Monday, August 25, 2008

Diary: August 1987.



I have several specific memories of this month, but only a few of them are certainly correct.

This was the summer, if I am remembering correctly, when I took Judo lessons on the Eastside with most of the kids from my block: there were Stanleys and Teslars and Lameres there. I never did very good; never got past the white belt, actually, but the structured time together helped us to not hate each other so much. Jeff was always my worst enemy, and he had momentarily become my best friend. But all of this was from July. So here's what I remember of August:

At the beginning of August I became obsessed with skateboards, because the tough kids down on Tuscola - Daniel Tesler and Josh Spencer - they both listened to Michael Jackson's Bad, and said that it wasn't as good as Thriller. Jeff agreed with them, and though he was younger than me, I was happy to have a fresh start with these kids. They didn't care about Star Wars as much as I did, but they knew about Michael Jackson, and I did not, and I liked the way the music sounded, and anyway, the skateboards were fast and rattly.

So I asked for a skateboard for my birthday.

The birthday party was a little low key, because I just invited Jeff over for a sleep over. My parents got me a skateboard, but it wasn't of the thrasher variety, painted with skulls and zombies and flames like my friends. It was, in fact, a Bill the Cat skateboard, which was far edgier in meaningful ways, though of course I didn't appreciate this at the time. No matter: Jeff bought be a bunch of decals and stickers of robots with rotting faces and the cybernetic undead, and maybe even an AC/DC decal.

For my party, we rode up and down Gold Avenue, which was a little rough on a skateboard, because the road hadn't ever been repaved that I remembered and the asphalt was always pretty bumpy; things you might not notice on a bike, but make a difference with a skateboard. We stayed up and played Double Dragon, and watched that movie about the kid who goes to Space Camp (I really don't know what the plot was though) but Jeff fell asleep before the end, and it was probably around two or three in the morning before I went to sleep.

I have a lot of assorted images from the rest... mainly other parts of town; car washes and Mexican restaurants, but I can't remember if I saw these then or if I'm coalescing other memories, simply because the seemed to fit the mood. This was a month when I was interested in being "tough" because I equated it with "intensity," but I really didn't know much about what either meant.

Where were you in August 1987?

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