Monday, July 20, 2009
Several people today have asked me where I was when I watched the moon walk forty years ago. Until I saw the news tonight, I didn't remember.
I was seventeen years old. My mother's mother was dying of a brain tumor, and we were staying the summer at my great-aunt's beach house at Wrightsville Beach. I was very insensitive to what my mother was going through, and saw the summer as a great opportunity to drink, smoke, and party with my new-found friends from around NC.
I watched the walk at a friend's house. There were several of us there, adults and teens, and I can see us as clearly as though it were this afternoon. It seemed amazing and impossible, but when one of the adults said that it was faked, I was irritated at their ignorance.
My grandmother died in the fall, a day or two before I was to make my debut as the school mascot at a football game. As in the summer, what I was doing was more important to me that what my mother was going through. I was a total ass to my mother to the point that she told me to stay home and go to the game rather than to the funeral. I remember the fight (she must have been exhausted) but not whether I stayed or went.
Big things happened in those few months, both in the world and in my world. It has taken me many years to understand the impact.