About five years ago I started writing a memoir. I kept at it for a little while, writing about 1,000 words a day for a few weeks. I hadn’t yet been to therapy and there were many things I didn’t really understand about my life, but I still find the unfinished memoir to be a fascinating look into my own past. I’ve decided to post it in installments here, with only a few redactions. You can find the other sections by clicking the Memoir category.
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The only other time I was in the hospital as a child was when I had my tonsils taken out. I remember waking up in a fuzzy haze in a grey room. My parents were sitting beside the bed. They gave me ice cream and comic books.
Comic books. Now those were a big factor in my childhood â€“ and I still like them as an adult. Across the street from my grandparentsâ€™ apartment was a convenience store and newsstand, and it had a comic book rack. My cousin Todd liked comics, and he and I would go across the street to pick up the latest issue of his favorites. Top on his list in the late 70â€™s was The Man Called Nova, the quintessential 70â€™s story of an outsider kid who gets zapped by an alien and gifted with superpowers. He fights crime while fighting with his parents. I fell in love with Nova and with his alter ego, Rich Rider. Years later, I collected every issue of Nova and all the other series heâ€™d been featured in.
Other comics I remember from the 70s â€“ a poorly written and fairly goofy Godzilla series, of which I still have one copy. A superhero named Airwave, who had powers that were somehow related to â€¦ radio? And of course, Batman.
I was a big Batman fan as a kid. In junior high and, sadly, high school, my bedroom was covered with Batman comics, posters, and even a custom painting of the Dark Knight done for me by my friend Travis. I have pictures of me nestled among the Batman paraphenalia, wearing glasses large enough and thick enough to deflect bullets or protect me from cosmic rays. My mother picked out my clothes until I left for Japan after high school, and I had the same haircut from the age of 5 until I was 18. But you know whatâ€™s even more amazing? I had a girlfriend throughout almost my entire time in high school.