memory almost full.

yes, that is the title of paul mccartney's new album, but this entry has nothing to do with paul mccartney. rather, it has to do with thoughts that i had when i woke up this morning, but was too lazy and stuffed up to get out of bed and write them down. so, i'll try to recapture what i thought was eloquent at 7:35 in the a.m.

i'm going to be 25, and i'm afraid. it's not the usual fear that i haven't accomplished anything with my life, or that i'm unfit for any line of work, or that i have completely forgotten how to make friends. it's just the fear that so much has happened, and that my memory feels full. like if i have any more experiences, or watch any more movies, or read anymore books, i'll just explode. this plethora of information, of images, sights, and sounds - what are we supposed to do with them all? where does it all go?

i lay in bed this morning, thinking about these things. some of them were big, some of them weren't. but i remember a lot, and i dwell on them a lot. like how stephanie tanner lost the spelling bee to the asian kid because she forgot that there's a silent "r" in sarsaparilla. or those times in early summer when the air conditioner would buzz, and we'd all gather around to watch the playoffs, and think and hope that this year, maybe this year, the knicks could go all the way. but, of course, patrick ewing couldn't make those damn free throws. how the filipino women would give me free lumpia and barbecue at the school fair. how claire and i won second place for designing a poster for the book fair (i still think we should've won first). the way we drove down through the mountains to gilroy in the spring, and all the foliage looked spectacular. how i saw snow fall for the first time, while i was a freshman in seattle, and everyone ran outside screaming, "it's snowing!" and we had snowball fights, and people created giant snowmen and giant penises. the smell of alcohol on my uncles' breath every new year.

i remember how, on christmas eve, when i was five, i swore that i heard bells in our living room, but i was too frightened to meet the man himself. how i had the thought that because so many people believed in santa, or god, that they had to be real. i remember when i first learned santa wasn't real because having the same exact handwriting as my mother's was just too coincidental, and even at six years old, i wasn't buying it.

how in driver's ed, for a full week, i stared and stared at the girl in front of me, a girl named heidi, who had shiny brown hair, and soft pale skin, and i'd visualize the perfect conversation starter - i'd come up with something clever, like, "i was wondering, when, or, if, i get my license, do you think you'd like to go out with me?" but because i had acne and poor social skills, this fantasy never materialized.

how, after 9/11, my grandma was terribly upset, and said to me, just before i left for college, "don't trust anyone." it wasn't how i wished to remember her. but just before she died, she told me, "take care." i chose, instead, to remember her the way i did in a dream, where she spoke the mysterious phrase, "you keep it alive." i didn't know, and i don't know what it means. what am i supposed to keep alive?

i remember working at big 5. and sleepovers at alex nichols' house, when he'd always put on the shittiest movies like ernest goes to camp, or else ernest goes to jail. how i went to yosemite for the first time, and i was excited to stay in a room that had stairs. and how i ran down those stairs, pretending i was filming the introduction of some sitcom. how i had to use the bathroom right before mogwai took the stage, and i couldn't be in the very front anymore. i remember playing football in the house, and uncle tim falling through the glass table, shattering it. i thought he would die, and i was frightened to touch him. how i took my one and only swimming lesson at the age of 4. they told us to plug our noses and dive underwater. i must've pressed too hard because my nose bled, and my dad took me home. "that's it!" my mom yelled. "he was there for five minutes! i wasted twenty dollars on that lesson!"

baseball card shows and pogs. remember pogs? what were we thinking? i remember after the first gulf war, how i learned that "we" were bombing the iraqis "'round the clock." and then we played nerf basketball, dunking the ball as many times as we could, all the while saying, "round the clock bombing."

my aunt would take me to the movies. she took me to see peggy sue got married, and i had no clue what was going on. she took me to see problem child and problem child 2. i don't know why she did that.

at the age of four or five, i saw a tiny lily tomlin sitting in a big rocking chair, and i turned off the tv. i was ghost-white. "what's wrong?" my mom asked. "what's wrong?" to this day, i still can't watch the incredible shrinking woman.

after our first "gig" with the crew, we regrouped in the driveway, hating what had just happened. "it's not a big deal," i kept saying. "who cares, it's not a big deal." "right," george said. "then why are you getting so upset."

the last time i talked to pete. how i drove him home, and he said, "why can't you just accept people the way they are. people are fucked up, and people are stupid. why can't you just accept that they're stupid. that we're stupid." he was drunk, and i didn't hear from him again.

