Friday, August 03, 2007
Do you remember going to Chuck E. Cheese as a kid? Were you one of the ones whose parents threw your birthday parties there, or just the ones who were invited? I clearly remember having friends who were the "Chuck E. Cheese party kids". My parents put my birthday parties on in my garage. I remember it was before they had much money, and we would literally play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and use coloring books.
Then when my dad got a new job and we got a pool, I was suddenly more popular. My parties were packed and my gifts got better. One year Connie & Pa (Sutherland grandparents) bought me a neon-green and black Nash skateboard. It should be stated that my driveway was excessively steep and long; ideal for sledding, not skateboarding, as it was a couple of hundred feet long. I flipped and I told my friends and cousins to follow me; that I would christen this amazing gift with blood and tar. Well, the truth is I thought I would make it. There was no doubt in my mind. "It's my birthday," I probably thought, "I'm indestructible!"
I remember walking up the driveway with my friends staring at me in awe. I felt so good. So cool. It was my only chance as an only child to prove my worth to the kids of my neighborhood. Then a cousin ran screaming into the house to warn the adults of what I was about to do. Realizing I had about three seconds before 15 ripened authorities ruined my birthday, I sprinted to the top, stood on the deck, and cruised down. At first I remember thinking, "this isn't so bad." Then I picked up speed at a horrifying rate. I don't think I lasted more than 75 feet altogether. I was tossed off the board and I fell on my knees. I don't remember the pain, but I can imagine it was agonizing. I definitely heard screaming. I ended up skinning my knees so badly that they were black from the tar for months. Blood was everywhere. I still have very faint scars on my knees to this day.
Anyways, I think that's where it all began. I would go on to break my leg under the wheels of an ATV and my ankle twice playing tennis. I would get my thumb caught in a van door and almost lose it completely on Thanksgiving day, at the same house where years later I would break my leg. I would fall on concrete steps and lose three front teeth, and crack two ribs skateboarding down a grass hill. I would crash my bike into my garage and lodge my handlebar under my chin. I would have my nose broken twice, once in a fight and once because the (older) singer of Most Precious Blood swings his mic very aggressively. I would get a few concussions (hockey, pillow fights in hotel rooms, Converge shows, more hockey). I lost count of the stitches. But I would also get a haematoma on my maiden tequila night, and chip countless teeth thanks to the fake teeth installed because I used to gnaw on pens like meat. I'm sure there's more, I just can't remember them all right now. I guess I hit my head a few too many times.
22 years and still going strong.
Beta Band - The Three EP's
Subhumans - From the Cradle to the Grave
Against Me! - New Wave
Jesu - Conqueror
Converge - You Fail Me/Jane Doe
Michael Patrick MacDonald - All Souls: A Family Story from Southie