1970 / 2011


In 1970 I was a Junior in high school. I lived with my parents, Gladys and Albert, and my sister, Linda. in Warrensburg. I had a little record player I kept on a shelf next to my books. I bought my first records that year, an album of Johnny Cash’s Sun Records hits, Travelin’ Band b/w Who’ll Stop the Rain, No Matter What by Badfinger, 24 or 6 to 4 by Chicago Transit Authority, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me b/w Patch It Up by Elvis Presley, and My Sweet Lord b/w Isn’t It A Pity by George Harrison. I remember wearing an armband with a peace symbol on it for Moratorium Day (a moratorium on the bombing of Vietnam) in 1970, or that may have been 1969. I was in love with a pretty girl named Karen, who was going out with the quarterback, but I made her laugh and she said I was cute. She wore the shortest miniskirt, and had legs that just made you want to die. I had a black long-haired cat named Dogberry.
I had horrible acne and wore clothes that didn’t fit me. I was a class clown and one of Warrensburg’s few radical hipsters (at least in my own mind)
In 2011 I am working in a magazine, smoke shop in San Francisco. I live in a studio apartment with a tailless Manx/Siamese cat named Buddy. I have an iMac with over 4,000 albums on iTunes. Just today I discovered a kick-ass tune by the Buzzcocks, “Why Can’t I Touch It?” from 1979. It sounds like it could have been recorded last week. I would be out there protesting with the Occupy movement except I don’t like sleeping in tents. I have a good friend named Camille, who is the same age as me. She was born and raised in South Vietnam. She bought me a pair of jeans for Christmas, and they fit me. She took me to dinner as well. She is quite a character and a delight to be with. My ambition is to improve my writing, maybe even become a comedy writer. It is interesting to contemplate that when I was out there protesting the war in Vietnam in 1970, Camille was actually there in Vietnam, living it. Neither of us would have believed that we would be friends in 2011.
This was inspired by Lisa sending me a photo of me from 1970.
Happy New Year!!

2 responses »

  1. I hate the fucking holidays. In spite of that nice dinner, I still spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve alone with my cat. Not that I’m complaining. She and I are friends, not lovers. But even so, I am thankful for life’s small pleasures.
    The vast majority of my life has been spent without gifts or dinners from ladies, so I know how it feels, my friend. It definitely sucks!!

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