After my wife read New Wave or Rock, Four-Eyes, she asked me if it was true. Of course, it was true, that’s why I wrote it. I like that memory. It’s one of those weird childhood experiences that really doesn’t make sense now, but made total sense at the time.
Now, I remembered that story because something happened that jogged my memory. But I have a handful of childhood memories that continually come to mind without anything jogging. They just pop up from time to time, and it is always the same five or six randomly accessed memories on repeat.
Some of these randomly accessed memoried are fleshed-out events, like the New Wave/Rock memory, while others are just visual glimpses, mental snapshots of a moment in time. All of these memories just pop up at the least expected moments. I don’t think any of them are connected, and certainly, none of them are important in a changed-the-course-of-my-life type of way.
So, why these particular memories? Why are these the ones that never go away, that are always there?
Someone Left My Cupcake Out In The Rain
One of these memories is of me walking home from kindergarten. It had been someone’s birthday at school and since this was a time before all baked goods had to be store-bought, I had walked out of school that day with a homemade cupcake in my hand.
I don’t know why I didn’t eat it straight away. Instead, I carried it in front of me all the way home like it was the goddamned Holy Grail. Well, almost all the way home.
As I was staring at the cupcake, counting the steps before I could eat it, something slammed into my back sending me sprawling down to the gravel-covered ground. My cupcake landed top-side down, splattered and ruined in the road. I looked up to see some son of a bitch peddling away on his shitty BMX, shouting something over his shoulder that was nothing close to an apology.
Now, I have eaten many a cupcake since then … maybe too many. I have even enjoyed a cupcake from one of the nation’s first cupcake bakeries right here in DC. So, why do I still remember losing that one? It was just a crappy, homemade cupcake. And it’s been forty years since it hit the road. So why is that one of the memories that refuses to leave me alone?