that's entertainment

i have been visited with unsettled dreams for the past couple of weeks that have caused me to wake early in the morning and lie there for hours, rescripting old dialogue. what is said is said, but i find it irresistibly tempting, re-occupying my 13 year old body, envisioning what that boy would have looked like courageous. in my first few years after moving away from home, i would torment myself in the revisiting, and for a very long time after, i turned to coldness and silence. i know that shame stays with you a very long time, but i always thought it was a sign of spring, that moment when the frost sublimated into warm breath.

so it seems curious to do this again, to see myself there in the basement, watching television, taking the brunt of my parents' woebegones. to stand for sunday photos forced to smile. the old fantasies about running away and changing my name come back, inexplicably, since a quarter century on, there is nothing to run from.

it conjures nicer memories, too, which adds even more textures to the weeping tableau. in the early 80s, i might have spent every hour glued to a computer if i'd had one. a friend had a commodore 64, which seemed like magic, but even then it wasn't like having the internet. i was obsessed then with model airplanes. whatever money i had working from my paper route and later my job bagging groceries was sunk into kits and glue and paint and knives. i would string the planes from the ceiling.

a friend of mine said he would probably attend the air force academy, and i later found out he did. he had perfect vision, and mine was dreadful, so it wasn't a dream i could long entertain. i remember going to his house one day and sitting in his bedroom wondering why there were no model planes. others always seem to do a very good job of living the dreams you poured your childhood into.


Claire said…
I am with you, Brandon, in so many ways. My brother had a Timex Sinclair. I liked the idea of drawing on computers, but the quality just wasn't there yet. Some years later, he ran a BBS in our basement. My first taste of the internet was playing Trade Wars, or really seeing a classmate playing TW through my bro's BBS and busting in to live chat with him.

There's much more brought to mind by your post but this will do for now.
Brandon said…
timex sinclair? wow. we did get a TI 99 for $99 once at Dillard's, but i never saw a sinclair.
I, too, was a model airplane guy. I was seriously into the details, using putty to fill in the uneven parts, sanding everything down, airbrushing the paint. Looking back now, I think the attention to detail had to do with pouring myself into something over which I had complete control, since the home life was so unstable and supremely unsatisfying. I've thought recently about getting back into it, but there's a small fear in the back of my mind that I'd spend some of the time dwelling on the memory of my surroundings the last time I did it. I tend to think that the past is best left where it is.
Iron Fist said…
I never once played that Oregon Trail game on any of the school computers but a lot of my friends did. I have no idea whose dream I'm living out right now. I just really want to avoid the part with the dysentery.

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