The deepest memories, the longest memories are smell. I think the first memories of my life where on Birch road and it was the smell. It wasn’t then, but it is now when I look back on it, the scent was peace, peace of mind, peace of being, peace of the place that I awoke up everyday in my Star Wars sheets. The rooms are still foggy and stays foggier yet, there was a mother who loved me, a father that would come home like some great warrior of the sea with all these new things, the smell of Sabastian the dog and Dusty the Dog. The memory of these German Shepherds bolting around the house and looking out windows and knocking me over, large hind legs lower than shoulder and licking my face in consultation “sorry” then looking out the window for what ever it was, a person, a squirrel, all these things I did not know at the time. the smell of coffee and oatmeal in the morning, the smell of my father musky when he came home, and I would get to sleep in the bed with my mother and father. I remember their closet now, they had a fully cedar closet, perhaps my sister Erin was there and we could curl up and make forts and have that cedar smell all around us… we did I would think, now at 45, we did and all these things, they happened.
Now from there most of these things don’t come with vision, but after that the vision happens is it murky and child-like. My uncle Jimmy, some of my first visions waking up early before my mom and dad when he was home, I would move about the house, the hallways, the living room. My Uncle Jimmy was always up so early so I would walk up the stairs in my pajamas and walk into his room… “Jamie” he would say every time, “Jamie” my own name coming back to me now, it was really one of the first times I heard my own name coming back to me when I wanted to hear it coming back to me. Uncle Jimmy had all these weird things and at 5 he was the best uncle you could ever have. he would sit me down and say, “Jamie” again my own name coming back to me from a different place, “Jamie” do you want to listen to some songs. And as a child you just said yes. And he would play some Frank Zappa don’t eat the yellow snow. He would play led zeppelin. I knew nothing of these things. His room smelled different of tobacco and BO. It smelt good as a kid who was there as a kid who was there.
It seemed like my vision was coming more into it at this time, and the vision memories were too, my dad working on a stove, my father working on a bay window, planting an apple trees, buying more land. A tree our in the front yard. My uncle Jimmy having all these letter stencil letter down in the basement. My father was so strong. He had this big beard, he was completely all everything I can remember. A sweater, a beard, and building shit, punching out windows, expanding decks, painting house, pools… coming back from India with Cobra Skins and Spain with Bull Horns that were mounted in our living room.
My father had a library, a room filled books, wall to wall, and later he put a speed bag in there. He would have me punch it as a little kid… a rhyme that lives all my life. The smell of that room the books. They smelt like all the things I wanted to know.
We had shag carpets… that our toes pushed across
I remember my sister, my sister laura in the Library, in her crib, and Erin next to me and me coaching Laura to get out of her crib. It felt good when she did, Erin looked at me like I was a god. I don’t even know what we did then, was Uncle Jimmy there? We walked upstairs, and my mother and father were there in this big brass bed and they said “get out” we went down, the three of us, and poured some cereal.
The real smell came later whit Joey Tekverk, at his house everything smelt different, is clothes, his toys, his life. I could smell it a mile away, it was the same with Jesse Lewis, it was the same with Chris Pym, it was the same with Eric Fanglefart… I could smell the difference in everything. If my mother brought me a piece of clothing, a glove, a shirt, I could say where it came from.
Mom, that is Erics.
I still have this to this day… fuck I don’t know what I am doing with it.
Dreams are different though they are all different, It feels like smell leaves my subconscious behind… it is just vision.
Which is sad
I see this from back then. My uncle jimmy and all his letters, a sign painter. I see a painting of a man holding a razor blade “the circumciser” the comedy. I see aunt Maxine when she worked for “HARO” bike company and I was asking her to float me all the cool things that she was taking pictures of because I wanted a better bike. I remember aunt Maxine sending be a cranks and all these cools things. I thought my life was the best of the best.
Sound started to come for me. I remember hearing songs on the radio. There were all of these 80’s songs that you heard then and I think I heard them, but this is what I remember songs the first songs I ever heard.
All the Christmas movies my mom played.
Another was “walking in winter wonderland” that was it, there was a long moment before I started to really listen, the next song I think I heard was “don’t it make my brown eyes blue” Crystal Gayle.
That was really the first pop song I heard now that I think about it
The next song I ever really registered was from Kenny Rogers “the Gambler”
Hanging out with my grandmother… that was the song in my head. And I really didn’t want to hang out with her, so I was all about knowing when to walk away, knowing when to fold them, called up my aunt Steph and asked her to get me out of it. She came over and picked me up. Grandma Valera was sitting there saying “what the hell” I looked up and said “don’t you turn my brown eyes blue”
Where was uncle Jimmy here? Bill and step, they really did come through then. You have to give them credit. Bill and Steph where huge in our life. They always had a place for us to come back to, a bicycle for us to ride. A car later when I was 16 coming back all east all horny they would give me the keys to the car and I would just jam out of there and try to fuck everything in sight. It mostly started with a party which I was good at, I would sink into these long island parties being this kid from Washington, I was so outside of their loop that I was just the most interesting guy.
I would kiss them, all those girls I would kiss them and kiss them, folding them over history.
I remember this weird moment where uncle bill and aunt Steph gave me the car and I went to pick up this girl in Kings Park, she was a Twin, so that mother had her work cut out for her. Two of these girls hot to trot… I showed up at the high school 17, in the car and the mother came up to the car, me with my shirt off and just started punching me in the head.
Stay away from my daughters.
I joined the army shortly after that and the twins sent me my more mail than I knew what to do with myself.
I just didn’t want to get punched no more.
I was calling my mom every night, because it was the only thing I knew. I would talk to my mom from Germany and catch up on my sisters, I would call my mom just to hear her voice, I would say mom, what is going on, and she would tell me. When I was in the army I was always calling my mom, and my mom was always sending me letters.
So these smells I talk about.
My mom, my dad, my child my wife.