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Author Topic: On This Day: Your History  (Read 71048 times)
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2022, 05:55:29 PM »

December 20, 1996 The brain melt of 12th grade Hell Week exams wrapped on my last-ever day of school as a minor. I’d be eighteen when school started again (truthfully I had a strong secret urge never to go back), and for the first time in all our years together, my grad student boyfriend wouldn’t be going out with jailbait anymore.

I went to a party that night where these college students were drinking vodka through Twizzlers like it was the big thing of the moment, and met a girl there whose first name was Dockery, a name I’d never heard before and haven’t since. The usual thing was college guys thought I was cool to have around and college girls seemed to resent someone from high school trespassing in their territory, but everyone was Christmas-break gleeful that night, so everybody was nice.

For some reason after I petted a white cat that lived there where the party was, it followed me around the rest of the time we were there.

I wasn’t out late, home by eleven, I didn’t drink or anything, per a deal I’d had going with my father for a year and a half, that as long as I didn’t drink or do drugs or break any obvious laws (um, other obvious laws), and as long as I kept my grades high, I could basically do anything else I wanted. I went in to tell my dad I was home and goodnight and talked a second about how I thought I did in the Hell Week exams, and he asked if our deal was going to expire at the stroke of midnight when I turned eighteen, and I said nah, drinking and drugs didn’t appeal to me. He said he was glad I was home, and I said yeah, well, for every worry I’ve given you, you and your job have given me fifteen over the years, and he chuckled and told me it wasn’t a contest, so don’t make up for lost time.

Few things in life felt nicer than being off school for a long break, and life that night was very good.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #61 on: December 21, 2022, 09:57:33 AM »

December 21, 1996 On that frigid winter solstice I found out Carl Sagan died, which upset me since he was someone I’d looked up to and who’d been out there in popular culture all my life, advocating science and sticking it to Christian fundamentalists, long the focus of my teenage ire. I’d known he was sick, he’d been bald and thin last time I’d seen him, but he’d seemed optimistic, so I think I believed he would recover. I called Roger Morgan, the creepy/cool genius kid I went to school with and talked about Sagan with him but he was in a mood like he got sometimes and kept putting down everything I said. He told me, “If you’re that filled with grief, why don’t you put a black ribbon in your hair or something?” Later he called me back and while he was not the type to ever apologize, I could tell he was in a milder frame of mind and admitted Carl Sagan dying upset him too, since we sciencey types had lost an icon, and he wished me a happy early birthday ahead of Christmas Eve, but after a minute all he wanted to do was interrogate me about my boyfriend being back from Argentina and Israel after being gone during his father’s medical treatment for the last stretch of months, and so once again I cut the call short, knowing the Great and Megalomaniacal Roger Morgan wasn’t used to being dismissed, which made it even more fun to do.
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« Reply #62 on: December 21, 2022, 11:02:03 AM »

December 21st 1990.

I fully participated in my first-ever pagan ceremony. I'd been attending since I was 14, but at that age, I was more stuck on the sidelines and would have to leave early. I felt confident enough about my body to strip off and dance around the fire with everyone else. I didn't have someone to jump the flames with, but I'd brought a six-pack of beer instead. I still remember just how freezing it was, even on what was a fairly mild night. It was a crescent moon that night if I recall rightly, but we had light from the fire and burning torches to see by. I felt a sense of, well not quite belonging or kinship, but rightness. Like I was in the right place at the right time. It was more than I'd ever felt at any other religious event, which normally left me bored. I managed to spend the whole day avoiding hearing Ice Ice Baby, a song that every damn time it started make me think of Queen, only to disappoint me when I realised it was a lesser imitator.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #63 on: December 21, 2022, 03:40:42 PM »

December 21st 1990.

I fully participated in my first-ever pagan ceremony. I'd been attending since I was 14, but at that age, I was more stuck on the sidelines and would have to leave early. I felt confident enough about my body to strip off and dance around the fire with everyone else. I didn't have someone to jump the flames with, but I'd brought a six-pack of beer instead. I still remember just how freezing it was, even on what was a fairly mild night. It was a crescent moon that night if I recall rightly, but we had light from the fire and burning torches to see by. I felt a sense of, well not quite belonging or kinship, but rightness. Like I was in the right place at the right time. It was more than I'd ever felt at any other religious event, which normally left me bored. I managed to spend the whole day avoiding hearing Ice Ice Baby, a song that every damn time it started make me think of Queen, only to disappoint me when I realised it was a lesser imitator.

