Where I’m From.
I am from swimming pools, the beach, and water parks, from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, from Transformers, Garbage Pail Kids, and Go-bots, from watching Mr. Boogedy and V and Space Balls, from Superman and Indiana Jones, from writing BASIC programs on my Apple IIIe.
I am from Hummingbird Lane and fake wood paneling and ceiling fans that never turned off and a bedroom that was covered in layers of movie posters and a kitchen phone with a 50-foot cord so it would reach into my bedroom.
I am from woods filled with poison ivy and snakes, turtles, and boars and I am from swamps turned to mud pits. I am from swinging on vines into a river while watching for alligators. I am from pine trees and rattlesnakes and cockroaches.
I am from Santa leaving our stockings by our bedroom doors and eating homemade fudge and loud, boisterous meals and dark, twisted senses of humor. I am from Avitables and Learys and Robyn and Jim and Howard and Mary. I am from Cosby and Brooks and Nielsen and Yankovic and Gaines and Aragones and Neuman.
I am from sheltered childhoods and PG movies and never swearing and learning about life’s mysteries on my own. I am from gifted childhoods and high expectations and support and pressure and from knowing that I can do absolutely anything I want in life. I am from manipulators and salesmen and persuaders and rule-benders.
I am from get a job as soon as you’re able and you can sell ice cubes to an Eskimo and girls won’t like you if you’re fat and you should be an athlete and why the hell do you talk on the phone so much and an A is never good enough when you can get an A plus. I am from we know best and blood is thicker than water and don’t like that girl she’s a slut.
I am from Catholic when we felt like it and delayed confirmation and never understanding why it’s okay to pray to Mary when she’s not God and thinking that people have religion all wrong. I am from fervent prayer and proselytizing to schoolmates and having nightmares about heaven because the concept of eternity terrifies me.
I am from Florida and Daytona Beach and Weymouth and Braintree and Boston and Ireland and Italy and Naples. I am from lasagna and corned beef and cabbage. I am from the Mayflower and Peshawar and the bogeyman.
I am from wearing Superman pajamas with a cape and flying through the hall in front of girls. I am from sleepwalking and from visiting my great grandfather and going to the arcade with twenty dollars in quarters while he watched. I am from a late night eating Mother Butler pie with my dad after coming back from the state spelling bee and hearing dirty jokes from my mother.
I am from an old album filled with 70s hair styles and family members long since lost to time. I am from Polaroids and old, yellowed film. I am from photos stolen from the walls and shelves of my old home and shepherded to mine where they will stay.