El Cerrito, CA (1982)
Here, I'm standing in the yard of our old house in El Cerrito, in front of the dozens of flowers my mom would plant. That house was convenient, as there was a community center with a swimming pool close by, plus a Safeway and a Baskin-Robbins. And, there was an adult bookstore nearby too, which had a sign outside: "Arcade, 25 Cents." As we drove by - usually to church, mind you - I'd always ask my sister if we could ever stop by and play a video game or two.
'No,' she would reply dryly, eyes fixed to the road.
It's 20 years since the photo was taken, and I’m trying to figure why on Earth
I would pose like this, and I can only think of two things:
One: Putting a foot on a box or a bunch of rocks was the thing to do for kids wanting to look cool. Or Two: Judging by how I have my legs crossed - knee-over-knee, while standing - maybe I'm trying to channel on of those come-hither Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover models.
By junior high, I would learn that the ankle-atop-knee method of leg-crossing was preferred, not the knee-over-knee method. That is, if you didn’t want to get your ass beat in the school lunch room by the other Asian kids who were, in turn, being beat up by the White and Black kids. Clearly, I had not figured that out yet.
But I like how brazen I am in this photo. It's as if I'm on Solid Gold, a show my mom and dad would let me watch as long I practiced the piano for an hour.
Or, I am Miss America - and those f*cking pink and purple flowers in the back are the other 51 bitches who ain’t as fabulous as me.
Ernie's first, famous-person same sex crush:He wasn't famous: He was a Japanese exchange student in 2nd grade. Minimal English, moved away after the school year, and doomed from the start.