Did you know Vanilla Ice actually tried to say he didn't rip off Queen with that riff? He said his was different. Hand to the Lord, not joking.
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Alex
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« Reply #64 on: December 21, 2022, 03:53:53 PM »

December 21st 1990.

I fully participated in my first-ever pagan ceremony. I'd been attending since I was 14, but at that age, I was more stuck on the sidelines and would have to leave early. I felt confident enough about my body to strip off and dance around the fire with everyone else. I didn't have someone to jump the flames with, but I'd brought a six-pack of beer instead. I still remember just how freezing it was, even on what was a fairly mild night. It was a crescent moon that night if I recall rightly, but we had light from the fire and burning torches to see by. I felt a sense of, well not quite belonging or kinship, but rightness. Like I was in the right place at the right time. It was more than I'd ever felt at any other religious event, which normally left me bored. I managed to spend the whole day avoiding hearing Ice Ice Baby, a song that every damn time it started make me think of Queen, only to disappoint me when I realised it was a lesser imitator.

Did you know Vanilla Ice actually tried to say he didn't rip off Queen with that riff? He said his was different. Hand to the Lord, not joking.

Yeah, I vaguely remember hearing something along those lines. Next, The Scissor Sisters will be claiming they didn't rip off Thomas the Tank Engine.
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But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #65 on: December 21, 2022, 07:48:36 PM »

December 21st 1990.

I fully participated in my first-ever pagan ceremony. I'd been attending since I was 14, but at that age, I was more stuck on the sidelines and would have to leave early. I felt confident enough about my body to strip off and dance around the fire with everyone else. I didn't have someone to jump the flames with, but I'd brought a six-pack of beer instead. I still remember just how freezing it was, even on what was a fairly mild night. It was a crescent moon that night if I recall rightly, but we had light from the fire and burning torches to see by. I felt a sense of, well not quite belonging or kinship, but rightness. Like I was in the right place at the right time. It was more than I'd ever felt at any other religious event, which normally left me bored. I managed to spend the whole day avoiding hearing Ice Ice Baby, a song that every damn time it started make me think of Queen, only to disappoint me when I realised it was a lesser imitator.

I'm not a fan of rituals in general but I think the times in my life I have most strongly felt some powerful unseen (positive) presence beyond myself, as if the veil was worn thin between this world and places beyond the human senses, have been at night, in wild places, forests, hilltops, sometimes around fires. I often go alone into the woods at night to seek this feeling and sometimes find it. There's a place I've mentioned we call the Overlook, and it is undoubtedly a site of some sort of discernable energy, where I am sure for millennia people have stood and looked out over the beautiful valley and river and loved it as much as I have, and every so often it is honestly like time merges there: past, present, future all coming through at once. It can feel a little scary along the lines of like watching a thunderstorm blast overhead, but mostly it is simply awe-inspiring.

Oddly, another place I felt an energy so powerful it almost made me feel like my cells were vibrating was at a Hindu temple, amid statues of various semi-anthropomorphic deities.
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Alex
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« Reply #66 on: December 22, 2022, 03:29:59 AM »

December 21st 1990.

I fully participated in my first-ever pagan ceremony. I'd been attending since I was 14, but at that age, I was more stuck on the sidelines and would have to leave early. I felt confident enough about my body to strip off and dance around the fire with everyone else. I didn't have someone to jump the flames with, but I'd brought a six-pack of beer instead. I still remember just how freezing it was, even on what was a fairly mild night. It was a crescent moon that night if I recall rightly, but we had light from the fire and burning torches to see by. I felt a sense of, well not quite belonging or kinship, but rightness. Like I was in the right place at the right time. It was more than I'd ever felt at any other religious event, which normally left me bored. I managed to spend the whole day avoiding hearing Ice Ice Baby, a song that every damn time it started make me think of Queen, only to disappoint me when I realised it was a lesser imitator.

I'm not a fan of rituals in general but I think the times in my life I have most strongly felt some powerful unseen (positive) presence beyond myself, as if the veil was worn thin between this world and places beyond the human senses, have been at night, in wild places, forests, hilltops, sometimes around fires. I often go alone into the woods at night to seek this feeling and sometimes find it. There's a place I've mentioned we call the Overlook, and it is undoubtedly a site of some sort of discernable energy, where I am sure for millennia people have stood and looked out over the beautiful valley and river and loved it as much as I have, and every so often it is honestly like time merges there: past, present, future all coming through at once. It can feel a little scary along the lines of like watching a thunderstorm blast overhead, but mostly it is simply awe-inspiring.

