Microautobio: a suburb in the 90s

There’s trails in the woods behind the community college and the cross-country team runs back there after school, but after dark it’s you and your friends and the gathering gloom among the trees, alone together.

There’s a meadow of tall grass, the setting for a rumor: That the guy who picks on you in band was once caught in that field having sex with his girlfriend.

And why not? The eternal teen mystery is: Why isn’t everyone having sex all the time, if they can manage it?

There was a lake, but who cares, because what can a teenager do at a beach you can cross in four strides? So the preferred hang out was the one Burger King near the highway on-ramp.

The Burger King was on “the wrong side of the tracks” where my friend Lee lived. We’d spend our paper route money on Little Debbie snacks and 2-liters and watch rented VHS tapes like CYBORG ’til we were vibrating.

Or up in Lee’s room, he’d swing his nunchucks while U2 played. Child of divorce. Yup.

School dances: To Young MC’s Bust A Move, we half danced and half made fun of the concept of dancing ’til a slow song came on.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn and suddenly you’re demurely touching the hips of a girl you were brave enough to ask, and you get in a few dances and now maybe you’re dating?

Which just meant awkward phone calls where their parents hand the phone over, and it’s you and a girl and there’s no soundtrack to cover the fact that you’ve got nothing to talk about.