I’ve spent quite some time thinking about my earliest memory today. Most of memories are hazy, but with what feels like an intentional haze—a true willingness to forget rather than remember. (It always seemed so much cooler to reinvent myself, and to focus on the new and the potential and the possibility, rather than the old, and the actual, and the historical.)
I turned memories over and over, like skipping stones, debating their verisimilitude and just where exactly they fit into the timeline. Was it just a picture and a story I was told? That must have meant it happened though, right? Is this stone too perfect to throw?
I think my earliest memory was playing in the backyard of a nondescript house on a nondescript street in a nondescript town in a nondescript valley in Northwestern Pennsylvania. I remember how my grandmother had set up two kiddie pools—one with water, and one with sand—so I could pretend I was at the beach by building sandcastles and jumping in the water afterwards to clean myself off after my hard day of castle construction. I remember sitting in the water, and looking at the cracks in the cement near the chain link fence that was almost within reach and thinking, ow. I’m the luckiest, most well off kid on this whole block.