Oddly, another place I felt an energy so powerful it almost made me feel like my cells were vibrating was at a Hindu temple, amid statues of various semi-anthropomorphic deities.

Sometimes I really do miss those festivals. Still life moves on and I find these things are never quite the same if you go back a second time.
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But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
ER
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Karma: 1762
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #67 on: December 22, 2022, 02:26:58 PM »

December 22, 2021 My thirteen-year-old daughter Daisy went with her cousin Bethany Brooke, Dana’s youngest, who was sixteen, almost the same age difference between Dana and me, to Peace, Love, and Little Donuts, where they have dozens of weird types of donuts about half the size of regular ones, which they custom-make right in front of you Subway-style, so they’re hot when you get them. Some of the names of donuts were puns on hippie culture (Almond Brothers, Heat, Wind & Fire, Snick Jagger).

Had a talk with my spiritual advisor and told him I’d decided that God cannot be completely good if God can do evil, since doing evil is the antithesis of being only good. I was thinking the same people who screamed that abortion was the murder of a baby (not saying I disagree) worshipped a God who murdered countless babies by flood and by the Canaanite genocide and during the slaughter in Egypt among the first-born. Might does not make right, and just because it is within God’s power to take life doesn’t make it right. Right and wrong are not defined by the power behind the act but by the act itself. Killing a child was murder. Murder was wrong. One who does wrong is not absolutely good.

I told him I didn’t think I had the right sort of mind to make a good Christian, because I thought thoughts like those and said I was sorry if I disappointed him, but he said he’d only be disappointed in me if I held back sharing my thoughts about God, because he always wanted to be there for me.

This man has long been a much nicer and more patient friend than I deserve.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #68 on: December 22, 2022, 11:34:48 PM »

Not confident our power is going to stay on in this wind, so since it's only half an hour til tomorrow....


December 23, 1994 It was my final day as a fifteen-year-old, and as we were wrapping last-minute Christmas presents at her apartment, my cousin Allie and I started talking about the worst things that had ever happened to us, emergency blood transfusions and stomach pumpings and her getting raped by her brother’s friend when she was ten and her drugged-out brother Adam sat across the room and let it happen. Allie had had more than one drug overdose in her life, but one was so bad paramedics said she had almost zero blood pressure and they didn’t see how she was brought back.

She asked me if I’d had a near-death experience in October, and I said no, I just saw the lights in the room get bright as my pupils dilated, and felt very cold and it was all distantly loud. (But then again I didn’t “die”, just came close.) Allie said she hadn’t had one either, but….

Then she said, “Except.”

I said, “Except what?”

She said, “Don’t laugh, promise?” I said I wouldn’t laugh, and she told me: “I knew I was dying, and something inside me was still alive enough to feel sad that I was, and I felt like I was going to have to stay inside that feeling of being sad without it ever ending. Forever.”

I looked at her sincere little face and though she was three years older she looked very young and frightened, and I could tell she was being absolutely honest and that this was her secret horror. If my cousin had spoken of Hellfire and demons it would not have disturbed me nearly as much as her hinting that death involves living forever in whatever we created of our lives. I thought hard about her saying that and concluded if I had perished on October 24th the negative side of my own life might have been summed up as selfishness.

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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2022, 11:05:40 AM »

December 24, 1999 It was my twenty-first birthday and my grandpa, my dad and I went to Perkins for breakfast and had a nice time on the last occasion we were ever together like that, since Grandpa got sick early in 2000, and was clearing his throat a lot that day I noticed. Still, we didn’t know that then and Grandpa gave me a booklet that showed how things were in 1978, houses, cars, the cost of stuff, news headlines, what was popular. (I still have that.) My mom called me to say happy birthday and her accent was gratingly full-on Irish again after almost five years back there and she didn’t sound like “herself.” Later that night my grandpa asked me to slip out with him and he bought me a beer at a bar, first time I’d ever done that, and we drove back to my party, and considering it was Christmas Eve it was flattering so many people came. My friends from back in New England called and I opened presents they’d sent me while they were on the phone, and it was a happy day. There was even a scream-worthy funny moment when Gina’s brother Mark, who was by then a senior at our old school, spilled a cherry Coke all over these hundred-fifty dollar Nikes he had on, that he’d just gotten for Christmas, and said some choice four-letter words about that mishap. I kissed him for coming down to wish me happy birthday, and he said he’d teach me how to play golf if I was home that spring. I didn’t want to learn but I said OK anyway. I kept hoping someone I was thinking about all day would call me, he knew what day it was, he knew I was in town, we’d talked during the year since my working far away ended us, but he didn’t call me that day. I suppose you can’t have everything, even on a landmark birthday, but still I had hoped so hard and it made me mad at him. Maybe he really was done with me, but I’ll never know.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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Posts: 13488