aldo and i walked out of the eighth grade dance into the parking lot, waiting for our rides. and how our teacher, mrs. clark, came out to fetch us. "aren't you going to say your 'goodbyes,'" she said. "you're never going to see them again." when she turned around, i gave a casual shrug to be funny. we walked back inside, though, children that we were, but we didn't say anything.

during our senior year at jesuit, eduardo, brian, and i tried to leave a jesuit dance early. ms. sheldon caught us. "what do you guys think you're doing?" she said. eduardo was the first to speak. "we were just going to go home. we're having a terrible time." "well, i'm having a terrible time, too," ms. sheldon said. "you guys got a day." and by 'a day,' she meant detention.

when lolo died, uncle hennessey took us to burger king across the street and bought us milkshakes. i had a vanilla one. at the wake, i didn't know what to do, so i started crying. "are you crying because you're sad, or because everyone else is crying?" my mom asked me. i looked up at her. through the tears, i said i didn't know.

i remember going to disneyworld, and going on some ride that really wasn't a ride. just a people-mover type of thing. but we started going up and up, and i thought we were going to drop, but we didn't.

i've always been afraid of rides. i remember tita bubut taking me to the state fair, and how we were just about to get on the monorail. and every time we got in line, i said i had to go to the bathroom, but once i got to the bathroom, i didn't have to go. she kept paying for the tickets to ride the monorail, but we never got on. i still feel really bad about that. but at least i know i have this abnormal fear of rides.

it might have something to do with recurring dreams about riding on a train or a car to reno. every time i had this dream, we'd be really high up in the mountains, and then something would go wrong, like we'd go over a cliff, or the ground would just give out from underneath us, and we'd just fall and fall and fall, until i'd hit the ground and wake up. i learned later that it had something to do with growing.

on easter morning, how i chucked a hardboiled egg at byron. i didn't even think it would hit him, but unlucky for him, unlucky for me, it did. right in the temple. and then i found him crying behind the house later that day.

confessing to priests, and how i never liked it, but found it completely necessary. i went to the young filipino priest and told him how i stole some baseball cards and watched movies i knew i wasn't supposed to be watching. he told me not to worry about the baseball cards, but just to make sure it didn't turn into something serious later, like lifting cars. i don't remember what he said about the movies. my mom said he became a cross-dresser, and took his own life. i don't know how the two things connect. that catholic guilt, probably.

i read kate fuller's myspace profile, and how i thought the coolest thing about her profile was that in her "about me" section, she wrote, "born a century too late."

when i worked at tower, i felt like i had friends for the first time. nerdy boys that liked to stand around, watch the girls, talk about music, and feel vastly superior to the majority of customers.

going to pasco and getting my car washed for free. meagan's mom had a coupon.

sam exploded once when we were putting together his train set. i don't know what happened. that kid just went off. it was kind of funny, though.

michael galinato got really pissed off when i accidentally hit him with a soaked nerf football. he walked right up to me, and slammed the thing in my face. my nose bled. it was the only time i've ever really been hit.

the way jacob and cody talked about bob dylan in father leigh's class. "i don't like dylan," cody said. "he's too jewish."

after sophomore year, i showed up to an end of the year party at some guy's house that toby dragged me to. laura showed up, and we said "hi" to each other. there was nothing to say after that.

the first time i set foot in amoeba. or when rich and i discovered easy street. how tiffany and i tried to go see pretty girls make graves without inviting mary. how i saw meagan and emily at that show.

joseph and i having a race in the middle of the night. the loser had to finish the rest of the tequila. i beat him by a lot. i didn't have to drink. how dong told me over im, "did you hear what happened to joe?" and i didn't know what to say, or do.

i told alejandro that i couldn't pass a certain level in medal of honor 2, and his advice was: "you just need to go in there, and you need to kill all those nazi motherfuckers!" that same day, i beat the level.

when alex o'hara made the a-team, and he didn't even have to try out. we were all pretty upset about that.

tiffany and rebecca drove to blockbuster, and they said, "we need to make a statement," and their statement was that they would take up two or more parking spaces with becca's car. we rented the shining.

at the santa cruz beach boardwalk, i tried to win my girlfriend a chucky pin because of a story she told me about a doll she got that looked like chucky. it turned out she didn't want me to win her the pin; she just wanted to eat.

