A Lifetime of Mental Snapshots
By EB Hyatt
This is my first attempt at writing anything for others to see. Let me know how I'm doing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There's a picture of me at age 3 in cut off jean shorts with a baseball hat on and holding a football under my arm. It totally looks natural.
- My mother loves to tell the story of me sitting on a toy train they had given me hollering “Toot Toot!!!” as I barreled down the hallway trying to run over the dog.
- I never wanted to wear dresses. I thought they were just awful. In fourth grade I did really poorly on my report card and my father made me wear dresses for the next six weeks as incentive to bring my grades up. Yep, it did the trick alright. I got good grades from there on out.
- Girl Scouts. I didn't like it but I didn't hate it either. It was a beautiful spring day outside and we were going to knit. I asked if we could go outside and play kickball and the answer I got was “Knit or leave”. So I left. Walked back up the hill to the elementary school and played kickball with the neighborhood kids and walked back down the hill in time to catch my carpool home. I got away with this for about a month…then it was back in dresses again for two weeks as punishment.
- The dress punishment was very effective but I don't know who it really punished the most, me or my mom. She had to “find” dresses to put me in and iron them before I could wear them.
- Playing football with all the neighborhood boys and being the quarterback. I was the best passer.
- Recreating great plays from Sunday NFL games all week long with the boys in the neighborhood. Of course I was always Fran Tarkenton or Kenny Stable or Terry Bradshaw. Anyone can catch a football; it takes real talent to get the ball in their hands!
- I was 13, standing outside one November afternoon. It was cloudy, windy and cold. The old oak trees behind the Hunt's house were swaying back and forth and I had the song “Wind is blowing through the trees my love, Wind is blowing through the trees and if you listen closely wind is blowing through my heart my love, sending all my love to you…” It was almost like I was outside myself that afternoon.
- Watching Linda come running down the hall at school towards the music room with her legs together from the knees up and a smile on her face. She'd finally started her period.
- Freshman year of high school I walked into the dark gym after a basketball game and caught my best girlfriends kissing. I didn't know what to do with that information. Later that fall I wrote this poem…
The Formula of Life
The sun is rising over the horizon
A new day is beginning
A day that withholds so many secrets yet to be found
Some of those secrets will be about life, some about love
The two most beautiful secrets sought everyday and by everyone in the world
It is a shame when life or love is found but cannot be accepted
People might as well not get up in the morning if these things, not just life and love, but all the beautiful and happy things in the world cannot be accepted.
- Sitting in Liz's room listening to music and drinking Old English 800. She made me put the headphones on for her favorite song “Shining Star”. The song ends a cappella and I could hear the different singers in different ears. Totally cool. And so became my life long love of Earth, Wind and Fire.
- Playing tennis at 15 for a case of beer against some older guys. I won the beer and the guy whose ass I kicked.
- At parties I didn't know whether to shit or go blind if my boyfriend Rick AND my best friend Valerie were both there.
- Showing up at Valerie's house to go see a school play with a tie on (It had Charlie the Tuna on it!), a box of chocolates and flowers. Her mother asked me point blank if I was a lesbian. Of course I'm not! I have a boyfriend!
- The overwhelming need to be near Valerie all the time. To find little ways to get her to touch me.
- The first time I had sex with a man. It was a good time but there had to be more to it.
- College. Totally confusing freshman year. Valerie started running with a different crowd, I got pissy and Rick was just stupid old Rick.
- Oh thank goodness for cute Sally on Line 5 at the dining hall. Her kisses are forever burned in my brain. So are her religious rants that came between the kisses but totally worth it. Totally.
- Terri started a snowball fight on the quad with me in the middle of the night. She ended up pinning me on the ground and kissed me. We dated that semester and tried to stay together through the summer. Did I mention that Terri was Sally's roommate?!?!?! Heehee…
- She was sitting all by herself at The Park in Roanoke, Virginia. I bought two beers, walked over to her table and said, “You looked thirst so I thought I'd buy you a beer.” We were together for 7 years off and on. We helped each other grow up.
- Sir Scottee McHyatt. Best Dachshund EVER.
- Crossing the stage at college graduation knowing full well that I still needed 4 classes to really graduate. How do you tell that to your parents in the audience?
- Realizing that Frances was living with me and still dating her high school girlfriend, Debbie. One broken hand and a week later I'm dating Debbie and Frances has moved out!
- Miami, Florida. 1989. As I entered the office for my first day of work I knew I was screwed. All the women were dressed like they were going to a cocktail party and I had on a brown, ill fitted suit. I was later told they knew I was gay the minute they met me.
- My 10 year high school reunion. “We knew you were gay in high school!” Why didn't someone tell me that then!?!?!?!
- I'm marching in Atlanta's Gay Pride parade with my cousin's girlfriend and I hear someone calling my name. I don't know anyone else in town so I know it's not my attention they're trying to get. Then suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I see this man rushing at me. He jumps into my arms, wraps himself around my body and is crying my name. It was two hours later before I could even remember his name. My college friend and fraternity brother Jeff had just moved to Atlanta and saw me in a sea of 100,000 people. Turns out we lived 4 blocks from each other and we've been best friends ever since.
- Egg and Jennifer had a party and they let us all know that Egg's ex, JoAnn, was going to show up at sometime. JoAnn was a “confused” girl. Jeff and I talked about her all night from outside on the patio.
- JoAnn called me that summer inviting me to country line dancing night at the bar because she'd heard I was going through a bad break up. Her voicemail made me laugh out loud so I went. We've been together 18 years now.
- JoAnn, JoAnn, JoAnn…need I say more?
- My last full-time job ended quite spectacularly. My boss, Corini, had been riding my ass for weeks and finally after one phone call I'd had it. I opened my corporate instant messenger and sent the following message to my best friend at the company, Colleen. “Corini can kiss my ass running up and down the street!” As soon as I hit SEND I knew I'd screwed up. I had selected Corini from my address book instead of Colleen. SHIT! I calmly packed up my personal items from my desk and went down to Human Resources and waited for the hammer to drop.
- My last part-time job ended with fireworks as well. I had a “Fuck You” fight with the owner of the gym. I told him I quit and he said I couldn't quit because he fired me first. At the end of the fight he gave me a promotion and a raise! Being feisty actually works!
- Sitting down at the computer one January afternoon and having the overwhelming urge to write.
Return to the Academy