|Thirteen Things about Doug
And, dammit, you'd better play this time, or next week, I'll tag your ass.
1. Goethe, not Nietzsche, said, "What does not kill me makes me stronger." Three intervals in my life put this to the test, but I was not so much tempered by them as torn apart and put back together.
2. As a four-year-old, I was traumatized by a cantaloupe (AKA musk melon). This was not one of those desperate, ego-formative moments. I got over it.
3. My first memory: I'm two, nearly three, and my brother and sister are helping me get dressed in the back seat of my dad's car. (A blue Chevy, Sis?) It is the first day of my first Voyage of the Damned: summer vacation, driving from LA to Boston to see the rest of the family. It would not be my last such voyage.
4. I liked to get up when my parents got up. They would eat breakfast, drink coffee, and not yell at each other. I hid in the hallway with my back against the wall heater, listening to them talk. My mom didn't like this. She thought the wall heater would give me "arthuritis."
5. On that first Voyage of the Damned, we stopped for breakfast in Needles. I saw a red firetruck I dearly wanted. My mother wanted to buy it for me, but my father didn't. Much psychodrama ensued.
6. We took the southern route that year. One night, in a motel room in the Deep South, we woke up to find the room infested with giant water bugs. Trust me: you really don't want to click on that link.
7. Bliss for five-year-old me was a day at the beach . . . although I hated it when my mom would towel the sand from my back. Ow.
8. I had my first mathematical epiphany in kindergarten. I told my teacher, Mrs. Biyotch, "One and one are two!" and she replied, "One plus one equals two." Talk about buzz kills.
9. I loved my pediatrician, Dr. Johnson. Or maybe I just loved ripping off all my clothes as fast as I could.
10. I didn't like my next doctor, Dr. May. To this day, I don't understand why a doctor would feel the need to do a rectal exam on a ten-year-old boy (or younger) at every visit. Actually, I do understand, and I don't like it one bit.
11. Among other childhood fears, I was afraid of the dark, and of mysterious strangers coming into our house. My sister knows why. I didn't get over my fear of the dark until med school.
12. My grandfather groped me once, but I didn't hold it against him. (Hah! I love that gag.) No, this wasn't one of those ego-formative moments, either.
13. To some degree, I live in a constant state of breath-holding, waiting for the next traumatic interval.
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4. D.C. Roe, a Varley fan