personal archaeology

The VHS store only has one shelf of foreign films and fully one third of them seem to be about sexual awakenings of Europeans. Some are kung-fu flicks. Black and white films about villagers somewhere.

All the good tapes on the New Releases are gone already. Just lines of box art and no plastic clamshells behind. Mom’s got the rental card anyway, so your vote isn’t going to go far.

Up front by the cash register: loose bags of microwave popcorn, large boxes of candy, Take/Leave a Penny.

Flush with paper route money, Lee & I would hit the grocery store, picking up the sorts of foods that middle school students are somehow immune to: 2-liters of soda. Little Debbie snacks.

Next: VHS rental. Stuff like CYBORG with its rain-drenched face-kicking, hands-and-barbed-wire pathos.

Then upstairs, no parents home, Fine Young Cannibals played on dubbed blank cassette while Lee crouched on his bed, swinging nunchucks, denting the wood-paneled walls with wild swings and laughing.