You ever find a photo of yourself early on in your years and draw a complete blank? It is bonkers how much we forget about what happened during the first decade of our lives. I’ve got snapshots up on my brain fridge, but considering how much we learn, do, experience during the early part of our life, the snapshots I’ve managed to save represent so little of what I actually did. I’m just shocked at the magnitude of extreme filing that our brains do to archive memories. I don’t believe memories are ever lost. They’re just filed and given security clearances of varying levels. No doubt there are scientists somewhere working on a method to unlock all our memories. Perhaps then we can finally put to rest when abortion becomes murder. I mean, it all boils down to how society deems certain kinds of murder terrible, and certain kinds of murder acceptable. You down with euthanasia? What about infanticide, neonaticide, or the death penalty? When is the act of killing born out of compassion and when is it committed out of anger? Wut?

The earliest memories I have are truly snapshots. They’re single frame memories of past happenings. I can’t even be sure the chronology is correct. Come on science!

I am pretty sure none of my snapshots cover the first three years of my life. The first snapshot is of me crouching in a crawl space between the first floor and the basement used to store firewood. There is a wired bulb hanging close to my head and the walls are exposed pink insulation. I’m in brown corduroy pants and a navy long sleeve jersey which I am sure were purchased at either Simpson’s, Eaton’s, or The Hudson’s Bay Company. The crawl space was in a house I lived in for only three or four years. I know this because on my fifth birthday I went to the ER with a nasty gash I’d gotten after falling off my bed while jumping. Between the crawl space snapshop and me falling off my bed I’d moved into an apartment.

I see the snapshot of my crouching in bits of bark and wood chippings and I have no recollection of the context. Was my hiding space found? Was I helping to load it up with wood? Was I getting wood out? No clue.

The second memory I have from the same house is more of a memory gif. The remembery is a repeating loop of me hugging my brother as I sit on his lap on the sofa in the living room while my parents argue out of frame. I had no clue what they were arguing about for the longest time, but I’ve come to suspect that that particular argument was the moment my parents decided to separate. I can’t be sure, but my parent’s did separate when I was three, and they separated before I’d moved into the apartment near the hospital equipped to stitch up a kid who banged his noggin on the pointy corner of a wardrobe.

There are some memory fragments also, but they are also few. A feeling that I’d taken a lawn sprinkler apart and the Challenger exploding on the screen of the TV in my parent’s room. Lightening and a tree. Backing the car out of the driveway by putting it in neutral. Maybe walking in on my parent’s ‘doin it’ and running around the room in my spider man pajamas. Whether or not any kind of ‘doin it’ was going on is still up for debate but the amazingness of my spidy pajamas isn’t in any kind of doubt.

Anyway, I have no idea when or where that photo above was taken. I should ask mother.

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You may have heard the same thing from someone else, but the first warehouse party I attended was life altering. I remember being so uncomfortable. It wasn’t just my first party, it was the first time I’d heard jungle music. I didn’t think we fit in as my friends and I were all wearing clothes that were decidedly out of place. We sported regular cut Levis, Doc Martins, and bomber jackets. Everything was so alien. I’d never seen anyone wearing fun fur, colored beads, soothers, and wide leg pants before in my life. Where did they all come from?

Then the acid kicked in and it didn’t matter what I was wearing or what kind of music I was previously mix taping. I spent the rest of the night leaning against a wall cross-legged near the stacks in the jungle room in love with the breaks, the MC’s, and the bass lines and so utterly fascinated by the pennies and dimes bouncing among the stomping shoes on the floor around me. Few moments in life have come close to the experience I had that night in April 1995.

I started shooting parties mostly because I didn’t dance, hadn’t embraced drugs the same way others in the scene did, and most of my friends didn’t like going to parties as often so I needed to be able to drive. Shooting gave me a reason to be there alone and enjoy myself. Then I got older, moved on, and my love of jungle waned the way things wane.

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