December 7th, 1941: A day that will live in infamy. Fast forward exactly 44 years later to December 7th, 1985: That’s where I come in. My name’s Andy, and for almost 23 years, I’ve been doing stuff. This page is my best, and first, attempt to list the things that I did and things that happened to me throughout my life.
I was born Saturday, December 7th, 1985 at 8:18 pm in Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan (holy commas, Batman!). I went to school at Coldwater Elementary for kindergarten up to about half of 1st grade. When I was in kindergarten, my dad came to my class and played guitar for us. The one song that I can remember him playing was Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid, which just came out at the time. I didn’t really think about how amazing it was for my dad, who worked late night at the Springfield Meijer and thus had very limited free time, to learn a new song simply by listening to it a couple of times. I can do it to an extent, but hey, I’ve only been playing music seriously for about 3 years now compared to Dad’s decades of experience (almost 40 years total by my estimation). Needless to say, the class was in awe, including my very musically-inclined teacher. The class signed a card thanking him for stopping by and got him a musical note cookie cutter too. Some dads are policemen and some are factory workers. My dad’s a musician. Sure, he didn’t do it for a living (at least, not when I was around), but in his heart, he was. That’s the side of Dad that I want to carry with me. However, Dad also had a very dark side to him, as you’ll read later on.
The reason I didn’t finish 1st grade at Coldwater was because my dad kicked me, my brother Jon, and my mom out. I don’t remember the reason, but it was probably something stupid. You see, my dad loved to make a mountain out of a molehill. So after Mom rented a U-Haul, Dad only let us take a hamper of clothes and some toys. Suffice it to say, Mom was pissed off! She rammed the U-Haul into one of our cars because he wouldn’t let her out and we left for Michigan.
We spent the next couple weeks at my Aunt Pam’s house. Mom used up most, if not all, of the inheritance money from my grandma for a year’s rent at a pretty nice apartment complex in Fowlerville and a car. It was pretty sweet living there. I completed 1st grade and almost finished 3rd grade there. I remember that I first started getting into video games by playing with my cousin Nathan. He had all the then-new systems like the NES & Sega Genesis. He was more of a Sega player so on one Christmas, he gave me his NES system with all of his games. It was the best Christmas ever!! I remember calling him up on the phone one day asking him how to defeat Bowser in Super Mario Bros. “Jump on the ax? But won’t that kill me?” Good times. Unfortunately, things were about to change for the worse…
Well, my dad wanted to come up to Michigan to live with us again. Mom decided to let him because she didn’t want us to be without a father figure. She wanted him to get a job to help support the family, but he didn’t want to so he just basically babysat us when we weren’t at school. He would go in another room whenever my aunts would visit. Also, one of my birthdays was a bit weird with my dad in another room while my party was out in the living room. My mom was working 2 jobs and going to cosmetology school so she could do hair for a living.
However, Dad wanted to move to Indiana for some reason I don’t recall and he dragged us with him. Actually, we just went back to living in Coldwater while he lived in Union City, Indiana. I finished 3rd grade and 4th grade in Coldwater. When my dad decided to come back again, my mom had enough. She left for good in the summer before I would go to 5th grade.
Amid all this chaos and dysfunction, I still found pleasure in watching awesome 90’s TV on Nickelodeon and playing the best video games ever. Seriously, the NES and Super NES were and are the best systems of all time. Although I was sad and confused about what was going on, I usually kept a positive attitude and believed that things would work out in the end.
When we moved out for good, we lived in a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Celina. It was like starting over yet again, except we didn’t have Grandma’s inheritance money for a year’s rent this time. It was terrible living there. We lived with several families, all of them in even more fucked-up situations than us if you can believe it. We were on the other side of town so we had to walk to school since Mom didn’t have a reliable car at the time. Fortunately, we left about a month later to live in an apartment complex that was really close to the school. This apartment complex was low-income and full of seedy people. It was a step-up from living in the shelter, but we were a long ways away from where we are today. And that’s where he comes in…
My mom first met my step-dad Roger when he was a maintenance guy at our apartment. One thing lead to another, and the next thing I know, he’s living with us and Mom’s pregnant. I began to feel like he was pushing himself into our family and I didn’t like it one bit.
Coincidentally, this was during my most rebellious years. In 6th grade, I was sent to alternative school for a day and later on for 4 days. For those of you who don’t know what alternative school is, it’s like in-school suspension-plus for juvenile delinquents usually in grades 7-12. You’re basically treated like you’re in prison and the other “inmates” were far worse off than me. They were usually chronic offenders that did stuff like yell at teachers, skip school, get caught with drugs, get in fights, etc. So here I am, this little 6th grader, stuck in a room and riding a bus with much older delinquents. From what I can remember, the main reason that I was sent there was that I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t do my homework, I believed I skipped some tests, just your basic delinquent-in-training. After that horrifying experience at alternative school, I began to straighten up. I did have some detentions and in-school suspensions later on, but they were pretty few.
When I was in 8th grade, I first laid eyes on the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen: Jess Green. She was a cheerleader and stereotypically dating some guy on the football team. I remember how I told her that I liked her. Since she was a cheerleader, she obviously had connections and I told her that I had a crush on somebody. She was really oblivious to the fact that I liked her so I eventually had to just come out and say it. I’ve had some awkward moments involving her, like the time in 9th grade when I serenaded her with Please Don’t Go Girl by the New Kids On The Block. Believe it or not, she actually loved when I did that and she looked sooo turned on, whoo my goodness! I had no clue at all with how to deal with girls or even people in general since I was a real loner back then. I still like to be alone, but I’m a helluva lot more sociable than I was before. Anyway, getting back on topic, I really liked Jess to the point of obsession. It was like textbook romantic-comedy anime, minus some of the kooky stuff and the whole taking-up-to-26-episodes-just-to-say-I-love-you bit. I did a lot of things (no, not those kind of things) to Jess that I regret, including involving this other girl when I was in 9th grade…
There was this other girl I liked. Her name was Megan Harner. Poor thing, I put her through hell just to make Jess jealous. I had the bright idea that if Jess saw me with another smokin’ hot girl, then she might think of me as datable. Well, things didn’t really turn out that way. You see, I had to attract Megan as opposed to just telling her what I really wanted. I tried talking to her as much as I could. I talked to her at her locker, between classes, and during lunch. It got to the point of borderline stalking. Her friends told me that Megan was gonna put a restraining order on me if I didn’t stop. I got so disgusted as to where this was headed (juvi, restraining order, etc.) so I pulled the plug on the whole spiel.
During this whole bout of chaos, I somehow made a friend. It all started in the freshman hallway…
He was dancing around and trying to breakdance. He got quite a bit of attention. For some odd reason, I decided to join in and breakdance too.