists, Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland, advertising executives, Billy Idol. Time Magazine and Coupland put the Gen X cut-off birthdate at around 1972. Of the two, I  suspected Coupland was more credible, even if his […]

The Last Chapter

Personal History

Twenty-five years ago this month my roommate and I received word from the Academic Advising office at our non-flagship state university that we’d both been placed on Academic Probation. They cited our poor showings over the last two semesters and poor showings they were indeed. Having enrolled full-time, we’d each managed to complete exactly two classes (both ones we shared—an art history survey on Renaissance and Baroque painting and a symposium on Oscar Wilde and […]

Eternal Flame

Music / Nostalgia / Personal History / Uncategorized

It was maybe the second dance of the eighth grade, early enough in the school year that I didn’t wear a coat, early enough in my career as a teenager that I hadn’t yet learned I could skip the dance. Mom dropped me off outside the gym l and I entered in through a chorus of nervous mothers squeeching out last minute instructions from minivan windows. Be careful. Don’t leave the school grounds. Be sure […]

Summer Jams

Nostalgia / Personal History / Pirate Necessities

In early 1989, at pirate camp, I let a bossy, chain-smoking, fourteen-year-old liar from Atlanta cut my hair during a tornado. This seemed like a good idea at the time. She was kind of mean and definitely full of shit, but she was the only one of the cool older girls in my cabin that didn’t talk to me like I was a child. She’d been hassling me for days about my look, and I, […]

Traditional Fields Family Easter Protocols: 1985

Family History / Nostalgia / Personal History

5:30 am: Wake from dream about playing mini-golf with friendly monsters. Tremble at the sound of the “creepy bird,” whose song signals the arrival of the evil zombie Easter Bunny doppelganger who rises from the dead every Easter Sunday to abduct over-eager, non-sleeping children and fly them away to a dusty fairground populated by the dead. Quiver under the covers, as terrified of being discovered by the evil rabbit as you are terrified of being […]

Past Lives

Nostalgia / Personal History / Women

In my favorite episode  (4) of my favorite season (2) of one of my Desert Island Top 5 favorite televisions shows (“Fleabag”)an acknowledged Hot Priest stops on a meander through a drunken crisis of faith to ask the protagonist if she’s a nostalgic person. He admits that he can hardly encounter Winnie the Pooh in the wild without turning into a sobbing wreck, and they share a moment of heartfelt reverence for Piglet. It’s hardly […]

Lady Business

Personal History / Uncategorized / Women

Six years ago, I was having a cocktail with a friend. She’d recently crossed the threshold into Later 40s and was grumbling about the myriad issues that accompanied what she called “the slow train to crone town.” I nodded along, giving the occasional sympathetic smile or the expected “oh, yeah, totally, right,” but I was only half-invested. I was not quite forty at the time, and though I was the kind of youngish person who […]

Plague Diary, January 16, 2021

COVID / Personal History / Plague Diaries

When I was nineteen, I used to go see bands play at a small-dingy rental house across the railroad tracks from the university. In those lazy, hazy, safety-pinned gas station jacket days of yore, I used sit (gingerly) on the moldering brown sofa on the deteriorating front porch between sets, smoking cigarettes and listening to the people around me discuss radical politics in between arguments about whether charging more than $5 at the door started […]