Sometimes when I'm alone I sit on park benches and imagine the details of the lives of passers-by. I speculate about their childhood, their careers, their love lives. I imagine their lives like books. It's an odd practice, I'll admit, but it's a good distraction from my own life.
Sometimes.Other times, times like today, it makes me think about what my life would be like as a book. Unlike the biographies I imagine for strangers, which tend to be a good mixture of joy, grief, love, and loss, my life story seems to be nothing more than a long, incoherent stream of odd memories and truly pointless anecdotes.
When I think back on most of these memories, I still laugh. So I present for your entertainment, the (seriously) abridged Story of My Life.
I was born in Riverside, CA, in 1989 with a sizeable hole in my head. Upon seeing said hole, my mother asked the nurse why it was there. The nurse calmly explained it was from the internal baby moniter. My mother, with panic in her voice, told the nurses she hadn't had an internal baby moniter. She then began frantically yelling to my father, 'Is this the one that came out of me?' Long story short: My father claims I am the one that came out of her, but sometimes I still suspect I was switched at birth.
As a baby my mom left my grandma to babysit me on a fairly regular basis. One day, under her not-so watchful eye, I ended up eating a dime. When my mom picked me up my grandma said she'd noticed a little change in me. Long story short: my mom still has the dime and my grandma still loves puns.
I remember another time, I must have been about 4, I was playing with my sister at my grandparents' house. We got in a fight and she pulled out a fistfull of my hair. I walked into the kitchen with my hair in my hand. My mom thought it was doll hair and dismissed the matter. That is, until she saw the huge bald spot on my head. Long story short: I'm still plotting my revenge.
One of my earliest memories is the time I was 5 and decided my mother was the stupidest woman on the earth for naming me Tracy, because clearly, it isn't spelled the way it sounds. Long story short: For about a year I spelled my name Chracy.
When I was little, oh man, could I scream. I'd scream about anything and everything. I used to scream anytime my mother wasn't there to answer to my every need. To get away from me, she used to mow the lawn. The lawn mower was the only thing loud enough to cover up my screams. I used to stand on the porch with my dad and scream while I watched her mow the lawn. Long story short: If I knew how to work a lawn mower, I'm pretty sure that now I'd be mowing the lawn to get away from her.
My middle school years were pretty awkward. I don't remember very much. Just that I was sort of a bitch and Thomas Miller once threw a chicken burger at me. In retrospect the two might be related and I probably deserved that chicken burger.
As a freshman I befriended a lot of Mormons. In retrospect, they were probably trying to convert me.
As a sophomore I wrote, produced, and starred in a film called Speed (not to be confused with the box office hit starring Keanu Reeves). This film was produced for my health class. I played a good-girl turned addict by an evil drug dealer (played by Joseph Valadez, oh the irony). The real irony, though, is that while filming, we caught an actual drug deal on tape. Good times.
As a junior I began suffering from a mystery illness that inexplicably caused me to black out in my second period chemistry class. Seeing as I was also nauseous every morning, the receptionist at my doctor's office suggested to my mother that I might be pregnant. A heated argument between the woman and my mother ensued. Long story short: my mom won the argument and I was definitely not with child.
As a senior I spent a lot of time eating Costco churros with Joseph. I also spent a countless number of nights eating chinese food and making up quotes for yearbook pages staff members didn't finish. Each morning for breakfast I ate a string cheese and a quarter cup of granola. I worked on a film loosely based on the book The Shipping News that involved Thomas Miller playing a lesbian woman.
Upon entering college, it didn't take me long to find people who appreciated my kookiness. They seemed prepared to accept my love of secret handshakes, my obsession with hot pink, and even my distaste for brown pants. One thing they weren't prepared for was my elaborate halloween costumes. But despite their doubts about my being a mailbox for halloween, they dutifully helped me shop for packing boxes and spray paint said boxes postal service blue. A couple even jumped in with coordinating costumes. At that moment, I knew these people were true friends.
My life is far from over, but I imagine (and indeed I hope) that it continues to be just as random, kooky, quirky, and unforgivably hilarious as the past 20 years.