I grew up in Maine, mostly. I lived there 12 years. New York, for 11. So I feel fairly split between them. Having done another kind of growing up in New York.
I was born in Rhode Island, then we left for Korea, by way of a cross-country drive to California. We lived in Korea in my grandfather’s house in Seoul for two years. My father’s siblings were still in high school and were appalled to have a new baby in the house. Especially one who imitated them when they asked for their allowance, and then received one, at not quite age 2, because their father thought it was so funny.
Their father, my grandfather, raised Corgi dogs and I was the only one besides the breeder the bitch would allow in the kennel with the puppies. She let me put them in my wagon and drag them around the yard, and she would watch me carefully.
We left for Kawaii, Truk and Guam, and then, when I was six, we moved to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, in November, and I felt entombed in cold and the company of people who couldn’t pronounce Guam or spell Chee.
My first rock concert was an Asia show.
I was appalled to discover the group had nothing to do with Asia, but also, that I had expected them to, somehow. It might have been the birth of my sense of irony. I was 15.
My second concert was the Go-Gos, when I was 16.
I could drive to this one, and I left the gas cap on the roof of the car and drove off, the first of many times doing this. The distance between these two bands approximates the psychic journey I made from 15 to 16.
I wrote my first story in the form of a fake book report, done when I realized my teachers couldn’t know every children’s book. I wanted to test them, and so I made one up for the report. I believe this was the 3rd or 4th grade.
I was a speed reader and I still am. I don’t skim. It’s as if I enter a kind of alternate dimension of time. The sentences don’t sound as if they’re sung by the Chipmunks. They just go by quickly.