once i thought my innocence was gone, now i know that happiness goes on

the summer before i was in 7th (or it might have been 8th) grade i spent most of my time here in Shakopee (where i live now), instead of home in Blaine (a suburb on the other side of the cities, about a hour from here). i spent the summer at my Grammu’s house with her and my Aunt Cathy (who is two years older than me).

Cathy and i passed most of the summer staying up until 5 in the morning playing Rummy 500, eating Doritos, drinking Pepsi and watching MTV. we spent a lot of the summer trying to figure out if Boy George was, in fact, a boy. During the day, which usually started sometime around 1:30 or so, we would hang out at the pool or the mall. the ‘mall’ as we liked to call it had about 6 stores in it, one of them was a Walgreens/BenFranklinesque place called Duber’s. that summer Cathy bought Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil” there on casette. i remember this because i had to borrow her like 3 dollars. the mall also had a K-Mart, a Juba’s SuperValu, and Capones.

Capones was a pizza place/arcade and the closest thing you were ever gonna find in Shakopee in 1984. Capones had dig-dug, a pinball machine, Qbrt, Centipede, Ms. Pacman, and a jukebox. while Cathy and her boyfriend at the time, Steve Sifferath (who i had a giant crush on because he had a blond mullet and looked kind of like Patrick Swayze) used all their quarters on the video games. i divvied mine up equally between the jukebox and the pinball machine. cathy and steve didn’t have much interest in the jukebox because it didn’t have motley crue and they really were the only band worth caring about.

i thought that perhaps there was more to care about, including The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah,” Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time” and Slade’s “Run Run Away.” i probably spent $20 playing those three songs over and over and over again. at the time, Billy Joel was one of my all-time favorite singers ever, mostly because aside from Simon & Garfunkel, he was one of the only singers i knew of. my cousin laurie, who used to babysit us, would play Billy Joel 45s every saturday morning. it was the best! and one of my favorite memories from childhood.

today, instead of working on my short story like i promised myself i would, i downloaded Billy Joel songs and played April Fool’s pranks on some of my westernerd friends. it’s a blatant shirking of adult responsibilities and an impotent attempt at reverting to childhood. i’ve listened to Joel’s “For the Longest Time” about eight times today. the irony of listening to this song today is not lost on me. when i was 12 (or 13) my biggest problem was that the boy i loved (that’d be the aforementioned Swayzesque Steve) loved my Aunt Cathy and not me. i’m pretty sure his love had a lot to do with the fact that 1.) i was taller than him by a good 3 inches and 2.) she was easy.

i’m trying desperately to revert back to that time today, because being a grown-up has become a bit too much for me. tonight i have to take off my pajamas, pull up my grown-up pants and go to my BFK’s house. it will not be fun. though there will be a lot of laughing.

tonight is BFK’s first night in the house since her husband decided to be a giant cocksucker and leave her. he moved out last night. What BFK’s soon-to-be-ex has done makes me so angry i just don’t even know what to do with my rage. and yes, i know there are two sides to every story, but anyone who says to their wife “i don’t love you anymore, and i’m not sure i ever did” deserves some sort of karmic ickiness to descend upon his head for a good long time.

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5 Comments

  1. Lerren 01.Apr.06 at 5:54 pm

    as i have barely read any of your writing except on iwilldare, this may or may not be your style, but what about writing about the heinous ugliness that awaits the sayers of such things? or even about the fantasies one has upon hearing them?

    (a friend’s ex initiated his divorce by the out-of-the-blue statement “well, i’ve figured out how much it’ll cost me for us to live apart”)

    Reply
  2. UH 01.Apr.06 at 7:22 pm

    Remember that video Billy Joel did where he was trying to be a guitar god and was slamming out those kick-ass bar chords while the band was playing in the walk-down of a New York brownstone, and it was in the summertime so everyone was sweating and hot and they had the windows and doors all opened and the bitchy woman upstairs across the street kept yelling “SHUT UP” at the top of her nasal Queens voice?

    Ah, good times.

    Reply
  3. Steve Sifferath 06.Aug.06 at 10:56 pm

    I was shocked to read your words, and hear you explain your memories like that! I never thought I looked much like “Swayze” though. I never new you felt that way. Should have said something.

    Reply
  4. Brittany Sifferath 20.Apr.09 at 7:43 pm

    um hey as u can see my last name is sifferath thats because im steves daughter well i think its the steve your talking about cause he is from MN.but i dont remember him telling my he had a mullet.or if he didnt.

    Reply
  5. Brittany Sifferath 20.Apr.09 at 7:45 pm

    just kidding

    Reply

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