It’s unlikely that a biopic of my life will ever hit the big or even small screen. It’s even more unlikely that I will get to storyboard it. But if it does, this is how I would open the film.
INT. CHARTER BUS DRIVING EAST ON U.S. I-10 SOMEWHERE IN MISSISSIPPI
[ An awkward-looking yet self-assured early teen rummages through a backpack until he finds a copy of the Rush Chronicles 2 CD case. He opens the Disc-2 side and removes the CD, inserts it into a portable CD player, presses the play button then stares pensively out the window as the opening guitar riff of “Time Stand Still” plays through his headphones. … ]
This of course is a completely self-indulgent exercise. But when I’m driving around town, running errands and I hear a song that reminds me of such a specific moment and it feels like that moment was the beginning of something, I feel a pressing need to express it. To unpack it. And this is where I do that. My hope is that it makes you think of similar moments in your own life. The trick is to think of a category and then decipher the first image that pops into your head. Here are some more origins (with my recollections in parentheses):
First favorite baseball player … (Jose Cruz circa 1984. Cruz will never be in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll always be in my top 10 favorite players.)
First favorite football player … (The images in my brain keep telling me its Earl Campbell, but that doesn’t seem right. Maybe it’s some sort of Astrodome override. My real first favorite football player was Tony Dorsett. Tony Dorsett and Luke Skywalker are the same person within the confines of my reflective imagination.)
First favorite basketball player … (Tony Benford, who was the most exciting player on Texas Tech’s hoops teams that dominated the SWC from 1984 to 1986. This one makes total sense because the first sports games I probably ever attended were Texas Tech basketball games from this era.)
First experience of the thrill of victory … (Speaking of Benford, I’m pretty sure he was the hero of the game in question. It was a regular-season SWC contest and all I really remember is that my dad and I arrived home to watch the end of the game live on TV — Texas Tech vs. Houston, I think — but we had friends coming over later that night to watch the game on tape. So my dad and I watched the thrilling Tech win and then acted all bummed out the rest of the night, tricking our guests into thinking the Red Raiders had lost.)
First experience of the agony of defeat … (The Houston Astros lost in six games against the New York Mets in the 1986 National League Championship Series. I remember thinking as a 9-year-old that it never felt like the Astros were going to win the series. I might need to talk to a therapist about this.)
… this entry is destined to be updated as more origin stories occur to me. Feel free to add your own in the comment space.
Photo by Chad Conine