The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #70 on: December 25, 2022, 01:54:00 AM »

December 25, 2021 Christmas was mercilessly early in arriving. Stumbled out of bed to Daikeagity urging me to come on, come on, so proceeded downstairs to meet a gray and low-skyed day with gusty winds and temperatures in the sixties, the warmest Christmas day in local history, so warm the Yule log burning amid dancing blue flames made the room hot enough to open a window, and later in the day we had a pouring cloud burst with actual thunder. Thunder at Christmas! My dad had spent the night at our house, so he got up with us, and my husband’s parents came over after breakfast, so “almost” everyone was together. (Thanks, Mom!) Mostly the children got fewer things than in the past but bigger than usual, like a clarinet, and a new mountain bike. I got some nice history books and a domestic coupon book for helpful little things around the house. It was an at-home, go-nowhere day, and we were together, which is the most important part and something that has not always been so, as 2019 taking me to Turkey proved, and which the future will make otherwise only too soon. But that day was ours to be together, and there was joy.
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Alex
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« Reply #71 on: December 25, 2022, 10:56:52 AM »

25th December 2021.

For the first time in her life, my mum didn't have christmas in her own house, having came up to spend it at ours after a year of negotiating and persuading her. Of course, after she agreed to come I went and got sent away on Op Rescript. Fortunately I did get home for christmas and boxing day. Normally we don't go for the big, traditional christmas dinner, but part of the agreement was that we would have one. Unfortunately this meant I hardly got to see Kristi all day, since she doesn' feel the kitchen is big enough to have someone else in while she is cooking. Inside I quietly seethed that I wasn't getting to spend more of my very limited time off with her. It was however the first holiday season we'd had where we all weren't ill. Since we'd opened all our presents in a quick frenzy before I left (not knowing that I'd be able to get back home), the day itself was something of a anti-climax. I was glad though that I got to be with them, if only for a little while.

25th December 2019.

About midnight Kristi was in severe enough pain that she'd to go to hospital. I phoned a taxi (yes I knew it would be considerably more expensive than normal, but some things are more important than money). It turned out she was having gall baldder problems. She spent the rest of the day loopy on strong painkillers.

25th December 2018.

Ash's first christmas. We went down to my mums house for it since it felt important to me that he had as much of his family around for his first one as possible and with my mum's age and health I was not confident she'd get another chance. Although we all felt fine on the day itself, before and after it we all felt quite ill, which we were fairly convinced was the flu, only the second time I've had it. We enjoyed the day itself though.

25th December 2016.

After a heatwave that went through November and most of December (which had forced us to buy an entirely new wardrobe each, having brought only cold weather clothes on holiday with us), we awoke to discover 18 inches of snow had fallen overnight. I cleared Lori's path and salted it since she was being allowed out of rehab for her christmas dinner. I had been totally surprised (not to mention slightly shocked and to a degree even disgusted) when I saw KFC advertising catering for your christmas dinner and declared that to be the most redneck thing I had ever heard in my entire life and was very glad that it wasn't something Kristi or any of her family did. I don't quite share my mothers view on christmas dinners, but I do have some limits.

I know I shouldn't judge, but sometimes it is hard not to.

25th December 2001.

Home for my first christmas leave. The train had been delayed by 8 hours and I'd spent the whole 14+ hour journey standing on a too-crowded train with no free seats and then had to get a taxi home since by the time the train got into Glasgow everything had shut down. I was just glad to be home. Everyone was asking me about what the still in the news events of September that year would mean for me. The initially expressed optimism (which I hadn't agreed with) that bin Ladin would be dead by christmas clearly wasn't going to happen. I wondered if he shaved his beard off and dyed his hair, if he'd be able to walk unrecognised down the street without being recognised. We'd been told our training was going to be interrupted and we'd be deploying to Iraq to do guard duty and deploy barbed wire, so I was making the best of the available free time I had.

25th December 19--.

