only child's brother

this is my childhood.




this is me now.
I once asked my friend who his hero was, only so I could then say mine was Rosie.

I once asked my friend who his hero was, only so I could then say mine was Rosie.

I think I was born a dog person.
When I was a baby my parents already had a cat named Willy (after Shakespeare) and he was pretty jealous. Willy would pee on presents people would bring over for little me, like jumpers and Fisher Price toys.
Willy also liked to pee on light sockets. I guess he was depressed.

I think I was born a dog person.

When I was a baby my parents already had a cat named Willy (after Shakespeare) and he was pretty jealous. Willy would pee on presents people would bring over for little me, like jumpers and Fisher Price toys.

Willy also liked to pee on light sockets. I guess he was depressed.

I always wanted long hair.
I hated getting haircuts, and would beg the Kids Kuts stylist to disregard what my mother said, long hair was for me!
I wanted to cut the face off a photo of Taylor Hanson and stick my picture behind it, then bring it in just to prove to everyone how good I’d look.
With this hard evidence they would have no choice but to let me walk away from the chair, free to grow hair to my shoulders, and beyond.

I always wanted long hair.

I hated getting haircuts, and would beg the Kids Kuts stylist to disregard what my mother said, long hair was for me!

I wanted to cut the face off a photo of Taylor Hanson and stick my picture behind it, then bring it in just to prove to everyone how good I’d look.

With this hard evidence they would have no choice but to let me walk away from the chair, free to grow hair to my shoulders, and beyond.

The Heaven’s Gate suicides happened a few miles from my house.
My mom, who worked for the San Diego Union Tribune, was sent last minute to cover a press conference. So last minute that she had to bring my seven-year-old brother and eleven-year-old me.
It was held at a high tech office where a few members had worked. Their coworkers were answering questions from reporters. I leaned over to my mom and said, “I have a question.”
I asked what the members had on their desks. The coworkers said nothing, they didn’t have any pictures, and kept them very clean.
Then my younger brother asked if they liked them. One of the coworkers began to cry and said, “Yes, very much.” 

The Heaven’s Gate suicides happened a few miles from my house.

My mom, who worked for the San Diego Union Tribune, was sent last minute to cover a press conference. So last minute that she had to bring my seven-year-old brother and eleven-year-old me.

It was held at a high tech office where a few members had worked. Their coworkers were answering questions from reporters. I leaned over to my mom and said, “I have a question.”

I asked what the members had on their desks. The coworkers said nothing, they didn’t have any pictures, and kept them very clean.

Then my younger brother asked if they liked them. One of the coworkers began to cry and said, “Yes, very much.” 

I am bad at math.
In fourth grade we had to learn our multiplication tables. The teacher hung a very large paper ice cream cone on the wall, that had all of our names tacked to the cone. 
Every week there was a test, and if you passed you moved up the cone, scoop by scoop. If you didn’t, you’d take the same test next week till you got it right.
As the weeks went by, my friends moved up, but I was having trouble. Passing the test meant getting every question right. I’d miss three. Then one. Then five. Until it was only me and Martha (a girl who had just moved from Mexico and didn’t speak any English) on the cone.
A few weeks before school was over, Martha moved to the first scoop.

I am bad at math.

In fourth grade we had to learn our multiplication tables. The teacher hung a very large paper ice cream cone on the wall, that had all of our names tacked to the cone. 

Every week there was a test, and if you passed you moved up the cone, scoop by scoop. If you didn’t, you’d take the same test next week till you got it right.

As the weeks went by, my friends moved up, but I was having trouble. Passing the test meant getting every question right. I’d miss three. Then one. Then five. Until it was only me and Martha (a girl who had just moved from Mexico and didn’t speak any English) on the cone.

A few weeks before school was over, Martha moved to the first scoop.

