I am an 80s kid.
I was born in the early 70s, but I technically grew up in the very late 70s and early- to mid-80s: the heyday of faux-wood paneling, jean jackets, feathered haircuts, and gaudy pop rock. So naturally, as a writer, I wanted to share my nostalgic take on that amazing decade…but I started the process with poetry. Yep, Father Time Killed the Atari Dream began as a free verse poem. And as I constructed each stanza, the wonderful memories and vivid imagery erupted with a mighty fervor.
It’s amazing what will come back to you if your pen is the guide. For example, I realized I had completely forgotten about pet rocks, and I fondly recalled the power of a child’s mind when the art of pretending transforms a backyard or neighborhood street into more than most could ever realize. But those treasured memories sadly turned toward present day and how that era—along with its iconic magic—has now been trampled by the forward march of time. Since the introduction of the internet, most people have slowly begun to spend their free time habitually searching for stimulus or choosing a Google search over their innate cognitive abilities.
As I’m writing this, I’m remembering what it was like to curiously flip through an encyclopedia.
But for some unknown reason, that poem turned into piece of prose. And I’m glad it did because it forced me to look past the obvious and dig a little deeper, toward an aspect of this story that’s more depressing than the mere onset of technology. My investigation lead to retro memes and nostalgic websites, and how they are some of the last true stewards of my treasured past. I lamented what’s become of that time, more so during the writing of the prose piece than the poem because at that point—again, for a reason I can’t remember—I was more engaged. The words carried more weight. The writing was more me.
I’ve accepted the fact that time moves on. And I know I’ll always have the priceless memories. But I admit I’m not a fan of Father Time…and I still wish I had a vintage Atari. Know where I can get one?
© 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.