Friday, April 4, 2014

30x30: Remembrances of Things Past: The Game


Roll a pair of die for each decade of life completed. If you're 30, there will be three rounds. In the first round, roll the die once and record that number. In the second round, roll the die twice, add the two numbers, and record the total. In the third round, roll the dies three times, add those numbers, and record that total.

You should now have three numbers. They should roughly correspond to an age within the three decades you have completed so far. If they do not, you can repeat one or all rounds to try for better corresponding numbers. When you get them, for each age, record a memory of how it felt to be that age. I'll go first.


Being four was like being on a tilt-a-whirl almost every second of almost everyday. Everything and everyone was bigger than me, and I liked that I fit into all the nooks and crannies of the world. So many things were still new and incomprehensible and therefore wondrous. There was so much time to do everything. I was small and noticed small things like a ladybug crawling on a blade of grass and the individual fibers of the carpeting in the living room.

The world was as treacherous as it was wondrous. I was always scraping an elbow, cutting a knee, spilling something, getting sick, and given to fits of ugly crying because life wasn't fair. 

But there were also caterpillars, and I liked caterpillars very much. Mostly I remember feeling very loved. There were lots of hugs, and I remember having a general excitement about the vast expanse and coming adventure of life.


I felt vaguely embarrassed most of the time. I probably had a crush on John Freundel. I had braces and glasses. It was not my best look.

In school, the mean girls were starting to surface. I was probably a bit of a know-it-all, and this did not endear me to them. I became more retreating than is my nature. I liked writing; I wrote a lot. I did not like to be touched.

But in the spring, there were still the honeysuckles that grew along the fence at the far end of that field at school, that field that never grew any grass, and we'd gather the blossoms in the skirts of our uniforms and we'd go sit under a tree eat the nectar.


I was living alone in a beautiful apartment in Chicago, in Andersonville. One bedroom, wood floors, back porch, all the sunlight you could ever want. Lots of time with friends. Lots of time alone.

I was in love again, reluctantly, after feeling for some time that love was a racket. I listened to him play music on his guitar. Everything seemed sparkly.

I was listening to TV on the Radio and Florence and the Machine and Raphael Saadiq and The Decemberists.

I was worried about money.

I was working, I was performing. I was living the life I imagined I'd live. I was content. But I wanted to do more. I wanted to make a mark. I was restless. I was that too.

Your turn.

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