June 7, 2002
In a month and a half, I will be 30 years old.
Im a little surprised, to say the least. For one thing, I have the maturity of 15-year-old. I love movies like Airplane! and Scary Movie. I love boobies. I love the word boobies. I say it constantly, and even had the idea (back when ESCmag launched) of putting boobies on the site regularly. (Then PCXL tried the same thing, and died.) How can this person turn 30?
But Ive already prepared for 30 in one way: Ive always been a nostalgic cuss. Im gonna be nostalgic in a week or two about ESCmags fourth birthday, but first lets talk about me.
Ive been hit with wave after wave of nostalgia lately. It started with those Mitsubishi commercials, where the hip young teens are listening to club music while driving at night. A decade and change ago, that was me. I worked at Six Flags Over Texas, and during summer breaks from high school I often pulled late shifts (or wound up going out to Dennys with the gang).
That meant driving home at 2 a.m., just a whisper of sound from the Texas night air. The local alt-rock station consigned its early-morning hours to club beats, with a DJ every hour or so. The highways are empty at that hour, so its just me and the solemn beat of the music and the underlying whisper and the crackle as I pull on a cigarette. Hypnotic.
More recently, I caught a whiff in the air. Not the usual smell of Chicago (lake water, garlic) but a sweetish scent that brought on my favorite nostalgia: High school again, and I am dating a gorgeous redhead about whom I sometimes still wonder. Its fall in Texas, which means mildly chilly, but the air is sweet. Not artificially sweet, but like burnt sugar. Burnt sugar with a crisp tang when you inhale deeply. It is a happy smell, or more a content smell where for one moment, the world is just fine.
When the weather turns, no matter where I am, my heart beats a little faster and I breathe a little more deeply, searching for the scent of burnt sugar.
I get nostalgic, as is obvious by the New York column, for my dot-com days. I remember one perfect moment, in a Midtown bar, sitting in an overstuffed chair with sunlight breaking through the window behind me, illuminating slowly drifting swirls of cigarette smoke. Detto peered at me for a second and then compared the image to Wonderlands hooka-smoking caterpillar.
He was also there for an evening at Chevys (also in Midtown), at which too many margaritas were downed and inhibitions were shattered. There were four of us at that table; we were beyond mere friends when we left, at times too far beyond. Its possible to open up too far, I guess. But Ill never regret the laughter, the shocks, one of us leaping up and running a short distance after one particular secret, the way that night made us the Musketeers, and how that all fell apart.
Next week, well talk about ESCmag, and Ill even let some of yall in on how to get some free games. (In return, of course, for your souls.)
In the meantime: Thirty years. Geez. Somebody, show me your boobies.
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