On the TV bracketed above us in the corner of our art room, we watched the replay of the second plane smashing into the second tower. I remember thinking how incredible it was that we could get this footage, these first-hand accounts relayed over cell phones. “It’s like a movie,” I thought, an observation that many people much closer to Ground Zero made that day, too.
By third or fourth period we were told that school was closing. I’ve learned in the years that followed, from friends who grew up in Minnesota or Virginia or California, that every town had its own reason for letting school out. In the case of Cheyenne, it was because we were sitting on the largest stash of nuclear missiles in America. Up until that moment, we had always been proud to be “Home of the Peacekeepers,” with three on display just outside the secure gates of Warren Air Force Base. Now, they seemed like a liability.
We hovered around our lockers, lingered in the halls. I can’t remember at what point I finally found my girlfriend, but we were soon holding hands. She was excited to see me. We were getting serious. Two weeks in, this was my longest relationship, but between us we didn’t have a lot of free time. When we did get a chance to hang out, we were often at the mall or seeing bad movies with friends. It was anything but intimate.
When I wondered aloud how I’d get home, she suggested I ride the bus back to her house and call my mom from there. I realized what had been suggested: a few hours of uninterrupted time together. My hand was unpleasantly sweaty, but she was nice enough to not let go."
Wrote this. Still feels weird. Click through to read the whole piece.
We all do dumb things when we’re 7 years old. I remember once picking my nose and securing a booger so extreme that I wanted to both immediately get it away from me, but also showcase its immensity to someone else in my house. “Oh, I’ll just wipe it on the wall! BOOM. Problem solved. Where are the Capri Suns?” I’d like to put pogs in this classification of youthful shame, too. It’s a shame shared, so I feel like I can talk openly about it. Hi, my name’s Dylan, and I really loved pogs.
Pogs, for those who resented fun as a kid, was a game wherein you and an opponent stacked little cardboard circles face down (the front of most pogs featured hilariously awful designs, like skulls, 8-balls, dragons, flames, and sometimes all four at once). Then you would take a heavier pog, known as a slammer, and try and strategically hit the stack. Slammers were often made of either a thick plastic, or more infamously, metal, with the end goal being to flip over as many pogs as you could to bolster your collection.
Of course, the collection was meaningless in pretty much every way. None of those pogs were worth money, and none of them were status symbols, save for maybe my still-packaged NFL AFC pogs. But I wanted them! I wanted to swim amongst my pogs, much like Scrooge McDuck did with his gold coins."
I wrote about pogs vs. Foursquare for GOOD’s recent Then and Now series. Glad I got to work in that super gross and embarrassing booger story.