I still wasn't sure about how I felt about having sex for the first time the previous week. Sure the BJ had been great, but the rest was something of a disappointment. Perhaps if I had done it with someone I had felt something for, rather than just for the sake of just having it? The decade did not have many years left in it and people started talking about the end of the millennium before the next decade that would bring it had even started. It was still a long way off though and phrases like the millennium bug had not yet entered the common lexicon. I had my usual disagreement with my mum over eating brussel sprouts, a food I find endlessly disgusting. I pointed out all those times she told me that if I ate all my greens I'd grow up tall were a total lie. As a compromise,  I ate one. I tended to cut them in half and then swallow them without chewing to avoid the taste. Despite this, I had on several occasions choked on them. My later comment that I didn't understand why she'd spend all day cooking a huge meal for us, only to spoil it by trying to force us to eat something that only her and Elizabeth liked would mean that at least on the sprout front I'd never have to eat one again. I'd continue to eat the huge meals. My two most hated food stuffs to this day remain brussel sprouts and fish cakes.

25th December 1985.

Our first christmas since my dad had quit his job and my last one before my mum would finally leave him. Things had not been good in the months leading up to this. Our present pile was significantly reduced from previous years, but I still declared it to be the best one ever, even if I did not feel it inside. Dad had moved from merely being a hostile presence in our lives to a deeply malevolent one. Today was a welcome break from finding mum in tears and doing my best as an 11 year old to support her. I remember what my presents from the previous year were, and I remember the ones from the following year, but this particular year I draw an almost complete blank on, other than I finally got a fishing rod. I'd only get to use it once (and I caught a rather large rainbow trout while camped out on the shore of a nearby loch one weekend). My dad used my fishing rod a lot more than I would ever get to (big surprise there).
« Last Edit: December 26, 2022, 05:03:22 AM by Alex » Logged

But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #72 on: December 26, 2022, 03:13:32 PM »

December 26, 1995 While it snowed I watched La Double Vie Du Veronique, which was almost custom-designed to reach deeply into me, then went to the mall with my friend’s brother, Mark, and at the Nature Company we sword fought with tinkling rain sticks til the manager psychically reminded us with a glare that they were a hundred dollars apiece. I bought Mark’s fourteenth birthday present, and figured he might as well pick it out, but I held it back until the next week. At home I listened to my loquacious mother on the phone and instead of making me happy it left me annoyed. Roger Morgan, my intimidating admirer, called me from Connecticut and maybe it was just the mood I was in but I talked to him a long time, and he got bold and said he wanted to know everything about me, so I said, “Roger, nobody wants to know everything about someone else.” He said, “No, I really do.” Flattering but I passed on the offer. About twenty minutes later Brian called from Florida, so I got rid of Roger Morgan and said to Brian, “You’d better come home soon, I think someone imagines he’s got a snowball’s chance in a microwave as your rival.” Brian didn’t like that very much but what did he expect, leaving me through Christmas and my birthday? But he said he loved me and I said I loved him, so that was all good.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2022, 09:07:18 AM »

December 27, 2005 As I was driving south to wait for Landon at his house, I was passed by a phalanx of sirens, police cars, ambulances, a fire truck, and after I drove by, I let myself into Landon’s house and turned on the TV only to see a crew covering a live incident a few blocks away, where a man had murdered his entire family. It sickened me, so I turned it off, got in my car and drove back to my own house instead of being there. I don’t think I ever told him I’d been there. I got on email when I was home and Tyler, who was six then, had sent me a picture he drew for me that brightened my spirits. Mon fils qui n’est pas mon fils.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #74 on: December 28, 2022, 12:55:20 PM »

December 28, 1998 On a cloudy afternoon my grandpa and I saw The Thin Red Line, which was artsy and deep, though felt like it ran a long time with multiple false endings. I was down that day because parts of my life I thought would never end were collapsing, but being with my grandpa took my mind off things. Grandpa said I was walking with my hands stuck in my jacket pockets and my eyes downcast, and told me if I had to leave to go back to work on the east coast I should push sadness back and think of the good parts of the experience, whether I wanted to be there or not. He said, “When you’re facing something difficult, look forward instead of back, because sometimes how we react is all the control we have about what life throws at us.”

I mean, yeah, but…. I felt like a riptide was dragging me out to a stormy ocean, and I didn’t want to be swept along. There are times that divide an entire life into before and after, and that week was one. Everything that’s happened since, from the way my life has played out in the 21st century, to whom I married, to the fact I have the children I do, relates back to that week. The calendar may have said it was still the ‘90s, but for me life as I’d lived it in the twentieth century was ending, and 1999 was to be a no man’s land between then and now.
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