under construction

* * *

a list of childhood memories that i might have never thought
about again, but in may 2020 i made a point of thinking
about them, listing them. there are sporadic clusters of
chronological order but overall it is sort of random

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sometimes, in kindergarten, i get to leave & go sit in a fifth grade reading class for a little
while. once, we go to a computer lab. i play a game called "treasure Mountain." i got
really mad because an angry snowball keeps flying across the screen & hitting me

i introduce myself to every adult i meet with my full name, age, what grade i'm in, my
twelfth grade reading level, my math level ... it's a very rote thing that i have memorized

one day, at home, my sister accidentally(?) shows me the "where's waldo" screamer.
this is a very significant event to me. i think it leaves me with debilitating
anxiety problems for a long time, any time i am alone. they are still slightly
present in may of 2020, when i need a nightlight to sleep or i feel like
something could manifest in the darkness & scream an inch from my face

one cold night i tell donnie, my mom's boyfriend, that i need a new controller for my
nintendo 64. as he is leaving he says he will tell my mom, who works at wal-mart, &
hopefully she will know what controller i am talking about. after he leaves, i am
weirdly angry. i hiss "she knows which one to get!" donnie bursts back into the
living room & drags me to my room & yells something in my face then leaves

in that same bedroom, i play my first video game around some christmas.
my first playstation 2 one, at least. "war of the monsters"

around some christmas i read the book "crash"
by jerry spinelli in that house's living room

one day, in kindergarten, at recess, it's raining. we all sit inside in an open
space between the classrooms & watch the berenstain bears on a big television

once i see a wolf spider in a carpeted hallway. once a kid
gets in big trouble for having a sharp object, maybe a knife

at recess, i run on the blacktop running trail & imagine i am the character "unknown" from
tekken tag tournament, or that wings are extending from my back. i think it makes me run faster

once, at recess, a kid named alek sits against a wall with his arms around me & won't let
go. i am mostly apathetic about it, but i find it kind of frustrating & inconvenient. he
keeps saying something bad will happen if he lets go. i can't remember what it was

the metal fence borders some woods. a kid grabs a little rubbery toy that me & another
kid have. he throws it a short distance through the fence so we can't get it anymore

on the soccer field i approach a stuck-up girl who doesn't like me. i tell
her that her & her family were in a dream i had. she doesn't like that

i have a dream that i am running along the trail & my hand slams into a thorny branch sticking out
through the fence. my hand is filled with big inch-long thorns. for a long time i think it is a memory

once i have a dream that i nearly drown at a water park. i see the female
lifeguard lifting me out of the water. for a long time i think it is a memory

once i go to a water park with my dad. there are these buoyant ropes
sectioning off some areas. a plastic splinter of the rope gets in my
finger & i cry hysterically. an employee removes it with tweezers

i like the spouts that shoot water out of the ground. i like the complex &
visible plumbing behind a fence. i like the feeling of sitting at the snack bar

for much of my preteen life i decide to genuinely believe i am a vampire

my grandmother babysits me

i don't remember her very well. i have a vague memory
of pausing donkey kong 64 to greet her with a hug

i ask her to unwrap slices of cheese for me. she has a little velvet sack of rocks on a cabinet.
the plastic smell of her kitchen. white zip ties with yellow release buttons. sometimes i
fill a tall beaker with water & soak sweetarts in it until they're not sour anymore

i hit her poor cat sweetie pie with a plastic toy rake
once because i am still possessed by juvenile sadism

a girl lives next door. i visit her room once. i don't remember anything about her

i wake up in the large bed of my grandma's room. i stare at a portrait of my
mom & dad on the opposite wall. it feels like they are moving, just a
little, if i focus. everything feels so endless & quiet & still

on the day that we evaluate my primary childhood home & decide to buy it, i idly walk
from wall to wall in reflecting directions like a bouncing ball. my sister tells me to stop

before my mom had the white truck, she had a white sedan

once we were about to leave from the cul-de-sac house & she accidentally
shut the passenger door while i was idly grasping the top of the car.
it shut on my fingers. i think they were bloody. she felt so bad