In fourth grade I made an unlikely friend.
Greg was a skater who watched MTV, drank Big Gulps filled with Slurpee, and did whatever he wanted. I liked to sing songs.
That year I moved down the street from him. Slowly we started to hang out, and he taught me everything I needed to know about being a guy. In return, I turned him on to Hanson.
During our fifth grade sex ed class, when a male teacher delicately mentioned that we may have gotten an erection before, Greg shouted, “I GET A BONER EVERY DAY!”
I have no idea where he is now, but I still have the Jock Jams CD he left at my house.

In fourth grade I made an unlikely friend.

Greg was a skater who watched MTV, drank Big Gulps filled with Slurpee, and did whatever he wanted. I liked to sing songs.

That year I moved down the street from him. Slowly we started to hang out, and he taught me everything I needed to know about being a guy. In return, I turned him on to Hanson.

During our fifth grade sex ed class, when a male teacher delicately mentioned that we may have gotten an erection before, Greg shouted, “I GET A BONER EVERY DAY!”

I have no idea where he is now, but I still have the Jock Jams CD he left at my house.

After seeing Harriet the Spy, I hung a bunch of my dad’s old ties from the tree in our front yard. My parents made me take them down, worried the neighbor kids might accidently hang themselves.
That was a risk I was willing to take for art.

After seeing Harriet the Spy, I hung a bunch of my dad’s old ties from the tree in our front yard. My parents made me take them down, worried the neighbor kids might accidently hang themselves.

That was a risk I was willing to take for art.

I knew all the lyrics to Annie Get Your Gun by the time I was seven.

I knew all the lyrics to Annie Get Your Gun by the time I was seven.

I was supposed to be a Hippie.
But I was born too late, and I was secretly upset that my parents didn’t have old bell bottoms in the back of their closets. Why wasn’t I blessed with parents who had a collection of love beads and named me Cloud Catcher?
(Only years later did I learn that my dad, who grew up in the Bay Area, adored the Beats and had interviewed Allen Ginsberg, but I digress.)
*
I used to draw pictures of Hippies (peace sign, headband, bellbottoms) in my free time, so when a doctor who was giving me an IQ test said to draw something while he set up, I went to it. He then asked me to describe the Hippie.
"I don’t know. He’s kind of weird."
The doctor then told me that this was a test, and that how you describe your picture is how you think of yourself.
I didn’t draw hippies after that.

I was supposed to be a Hippie.

But I was born too late, and I was secretly upset that my parents didn’t have old bell bottoms in the back of their closets. Why wasn’t I blessed with parents who had a collection of love beads and named me Cloud Catcher?

(Only years later did I learn that my dad, who grew up in the Bay Area, adored the Beats and had interviewed Allen Ginsberg, but I digress.)

*

I used to draw pictures of Hippies (peace sign, headband, bellbottoms) in my free time, so when a doctor who was giving me an IQ test said to draw something while he set up, I went to it. He then asked me to describe the Hippie.

"I don’t know. He’s kind of weird."

The doctor then told me that this was a test, and that how you describe your picture is how you think of yourself.

I didn’t draw hippies after that.

For at least half a year, my number one goal in life was to be in Cats.
(I knew then I was no dancer, so I was willing to settle for Old Deuteronomy.)
When I saw an ad in the New York Times that said it was closing, I was heartbroken. I began to collect the full page ads that ran in the paper every Sunday, and posted them on my wall. Each ad counted down: Only 2 Months (or 3 Weeks, or 7 Days) Left to see the Longest Running Show In Broadway History!
The Monday after the show closed, I took them all down.

For at least half a year, my number one goal in life was to be in Cats.

(I knew then I was no dancer, so I was willing to settle for Old Deuteronomy.)

When I saw an ad in the New York Times that said it was closing, I was heartbroken. I began to collect the full page ads that ran in the paper every Sunday, and posted them on my wall. Each ad counted down: Only 2 Months (or 3 Weeks, or 7 Days) Left to see the Longest Running Show In Broadway History!

The Monday after the show closed, I took them all down.