Learning To Love You More




Assignment #42
List five events from 1984.

Brooklyn, New York USA
Email Pam



1) january 24: the first anniversary of my mom's death (from ovarian cancer). i have no clear memory of anything i did on this day.
2) january 31: i turn 17. i don't remember this too well, either, but i do remember that my friends threw a small party of some kind. my dad has moved out of our house and into his girlfriend's home in a neighboring town.
3) i graduate from high school. everyone around me is celebrating, with families that appear to be happy and unified. i have not felt celebratory (or unified) in quite a while. i try to fake it. i remember that when patty's name is read for her diploma, her family rings a cow bell and releases a bunch of balloons. my heart hurts with envy they're so excited for her, so much on her side but she is mortified.
4) summer. my father sends me to a college-preparation class (organization skills, time- mamagement tips) being given at a university about 2 hours away. i meet a guy who attends the university, and we have a rather sweet summer romance. i skip most of my classes to be with him and his college buddies. to this day, i never have made much headway in terms of organization or time management. at the end of my course, and my stay in town, the boy reveals to me that he has a long-term girlfriend. on the bus heading home, i listen to joe jackson on my walkman and cry. i don't yet know that this boy and i will stay in touch as friends; that he will break up with his girlfriend the following year; that he will want to re-establish our romance; or that, in a pique of anger egged on by a girl from my future college dorm, i will dismiss him with undue unkindness and never hear from him again.
5) i have a few weeks before i'm due to start college. (how i managed to apply or to be accepted anywhere, with everything else that was going on, is a mystery to me still.) i decide that i want to intern at an art gallery. i clearly remember beginning my quest by taking out the yellow pages and looking under "galleries." i actually do end up setting something up, at the china institute (i started my cold calls with the a's in the book and worked my way down). i show up for my first day wearing a red jumper i've bought at a thrift store and a madonna-esque big bow in my hair the perfect outfit for the occasion, i believe. people at work are very kind to me. i will realize much later that, yes, they liked me, but they also felt very bad for me, a solemn girl mourning her mother but trying to be cheerful with big hair bows.
i am hoping with everything in me that good things will be coming my way, that college will bring me a fresh and wonderful beginning. in many ways, this will prove to be the case but to tell you the truth, many things that hurt me back then hurt me still, when i let myself think about them.