There are 1200-1400 books in our workout room. This is what happens when you are part-owners of a cafe/used bookstore that has gone out of business. There are many wonderful titles, many of them previously owned by us, but there are also many lame ones, about half or so, that we have to cull. The room looks like about five huge tubs, thirty to forty paper grocery bags, and about seven large, black garbage bags full of books. Today I had some anxiety about the amount of stuff coming into our house from there. Our next vacation from work was supposed to be us putting stuff away, finally, from moving in two years ago, but now we  have a whole bunch more to sort through. If anyone needs a book, you message me. I got what you need.

Today I got to spend some time with my lil’ bro, though, who turns the last year of his twenties tomorrow. I took the opportunity to do some market research, and to ask him so questions about what he recalls about our childhood. We had an idyllic one, so many of the memories are crazy sweet. Like, the two of us out on a paddleboat catching turtles for hours. Some of the more concrete ones though, about books, and music, and tv, are interesting and relevant, I think, to anyone born in the mid-to-late eighties. The purpose of all those questions was to get a good poem, and I’m not sure if that happened or not, but I did get some stuff that I’m going to turn into a poem, whether it’s poetic or not.


Born in 1985

It’s funny, we both remember it as Siamese Dream, but it was Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness that we both went searching for in the CD store, the first time we were allowed there alone, and it was Fuck You (An Ode to No One) that made Mom make us take it back to the store, and so we got Gish instead,. That was not what we wanted. The CD store was the most seductive cubby.  We both remembered Treasure Island, Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum. We giggled over the BFG, and Roxaboxen, and the Borrowers, or was it the Littles? Were the Littles less boring than The Borrowers, or was it vice versa? Those little people took up space. We listened to lots of the Stones, thanks to Dad. The kid was three or four in the trailer in West Glacier when he got his first boombox, and tapes of The Who, and the Stones. Thanks to Mom there was Nancy Griffiths, we came around to her as adults, and the Moody Blues, which we did not, and Emmy Lou, who has always been our siren. Nevermind was his first tape, and my first CD. In Middle School there was Dookie round the clock. He remembers everything you remember, plus some. Playmobiles, lots of those. If you were born in 1985 you remember ER, Captain Planet, and the Ninja Turtles. Together we remember the snowboards, and fly-fishing, but we don’t recall the learning. Powdered cheese spread and rice cakes, thanks to our cousin. When asked, our mother retrieves the sunlit moments of him playing with the potatoes, and tells us he was a busy baby, and that there was that time in Pedro Bay when he started that four wheeler, just two years old! And then the soccer stories. The time he scored the winning goal and was more concerned with the snacks. Not a lot changes in twenty-nine years.  I remember the feeling when I was finally allowed to play with him, like we’d always been together. Then came the longest afternoons, catching turtles and casting them back. Their weird rubber skin with painted symbols, and tight shells. We learned to fish at Missoula lake, and Middle Oregon, and right outside at Old Faithful. It was just us up on that talc hill, and we were covered in it. The swimming hole glistened with big water, and so we jumped right in to rinse the mud.


Happy day of birth, my brother.