on new years' eve, or maybe it was christmas, rich, claire, and i piled into the truck. "parang mexicanos," someone said. maybe it was me. we drove to byron's, and we played board games late into the evening. after a few hours, i told them i should be getting home. i had to wake up early and take a flight back to seattle. "it's still early, come on, man," rich said. "you're not gonna do anything - you'll just be sitting in the airport. stay a while." i said i couldn't. "weaksauce," claire said. i wish i had stayed a little longer.

the first time i knew i liked girls was in preschool. this little girl named angela was carrying a tray full of fake kitchen supplies, and i got in her way. we smiled at each other, and that's all i remember about her.

getting worried that i might not get into college. lmu and santa clara turned me down. "you should've tried harder on your SAT's and done more activities," my mom said. it almost felt like a threat. weeks later, seattle u accepted me. i don't know what might've happened if they didn't.

calling in during batman, trying to win the coveted bat book. lines were always busy; no one ever got through.

watching home alone in the front row with all my cousins. and the week after, how alicia said, "wasn't it hilarious?" all i could think was, are second graders allowed to use words like "hilarious?"

junior retreat when marty sevilla said, "did you go to confession?" i told him i couldn't. that i couldn't handle it. not now, anyway.

during kairos, most boys cried, but i didn't. this is just temporary, i told myself. there's no reason to cry. it's only temporary. i had seen the breakfast club. i knew how these kinds of things ended.

bridget wanted to treat me to vegan scone, or maybe it was a muffin. i really needed that scone or muffin then. i really needed someone to talk to, and be around.

tiffany told me how her roommate got a bunch of c's. "i don't know how you could get a 'c' at seattle u," i said. "you really have to not try." when i got to my room to check my grades, i got a c in dr. earenfight's history class.

those walks meagan and i would take from art history class back to bellarmine, and how i wished the road was longer, narrower.

waking up to my dad playing his beatles records. he was always listening to the beatles.

those epic drives to los angeles. the last time i saw rianne, she was with her friend, and they were watching an episode of punky brewster. we didn't speak. and another time we got to LA, someone was watching bill & ted's excellent adventure on a big screen tv. it was the first time i saw it, and i thought it was a great film.

my mom waiting with me in dr. dentinger's office. how he was a giant of a man, spoke with a deep, no-nonsense kind of voice, and put cold medical devices in my ears and on my chest. i hated going to see him. we could always hear his footsteps right outside the room, and i would dread those footsteps. the loud banging of the big, black boots he would wear.

i left my lights on after mary and i saw kill bill.

i danced (if you can call it that) with bree, anna, and toby on my 21st birthday.

i looked unhappy at an electroclash show at the emp and this girl said to me, "you look bored." "i always look this way," i said. "you smell like vodka," she said. then she walked away.

after a mirah show, anna sarcastically said to me, "you looked like you were having a good time." i remembered that i was sitting down the whole time, my head hung low. i really did have a good time, though, and mirah was awesome, so i felt i had to say something. mary defended me. "he's always like that," she said. "yeah," i said, "i actually had a really good time." "then what do you do when you're not having a good time?" anna asked. "i just leave," i said.

at a rage against the machine show, this guy came up to me, pointed at these three girls dancing in front of me, and he said, "hey, foo. you wanna get right there?" i said, no, and that i was alright.

this, i think, is enough for tonight. they're just a bunch of scrambled memories that i don't know what to do with. all i can do is write them down, and hope that they have some kind of meaning for myself, or for anyone else. i'm trying not to be so scrambled. i really am having a good time.

it's just that...

well, patrick ewing, make your goddamn free throws.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

I just looked at pictures of that giant snowstorm...there's a great one of me dumping handfuls of snow on your head, and you've got a shit-eating grin on your face.

I laughed out loud remembering trying to get to that show w/o Mary, and how I forgot my keys, and we had to go back. God we were such bitches.

Oh, and my roommate was so dumb...I wonder if she graduated...but Earenfight was really tough. She made us read this book in her class when I was a senior, it was so damn confusing that I still couldn't tell you what the point of it was. I have no idea what it was about. I constantly felt insecure in that class.

Making a statement...classic Tiffany and Becca! That was the first time I saw the Shining. I still look for the helicopter shadow in the beginning. Remember emo juice boxes? Was that the same night?

This made me kinda nostalgic for freshman year. We had a lot of fun together with all those weirdos we used to hang out with. It seems like a long time ago now.