1984 began in 1983, the winds
superior in mountain theaters
serving Bond twice, one with Sean
the other with Roger.
I went to see them both, Roger first,
aging by then but dapper, able with
a machine gun saving private parts
on the bannister, it must have been June
at night, a weekend affair.
Skip to Chevy Chase, “Vacation” came in
time for ours, Christie Brinkley sharing
what we loved, with her I had the courage
to tell others how I felt: “She is pretty,”
yes indeed, for many an ideal, we went to
see these shows, Yes’s “Owner of a Lonely
Heart” not keeping us from filling ours—we
stormed the movies in search of thrills,
age was irrelevant I was stolen into
“Risky Business” like a piece of baggage,
what a scary thing sexuality, I think
drinking alcohol might be easier.
Pass go to ’84, Fifth grade lunch area
the place of stories told among boys, more
sex and look what I’d have to deal with!
Better get good at sports, learn to drink
that flammable liquid, “God” didn’t come to mind
or good morals to combat the fear,
Female anatomy, the lack of my development,
the music, the dances, everything prepared
for excitement and awkwardness. It was perfect,
“Tenderness” by General Public setting the tone
all was well.
This was 1984.
Not yours or hers but mine, we shared some things
call it ours. All my mistakes are there, all
my potential, and if I could warn a young
person, I’d hope to catch them at twelve years
old like I was. Tell them to not drink ‘til
twenty-one, obey the law, have a
spiritual life, call your guide God or Higher
Power, something big and good and courage-giving.
With that above your life live your dreams,
tell the girl you like her, fall in love.
Someone did that at twelve, maybe thirteen,
maybe in 1984 if you know what I mean.
We’re not all alcoholic like me.
Beverly Hills Cop came out, spirit was
everywhere, has always been that movie
about brotherly love, and that we had
without the stating it.
We loved hoops and played with our
heart, threw rap music on the box
dribbled up and down, shake n’ bake
go under the rim and away from scary
things I just couldn’t do.
I was asked on a date “as a friend” which
worked fine, the platonic guaranteed, my
skills with girls not tested.
Without a test there is no failure, this was
’84 just a year before, well months before
my death in alcohol, I said good-bye to
Hopeless and helpless I asked alcohol to
help me be honest, kept asking for close to
twenty years, fired it finally in March of 2002.
1984, “Careless Whisper” on the way, a fitting
end for a dance that never began. We wanted more
and better, but took our medicine, departed at
ten o’clock, went home not saying all we wanted
Now I say it, ready for love, platonic, sexual
all kinds, reduced to humanity by five
days at Betty Ford treatment center.
“It’s great to be great, but greater
to be human” said Will Rogers according
to Brian L. of Hazelden books.
Full of achievement, empty in love was
I for so many years. So I write about ’84,
where everything was there, all external
things perfect and ripe for picking.
I just needed to tell her that I loved her.
Fall, be human, give, serve, risk, get—
“Seems like without tenderness there’s
“Without love, there ain’t much, there ain’t
much.” The glamorous life with Sheila E.,
her lingerie a topic on my first date, favorite
roller coasters, amusement parks, the divorce.
“Is divorce hard?” She asked, my date, I was twelve
she was thirteen, my sweet date.
Chuckling I talked about multiple Christmases and
dismissed the question, too many barriers there
between the truth and my telling it.
God bless her, I was not ready.
Nor for my dance partner at the dance,
my first and second crushes.
1984: without alcohol waiting for me
to come to ’85, with a God instead of
fear guiding my choices….
Well, even as it was there were good times,
spirit, great movies and songs experienced,
near beer and goofy memories, getting
jacked in ’85 to say “Hey, we just saw it
Nearly thirty years later I’m seeing it again
in memory, that potential, it’s still
there. My letter goes out, their fulfillment
is mine. We can still win