in that old cul-de-sac house i would play flash games on the website Postopia. i would play Pokemon Stadium

i would watch the anime Case Closed & not understand anything that was happening but when they said
the clue for the next episode at the end i would fall flat on my back & pretend to laugh hysterically

i pick up a Grover plush by the leg & smash him into a big
rubber ball. he bounces back & hits me right in the eye

once there is a beehive under the shed in the backyard

our beagle Tucker gets a disease that makes his eyes all creepy & red. i
am terrified of him. i think my eyes will turn creepy if he touches me

my sister fixes me a bowl of cheerios. she eats a spoonful of them before she gives it
to me. it inexplicably enrages me. i grab the box & shake it really hard, scattering
cereal everywhere. she gets really mad. i eat some of it off the kitchen floor

in the next house, the primary child home, my grandpa tells my mom
over yahoo messenger that my grandma is dying of liver cancer

in that house, my mom spent hours doing freelance photo editing in a program
called corel. i never liked being booted off the computer so she could work

i sprint around the house to Nightwish songs, pretending i am an adventurequest character.
i stand in the front yard in my underwear. my classmate Eric rides by on a bike. on the
porch in the early morning, my stepdad says that staying up all night will make me sick

in my very first room at that house i play Destroy All Humans!. later it becomes my
mom's bedroom. sometimes i lie on the bed on my stomach & she scratches
my back. i remember being too short to get up on the bed easily

my mom & stepdad separate. my mom says not to let him in if he shows up while i am
home alone. he shows up. i let him in because i am weak willed. he takes a cowboy
hat & leaves a note on her bed. my mom is very upset at me for letting him in

i am always in an online chat called anime daycare. for some reason i don't want
my parents to see anime. one day the computer freezes with anime on the screen
as my stepdad is opening the door. i panic & unplug the computer

i also think rock music is evil & i don't want anyone to hear me listen to it

i think "sue" is a cuss word

i realize that, with how my stepdad is browsing in file explorer, he is probably about
to discover all the messed up pictures i downloaded from encyclopedia dramatica,
which include scat porn. i didn't ... find that, like ... appealing, or anything.
when you're a child, you just do stuff. i just endlessly downloaded things
meaninglessly, & i was being made acclimated to freakish & shocking things

i walk up & pretend to fall forward & hit alt-f4 by accident. it closes the program but
he knows i did it on purpose. i realize it's inevitable, what is going to happen. i go into
my room & lie down on my bed, paralyzed in shame. at some point he walks in & just
stares at me for a moment, then walks away & i never hear it spoken of again

i'm desperately trying to find the movie "cloverfield" for free online, & ending up in the sorts of
fruitless rabbit holes that will lead an unversed child into. a pornographic pop-up ad appears. i shield
my eyes. i run & get my mom to tell her something bad appeared & that she has to close it for me

salad fingers says touching rusty spoons is orgasmic. i ask my
mom what "orgasmic" means. she asks where i heard that word

our chihuahua tica survives parvo

my sister graduates in high school & gets a dvd with a video on it, full of digital memorabilia. she
briefly leaves her room. i grab it & scratch it up with my nails. i do this because i want to tell
her it wasn't me. i expect her to believe me. i want to see how everyone rationalizes an impossible
event. the disc being scratched up by a ghost or something. i don't expect them to go "alex must
be lying." but they do. this proclivity for gaslighting doesn't prove to be an enduring thing

i add a password on bootup to my sister's laptop. it's "twotwo." i refuse
to tell her the password unless she lets me play games on the laptop

in the apartment before this one, i try to peel an orange with a spoon. the spoon
punctures through the peel & sort of hurts my thumb, & subsequently sprays orange
mist into my eye. i go into my sister's room & tell her & her boyfriend about
this. she laughs & makes fun of me for using the word "subsequently"

i record a video of me dancing goofily on my mom's bed then
pretending to notice the camera & get really embarrassed