So this chick at the mini mart, for some reason, thinks that I'm friendly. Because of that misguided belief, she's always trying to talk to me.
Tonight she asked me, "Quick, think about the 80s. What's your first memory?"
I said what I'm supposed to say, having been me and having lived as myself throughout that entire decade.
"Being present for the birth of my daughter," I said.
That seemed to satisfy the poor girl, so she didn't ask any more questions.
I could have just as easily said "my wedding" or "the first day of basic training" or maybe even "graduating from high school" and any of those responses would probably have shut her up just as well as the thing about my daughter.
What I should have said, what my real first thought about the 80s was, I didn't want to say. I didn't want to tell that semi-perfect stranger at the mini mart.
But I'll tell you people.
One morning Eddie called me and told me that Jackie had finally died. That was the phrasing he used, the fucker.
That was my real first thought about that decade.
Okay, so what about the other decades? What's my first thought about them?
In the 1960s, I saw tears in my dad's eyes as we watched some men bounce around in white suits on a white world. I didn't understand - dad's weren't supposed to cry.
In the 1970s, I walked home from my elementary school graduation. It was about five miles. I wanted to commemorate the occasion, so I walked.
In the 1990s, I had to shoot a match against a really good player. I was afraid to play him because I felt he was better than me. As it turned out, I entered the zone, and I kicked his ass. He never knew what hit him.
In the 2000s, I sat in the parking lot at the Burger King on Grant Line Road, and I heard some words on my phone, and I died.