Coming of Age

I came of age in the late 80s and early 90s.

So Soleil Moon Frye’s “Kid 90” brought on a whole level of nostalgia for my youth that I anticipated but never realized would feel so powerful.

The players in my life appearing like ghosts in my mind, reminding me that we lived and loved and crossed paths while I was struggling to find my place in the world.

I remember going over to my friend Andrew’s house daily.

His house was a home base for me because:

  1. He had a pool table
  2. He had a pool, and
  3. He had two teenage-friendly, level-headed parents
  4. He was the most magnetic person I ever met.

He was the center of my social universe and I gravitated toward his family while struggling with my relationships with my parents.

We became family to one another in the 1990s.

But when Andrew was murdered in 2001, that center broke apart and in ways I understood even back then, our lives have never been the same.

Which is why remembering the 80s and 90s is so bittersweet.

One of our mutual friends is a filmmaker and he set about documenting Andrew’s life for those of us who loved him, and for those who came after him.

So I can visit the halls of my memory every time I play that movie.

The loss still weighs heavy on me and more than anything I want Andrew back, larger than life, laughing out loud as we re-enact Monty Python, Star Wars, or Doctor Who scenes with Matt, Kurt, Jon, Heather, Robin, Albert, Chris and Olivier.

Toasting our futures with White Russians, listening to grunge music while playing pool for the umpteenth time at his house.

Laughing as many of us got tattoos we knew we’d regret later.

A little moment of life back the way it was before it all fell apart.