1. I am a New Englander born and raised; I used to think that stoicism lacks story, but now I know it’s just a different way of telling.
2. There’s addiction in my blood.
3. I was an only child for my formative years. Though I have a brother and a sister, as well as a half-brother and half-sister, mine is more of a sole child psychology.
4. I remember very little from those years, except for:
5. The time we stayed in a cottage on the Sacandaga and bats flew in my bedroom;
6. Dad’s weeks-long stay at that place in New Hampshire, which I visited wearing my corduroy coat with the faux fur trim;
7. The smell of Marlboro hands;
8. And throwing up once at daycare.
9. My parents were cops.
10. They dated only a few months before they married.
11. They were married a year and a half before they had me.
12. I was conceived after the wedding of a good friend of my father. Mom brings up this fact whenever the couple’s anniversary is mentioned, which, thankfully, is not often.
13. Mom is similarly free in divulging the fact that I was a conehead at birth. Personally, I don’t see why she has to draw such attention to her vaginal canal.
14. My first bedroom was wallpapered with pale blue partridges.
15. I hated naptime.
16. I remember reading my first word. It was S-T-O-P on a sign near the supermarket. I was in the back of my father’s small pickup, sitting on the wheel well under the cap. One could travel like that back then.
17. Each of my grandparents died when I was small. Well, not my mother’s father, but we were estranged from him, so it was all the same to me.
18. I had four uncles on my father’s side and three on my mom’s.
19. I was six years old when my brother was born.
20. We moved to a house with a pool when I was seven.
21. I have a summer birthday.
22. Uncle Bob was the lifeguard at each year's pool party.
23. I always wanted an ice cream cake, but I seldom got one.
24. My mom once gave me a horrible home perm. Combined with my Coke bottle eyeglasses and that fact that they were consistently focused on a book, it is no surprise I was the biggest nerd in town.
25. In third grade, I was the teacher’s pet.